CBS Sports Texas Vs. Nation: Day 2 Notes

From Chad Reuter Senior Analyst

Nation practice

Prize prospects

Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton and Hillsdale left tackle Jared Veldheer were hard for scouts to take their eyes off in Tuesday’s practice and that will be a recurring theme this week. They are odds-on favorites to be the highest-drafted players from this game.

Crompton completed only 58.3 percent of his passes for the Vols in 2009, but his accuracy has been good in drills and in live action this week. His velocity and spiral have been consistently better than any of the quarterbacks in the East-West Shrine Game or Senior Bowl practices, outside of West Virginia’s Jarrett Brown (who struggled mightily against pressure in the game). Crompton does need to unload more quickly when throwing intermediate and deep outs, on which receivers struggled to stay in bounds even if the ball is thrown on the money.

Veldheer is this year’s version of Sebastian Vollmer, the Houston offensive tackle who wowed scouts enough at the 2009 East-West practices to earn a late second-round pick by the Patriots (and a starting spot on the right side). His athleticism — at 6-8, 315 pounds — is astounding and he plays with real toughness and consistent arm extension in pass protection. After he runs a sub-5.0 40-yard dash at the Combine, Veldheer’s almost assured of being a top-75 selection.

Veldheer’s play hasn’t been perfect. Impressive Rutgers defensive end George Johnson displayed great power and speed to beat him with an outside-in move in one-on-one drills. Johnson let Veldheer know about it afterward, but failed to beat him the second time around. Veldheer took him around the pocket and continued to pound Johnson well after the end had given up trying to win the battle.

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