BEAVERTON, Ore. – Plenty of prospects were able to separate themselves during Friday morning SPARQ testing with blistering 40-yard dash times and testing numbers. But none of that mattered on Friday afternoon when the football was thrown into the mix.
Max Browne was very impressive once he got warmed up.
We take a look at Friday afternoon’s top performers from the camp portion of the day on the offensive side of the ball.
Note: The following defenders did not participate in the afternoon camp due to their qualification in the SPARQ national championship finals on Friday evening: Derrick Henry, Altee Tenpenny and Ryan Green.
1. Max Browne – After a brief struggle early on in the drill portion, the USC commitment proved to have the best anticipation and timing in one-on-ones today. He threw a number of precise comebacks and outs in live bullets, releasing the ball before the receivers made their cuts. When he doesn't over stride and open up the left hip early, he's very accurate.
2. Brice Ramsey – Ramsey turned in a terrific day one. The ball was jumping out of his hand, and he released the ball with good timing. He zipped the ball around the field, and was especially accurate on slants, skinny posts and comebacks.
- Penn State commitment Christian Hackenberg looks to have the best release on hand. He's a smooth athlete at the position, and can make every throw asked. He especially looked good throwing deep.
- Shane Morris has the best arm on hand, as expected. Not only does his a strength jump out even among a talent group, but his quick arm stands out.
1. Derrick Green – There were some mixed reviews on Green among the staff. He is strikingly thick for a high school running back which can worry you some as to how he develops and projects but even at that size, he has outstanding feet. Because he is so quick with his cuts and so decisive, he has the skill set to really complement his size well.
2. Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott continues to show that he is a really complete back and his stock is on the rise in a big way. After putting up one of the fastest running back times in the 40 at 4.42 in the morning, Elliott put that speed to work in the afternoon showing an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and a diverse set of skills.
3. Mark Dodson – Stock up for Dodson – again. The running back out of Memphis just makes it look so easy. He is surprisingly good at making defenders miss in space and he can make strong cuts at full speed. Add an abiity to catch the ball out of the backfield and Dodson is one of the more complete backs out there.
4. Taquan Mizzell – Put Mizzell at No. 1 on this list and likely you won’t get much of an argument from anyone. He looks as natural as you’re going to find in the open field and runs with a rare fluidity.
- The running back group was extremely strong, even while Tenpenny, Green and Henry were resting up for the SPARQ finals. The highest rated prospect was Kelvin Taylor and he did nothing to hurt his stock. He doesn’t have great long speed but his quickness and his decisive downhill ability was on display in drill work. He’s a guy that runs with great burst, power and balance and he’s the best in the country from between the first and fourth yard.
- Dontre Wilson is not big and he didn’t ‘wow’ anybody with his testing numbers in the morning but his ability to change directions was terrific.
- Alvin Kamara is very similar to Wilson in what he brings to the table while carrying the football. Kamara also shows great hands out of the backfield and could easily be a slot receiver on the next level.
1. Demorea Stringfellow – When you have size like Stringfellow you have an immediate advantage at wide receiver in your ability to out-jump and out-position defenders for the football. What Stringfellow also has is hands that create that much more separation due to his ability to catch the ball away from his body.
2. Laquon Treadwell – Treadwell has length, speed vertically and the ability to make the spectacular catch. Weather he is out-running defensive backs or out-muscling them, Treadwell proves to be an intimidating threat on the outside.
3. Ryan Jenkins – Jenkins continued to back up his growing reputation as a terrific route runner on day one. He's quick off the line, is a blur getting into routes and his ability to sink his hips and change direction is exceptional. The 5-foot-10, 181-pounder is one of the top slot receiver prospects in the country.
4. Tony Stevens – The Florida State commitment stood out among an impressive group of tall receivers. Especially impressive was his ability to turn defenders in circles on double moves with a smooth fluidity. He also finished the plays with sure handed catches with the arms extended.
- Of all the receivers on hand, the best feet may belong to Texas A&M commitment Laquvionte Gonzalez. His quickness and first step burst up the field stood out more than once.
- USC commitment Sebastian LaRue showed excellent vertical burst after the catch. His ability to stick the foot in the ground and instantly separate on slants stood out as well.
- O.J. Howard is maybe the most talented tight end in the country as a pass catcher because he is so elite athletically and has such a unique frame to work with. He tested off the charts early in the day and then showed off some good ability catching the football in the afternoon.
- Jalin Marshall is one of the most talented football players in the country and he is still learning the wide receiver position. Look for Marshall to really blossom once he focuses in on receiver and gets some college coaching.
- Ricky Seals-Jones is one of the top mis-match guys in attendance but he does let the ball into his body some as a pass-catcher. Because he’s such a unique prospect, we could see him projecting to defensive end as much as wide receiver or tight end.
1. Shamire Devine – Devine continues to ascend in our minds. His body quickness is very impressive for his size, 6-foot-6 and 355-pounds. His initial punch was powerful and stopped would be bull rushers in their tracks. His natural strength is among the best of any offensive tackle in attendance.
2. Ira Denson – The best initial punch on hand, by far. His natural strength is among the best at the event to go with impressive physical toughness and nasty attitude. His ability to make first contact and stay engaged is the key for him.
3. Steven Elmer – Elmer showed a lot of confidence in his athleticism and his instincts. He didn’t overset on speed rushers, he just reacted to the edge rush and when defenders tried to press him inside he used his massive frame and strength to stone them.
- Don’t try to bulrush Brandon Kublanow. That aint happening. Kublanow showed fantastic strength and anchor ability.
- Cameron Hunt isn’t a massive offensive tackle and he could end up on the inside on the next level but he is very polished and rarely gets beat in one-on-ones.
Breakdowns written by national analysts Barton Simmons and Gerry Hamilton with feedback from the 247Sports staff in attendance.