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Wednesday's North practice report: DE Jihad Ward has a day

Wednesday's North practice report: DE Jihad Ward has a day

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MOBILE, Ala. — The weather turned at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for Wednesday's Senior Bowl practices. It's been in the 40's, windy and rainy so far. The North squad just finished up its practice.

A few notes on who stood out...

— Player of the Day here might've been Illinois defensive end Jihad Ward, who's 6-5, 295. Very powerful one on one and surprisingly athletic for his size. This is the type of player that could fix Rex Ryan's scheme — he seems capable of sliding along the line in 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. He was simply too much for any offensive lineman to handle on Wednesday at the point of attack.

At Illinois, Ward played both end and tackle last season in totaling 53 tackles (for loss), 1.5 sacks, two QB hurries one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Had nine solo stops against Iowa.

— On the other side of the ball, center Jack Allen (6-2, 296) held his own in one-on-one's. Built low to the ground, he stalemated Temple's Matt Ioannidis once, no easy feat. Notre Dame's Nick Martin (6-5, 301) also had a win vs. Vernon Butler, who was really solid throughout Wednesday.

— Out wide, Braxton Miller's raw ability is obvious. The former quarterback gets in and out of his breaks with ease, and has not looked out of place at wide receiver. It'll obviously be a huge jump to the NFL, but there's a reason many former college quarterbacks excel at receiver (think: Julian Edelman). They see the game through a QB's lens. There will be a team willing to roll the dice on Miller.

— It was another good day for Carson Wentz. The North Dakota State quarterback works the boundary better than his peers, dropping the deep out route on the money to receivers. For all the hype surrounding the FCS quarterback, he only attempted 612 passes in college total. Pro scouts and coaches needed to see these kinds of throws --- deep outs, comebacks, go routes --- as much as possible.

— Liked San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin. While it can always be difficult to gauge running backs in this setting, he hits the hole with decisiveness. You can see why he rushed for 1,601 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

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