I took a closer look at the Spring Game this week. The following are my (very unorganized) thoughts about what I observed.
Pharoh Cooper looked good sitting in the hole in the zone for a reception on first play of game. Lots of good press for Cooper this spring; sounds like he's ready to fill in for Bruce Ellington.
Brandon Wilds, as usual, looked good catching ball out of backfield on a wheel route.
Cody Waldrop looked good making a block in the second level on a long run by Brandon Wilds.
Connor Mitch looked good on a read-option run. He's not as mobile as some of the other QBs, but he seems to have good instincts on the read.
Drew Owens looked good on a few plays but also dropped a pass over the middle. He got hit as he tried to catch the ball but really should have come down it. I'd feel comfortable with him in the game, but it would probably entail a fairly substantial dropoff from Rory Anderson and Jerrell Adams.
I'm still really impressed with David Williams. Showed some great moves gaining yards after catching the ball out of the backfield.
On the last play of the first quarter, Jody Fuller initially looked very good making a long reception in traffic over the middle but didn't secure the ball well as he attempted to turn up field and fumbled on the hit. Later in the game, Perry Orth looked good finding Fuller, who sat in the soft spot of the zone. This was on the first play in the final quarter. On the next play, Orth dropped one in down the sideline to Matrick Belton for a long TD. I was overall impressed by Fuller. He has clearly come along this spring and could be a good option at slot receiver if Cooper ever went down. One thing to note about Fuller is that he's built really well and can block.
On the first play of the second half, Perry Orth woefully underthrew an open Shamier Jeffery. Jamari Smith picked off the pass. Smith got beaten badly initially by Jeffery but recovered nicely to reel in the errant pass. Smith also looked good covering a Brendan Nosovitch pass down the sideline a few plays later.
A few plays later, Jeffery dropped a nice pass from Nosovitch. McWilliams was covering the pass well, but Jeffery should have reeled it in. McWilliams looked decent on multiple plays in the second quarter after an ugly PI as he recovered after getting beat by Shaq Roland in the first quarter.
I said Nosovitch looked bad in my earlier post, and I stand by that, but after watching again, maybe he wasn't as bad as I thought. He played better in the first half than the second. His play in the second half left a bad taste in my mouth the first time I watched. He led a good drive late in the first half, with several good passes. Would have scored a TD on a run if the play hadn't been whistled dead before he was hit due to how the refs prevented hits on the QBs.
The first-team linebackers looked fairly adept in run support. T.J. Holloman showed good awareness on a couple of plays. This group should be clearly improved over a year ago. Larenz Bryant made some nice plays from the spur position while he was in, too.
Along the defensive line, Deon Green was a player who really stood out to me in the second half. He's a big, strong player who works through blocks well. Made several good plays late in the game in a goal line stand. Also saw Kelsey Griffin getting in there for some stops on that goal-line stand.