January 26, 2012

Bradham proving he can cover at Senior Bowl

Warchant TV: Bradham wraps up Senior Bowl Day 3

MOBILE, Ala.-- When Nigel Bradham arrived in Mobile, Ala. for the Senior Bowl, he had one goal in mind--- to quell rumors of his defencies in pass coverage.

Bradham said he had heard that NFL team's felt coverage skills are the 6-foot-1 and 237-pound linebacker's biggest weakness.

"I definitely want to prove that I can cover," Bradham said. "I heard rumors that it was said that I couldn't cover that well. Some teams I guess don't think I can cover that well. I guess they didn't watch the tape as much to see my cover skills are pretty good. I'm definitely going to showcase that."

Bradham recorded five pass break-ups, seven pass deflections, and two interceptions during his senior year.

The former Seminole has teamed up with former Florida all-purpose threat Chris Rainey this week to help improve his pass coverage skills outside of practice.

Bradham said despite working with Rainey he doesn't think he'll harp too much solely on his pas coverage skills.

"I don't think I'll spend too much time on it. I'll just keep trying to do what I've been doing," Bradham said. "I feel like I can cover very well, especially this past season. It was probably one of the best seasons I've had coverage-wise. You've just got to play your game at the end of the day, remain focused and just go out there and give everything you can."

Through the first three days of Senior Bowl practices Bradham said the feedback has been mostly positive from teams that watched him practice.

"Nigel is doing exactly what he came here to do," one AFC scout said. "He's playing against talent from around the county. He's moving around well. The good thing about it is he's showing the physical part of his game right now. We knew he could run around in space, we knew he could close on the ball and play a lot special teams. How would he fair against the different talent level from the SEC from all the different (conferences)? So he's really stepping up to the challenge out here."

While the scouts wanted to see how Bradham would stack up against some of the top talent in the country, Rainey already knew he had the physical tools to impress people.

"Oh my God. That's like one of the best linebackers I've ever played against in my life," Rainey said. "That's one fast linebacker. If he gets his form right he'll probably run about a 4.2, (at least) that's what it looks like."

Throughout the week Bradham has not only been able to show his physical prowess, but he has been able to show his mental capacity for the game as well.

During his career at FSU the Wakulla, Fla. native racked up 306 tackles, leading the team in tackles each other last three seasons, playing primarily outside linebacker. But this week in Mobile, he has lined up solely at middle linebacker.

"I haven't even seen him outside," said Washington Redskins linebackers coach Bob Slowik, who is coaching the South linebackers. "All I've seen is him inside and he looks kind of quite comfortable and feels at home."

Slowik admitted that the calls are not particularly complex during the Senior Bowl, but Bradham has shown an ability to diagnose what the offense is doing and get the defense lined up correctly.

Bradham, who is rated the No. 9 outside linebacker in the 2012 draft by ESPN Scouts Inc., said he has enjoyed his time in the middle, because it gives him a chance to bond with his fellow South defenders.

"It's a good experience to be able to make all the calls and make all the checks and being able to connect with these guys from that standpoint," he said. "Being in front of the huddle. It definitely feels good, especially when you're playing with guys of this talent."

Bradham said he feels good about how his fist three days of practices have gone at the Senior Bowl. Slowik agreed that Bradham has been impressive thus far.

"He's been doing great," Slowik said. "All the linebackers have, the whole linebacker group has been doing a heck of job and he's a very physical guy. Very fast, athletic, picked up the system, physical guy, we like what we see."

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