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Physicality, Confidence Key For LSU's Jalen Mills

Posted Jan 28, 2016

A four-year starter at LSU, cornerback Jalen Mills is trying to show NFL scouts his physical play during this week's Senior Bowl practices.

A four-year starter at LSU, cornerback Jalen Mills is trying to show NFL scouts his physical play during this week's Senior Bowl practices.

LSU’s Jalen Mills doesn’t lack self-confidence on the football field.

The cornerback, competing on the South Team during this year’s Senior Bowl, has been active through drills this week, playing a physical style of play that has been noticeable during 1-on-1 drills with the wide receivers.

Showing strong skills at the line, Mills rarely let the wide receivers get the best of him during the first two days of Senior Bowl practices.

“Played good yesterday, I feel like I played a lot better today, especially in the 1-on-1 series,” Mills told Redskins.com. “Had a couple plays where I could have picked the ball off, but I think they’re teaching the receivers to kind of grab on us when we’re going for the ball, so I was kind of frustrated with that. But I think I played pretty dominant today.”

The physicality he’s flash was instilled in him by the LSU coaching staff.

“Just coming from LSU, our coach preaches that, being physical to the receiver or he’s going to be physical to you,” Mills said. “You have to initiate that first and I feel like I initiated that, and I mean it just carried over.”

Mills missed the first five games of his senior season before returning to appear in six total games. He recorded 30 tackles, two passes and a sack.

Against Alabama on Aug. 7, the DeSoto, Texas, native tied a career-high in tackles with nine.

Throughout his four seasons, Mills, who started 13 games as a freshman, totaled 216 tackles with 15 passes defensed and six sacks.

In his mind, playing in the SEC has already given him a leg up on his NFL readiness.

“Oh, yeah. Me, Deion [Jones], Reggie Ragland, we out here talking to these Big Ten guys, Big 12 guys, we bragging about the SEC being the best conference, but it’s all fun and games,” Mills said. “But for sure, the SEC has prepared me for this moment here.”

Still, getting the chance to compete at the annual Senior Bowl also provides Mills with a gauge of where he stacks up alongside some of the top talent in the 2016 NFL Draft class.

“Very big, me just coming of my leg injury at the beginning of the season, and just kind of playing a little shaky, coming back from the injury in the middle of the season, I wasn’t playing my best,” Mills said. “Now I’m fully healthy and I’m really out here getting to show these guys what I can do.”

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