The first step of the NFL Draft process is the East-West Shrine Game. The West defeated the East by the score of 29-9. Most of the players in this collegiate all-star game are considered late round draft prospects, some of which having not even been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Players such as Tom Brady, Josh Norman, and Richard Sherman are a few examples of why this game is so important for talent evaluators. Lets take a look now at some players from the West that caught my eye for better or worse.
The West quarterbacks were lead by Vernon Adams who outshined every quarterback in general. Adams finished 6/9, 191 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The problem with Adams in he is only 5’10” with small hands. Lacking the prototypical quarterback size Adams will have to prove he can be the next Russell Wilson. Let’s not forget just two years ago Adams was playing for Eastern Washington having transferred to Oregon this past season.
- Skill Players:
The top receivers in the game were Western Kentucky’s Jared Dangerfield and Illinois Geronimo Allison. Dangerfield looks like your typical possession receiver missing that second gear to be a true burner. Allison was the more impressive receiver hauling in 2 touchdowns. Allison has great size (6’3”) but his 40 yard dash time at the combine will prove crucial to his draft stock.
The Big 10 churned out some great safteys as Michael Caputo from Wisonsin and Clayton Fejedelem from Illinois came away with three interceptions. One of Caputo’s picks included a takeaway from his college teammate Joel Stave.
Players Who Improved Their Draft Stock:
- Derek Watt (Wisconsin) Fullback
Yes he is J.J. Watt’s brother. Besides that he is one of those guys who can fill a number of positional voids. Watt can play linebacker, fullback, halfback, long snapper, and special teams ace. Find a spot for Watt all I know is this guy is a football player. Watt reminds me of Ravens fullback Kyle Juszcyk.
- Travis Feeney (Washington) Linebacker
Talent evaluators are especially looking for guys who can contribute right away. Feeney can do that in the special teams department flying around the football. Feeney has the look of a tampa 2 specialist who can cover in space. The only downfall is he looks like a liability in run defense.
- David Onyemata (Manitoba) Defensive End
Never heard of Manitoba? That’s because it’s in Canada. Nevertheless, Onyemata thrived in the 2nd half of the game coming up with 2 late sacks to secure the victory. Lets not forget the transition from Canada may take some time. Cameron Wake from the Dolphins is one of those examples.