2019 East-West Shrine Game
Brett Rypien was the best quarterback at the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. Check out the other scouting notes for the West team! (Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2019 East-West Shrine Game is the first scouting step of the offseason. The 2019 NFL Draft starts with a collegiate All-Star Game. It’s the East vs. West college All-Stars. Stars like Josh Norman, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Terron Armstead are just some of the notable players that competed in this game.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this game, it’s basically a second-tier All-Star game to the Senior Bowl. Players that impress during the East-West week often times get invited to the Senior Bowl so it’s just another piece of information towards the 2019 NFL Draft. Here we go. Here’s who stood out for the West Team!

Quarterbacks:

The quarterback class is usually thin at this game. Brett Rypien of Boise State was the best of the bunch. He went 10-14, 134 yards, and a touchdown. Rypien was actually better than I anticipated. Has some zip on it and was accurate. Still, you’re looking at a mid-round flier. Easton Stick of North Dakota State had some moments (5-8, 51 yards, 1 TD) but is more of a scrambler than a quarterback. Marcus McMaryion was just flat out awful. 3-11 total pukefest.

Running Backs:

Nick Brosette of LSU really impressed me. This is a perfect example of a player who got stuck in the weeds in the SEC but blew the doors off in an All-Star type of setting. Brossette showed patience, power, and better speed than I thought. The highlight in this one came on a wheel route touchdown that came in the passing game outrunning an undersized linebacker for the score. I think there are some tools here to work with.

I was not impressed with the other two backs. Devine Ozigbo or Nebraska has power but nothing else. Same goes for Darrin Hall of Pitt. Hall went for 77 on 12 carries. Most of Hall’s work came on one big wide open run, however. Ozigbo went for 14 on 4 carries.

Wide Receivers:

Ron’Quavion Tarver was the best receiver of this group. 5 catches for 66 yards. He is a big target at 6-foot-3 and had reliable hands. Tarver had big production at Utah State. Not much else going on here. Shawn Poindexter from Arizona also reeled in a touchdown but is really raw red zone guy. Former Arizona volleyball player for what that’s worth.

Tight Ends:

Kendall Blanton is a radar guy to keep in mind. 6-foo-6, 250 with almost zero production out of Missouri. Blanton is a project tight end that you can’t count out. Huge measurables makes him intriguing.

Offensive Line:

This is a weird one to go over. The broadcast really pumped up a small school tackle, Trey Pipkins. He was downright terrible. Got beat on what seemed like every pass rush snap. He’s big but can’t really do anything. Bad feet. Bad hand fighting. Just bad.

I didn’t love any of these offensive lineman. Brian Wallace of Arkansas played a solid right tackle. That’s all I have for you.

Defensive Line:

This defensive line really got after the East. Daniel Wise of Kansas notched a sack. So did Armon Watts from Arkansas. So did Justin Hollins of Oregon. Hollins was fantastic. Typical long, lean edge guy from Oregon who gets after the quarterback. So did Landis Durham of Texas A&M. This draft is a big defensive line class and these guys just feasted. Wise is a player I really like and his older brother plays for the Pats, Deatrich. Wise is a 290-pound edge that can really get after the quarterback. I think you can find a starter late in the draft at the defensive line spot. I also have to mention Daylon Mack. The Texas A&M defensive tackle is a load at 340 and constantly pushed the pocket. 3-4 teams will love him as a guy to eat the middle.

Linebackers:

My favorite linebacker for the West was BJ Blunt. The McNesse State linebacker is undersized but was flying around the field. What’s more important is he played the pass really well. Watch him read the quarterback’s eyes and make a play on the ball. That’s what you’re looking for. Blunt had big production at a small school and even took on a leadership role for the defense. I was impressed because a lot of times, the small school guys look lost.

Cornerbacks:

South Florida corner Mizzi Wilkins is going to be a steal on draft day. He was by far the best corner on the field. He’s a real quick twitch athlete and was like glue on the receiver. The only knock was he got a bit too handsy getting called for a borderline pass interference call but he battled all day. Plus speed and really played the ball. Wilkins is just a shade over 6-foot and this guy is the real deal. Steal I tell you. Steal.

Ka’Dar Holloman from Toledo dropped an interception and really had a great day. Montre Hartage of Northwestern was also impressive. He was great when I watched him during the season. Hartage stripped Terry Godwin which resulted in an easy touchdown too.

Safeties:

I don’t know how good Andrew Wingard is but I constantly saw him. The guy with the yellow hair from Wyoming is constantly around the football. That’s all I saw. Wingard, yellow hair, by the ball. Take that information as little or as much as you want to make of it.