The East-West Shrine Game is Saturday at 4pm on the NFL Network. There are no elite prospects, but there are some good players in this year’s game. Let’s talk about a few of them.
Vernon Adams played one year of big time football. The Eastern Washington transfer went to Oregon in 2015 and led the Ducks finish 5th in yards and points. Who needs Chip Kelly or Marcus Mariota, right?
Adams is a playmaker. That’s the good news. The question is whether he can be a consistently good QB. The Shrine Game will give him a chance to show what he can do in a conventional offense.
Other QBs of interest in the game are Nate Sudfeld, Brandon Doughty and Jake Rudock. I like Doughty the best of the trio for now. He had a great career at Western Kentucky. Rudock played in a pro-style system for Jim Harbaugh as a Senior and that should help him in a setting like the Shrine Game.
Alex Lewis played OG, OT and even some TE at Colorado before transferring to Nebraska. He started at LT there for the past 2 years. The NFL loves experienced, versatile OL. Lewis could really help himself with a strong showing.
Another interesting OT is Stephane Nembot of Colorado. He has terrific size and some athletic ability, but I see him as a project. He started at RT and LT, but isn’t polished. He tends to play too upright.
Clayton Fejedelem had a breakout year at Safety for Illinois. He transferred there in 2013 from an NAIA school, but didn’t start until this season. He is a tough, aggressive player that is fun to watch. He’s sloppy as a tackler, though. He needs to s how that he can cover.
Keenan Reynolds had an amazing career for Navy. Does he fit the NFL? If so, where? Reynolds is playing RB this week. He might be a better fit at slot receiver. He was incredibly productive as a running QB for Navy, but he’s got to find the right role if he wants to play in the NFL.
After the 2012 season I thought Kyle Carter was on his way to being a star. Things didn’t work for the gifted Penn State TE. He struggled in his final 3 years. Carter has NFL potential. He needs to show coaches and scouts that whatever held him back at PSU is in the past and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to make it.
Cody Core is the other receiver for Ole Miss. All the headlines went to Laquon Treadwell (and rightfully so). That said, Core had a good career of his own and he’s a talented prospect. He averaged 16 yards per catch for his career and had 10 TDs over the past 2 years. While Core has good size and some speed, he looks a bit stiff. His route-running also needs work, although part of that is him lacking top agility.
The player who generated the most buzz at Shrine Game practices is Javon Hargrave, the DT from SC State. He has okay size at 6-2, 295. He was incredibly disruptive this week and got the attention of everyone. He should be fun to watch.
Teams wanting a 3-4 DE should be interested in Dean Lowry from NW. He is 6-6, 295 and a natural at 3-4 DE. He is athletic enough to make plays (13.5 TFLs this year), but he’s also smart. Over the past 2 years he batted down 14 passes. Lowry knows he’s not a stud pass rusher so he uses his height to his advantage.
Anthony Zettel had a great season in 2014, notching 17 TFLs, 8 sacks and 3 INTs. He came back to Earth a bit this year. He still had 11 TFLs and 4 sacks. He just wasn’t quite as disruptive. Zettel goes about 6-4, 285. He is a good fit for a team looking for a 1-gap DT that can fire off the ball and be disruptive.
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