|East/West Shrine Game Coverage|
1. QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois)
He raised his stock more than any other player this week. He was extremely accurate and showed a good touch on downfield throws. He displayed a quick release, went through his progressions and made quick decisions. Garoppolo won the Offensive MVP during the East/West Shrine Game on Saturday. I was impressed with how well he ran the two-minute drill before halftime. He was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster, and we will see if he can continue to raise his stock even more.
2. WR Matt Hazel (Coastal Carolina)
He was the best WR in practice. Hazel showed great hands, ran precise routes and made tough catches in traffic. He is athletic and does a good job locating the ball on downfield throws. One play really stuck in my mind during Wednesday's practice. He ran a double move to perfection, beat CB Pierre Desir and made a terrific diving catch.
3. DE Cassius Marsh (UCLA)
Marsh checked in at 254 pounds at the weigh-in. He is an athletic DE with great speed. He made disruptive plays behind the line of scrimmage. He diplayed active hands and a non-stop motor. He is versatile and will be very appealing as an OLB to 3-4 teams.
4. CB Shaquille Richardson (Arizona)
He is a physical corner with good size. Richardson stayed low in his backpedal and changed directions well. He demonstrated good closing speed. He showed good ball skills and capped it all off with an INT during Saturday's game.
5. CB Andre Hal (Vanderbilt)
Hal has good quickness, length and breaks on the ball well. He displayed fluid hips and quick feet. He impressed me with his ability to stay with quicker wide receivers in man coverage on vertical routes. He will be most appealing to teams that run zone schemes.
6. DL Will Clarke (West Virginia)
He has ideal length, but needs to add bulk to his frame. He is athletic with long arms and a quick first step. He was able to get around the edge and create consistent pressure in the backfield. Clarke can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme at the next level.
7. S Tre Boston (North Carolina)
He has good size and great closing speed. His ball skills are impressive as well. Boston also was a physical presense near the line of scrimmage. He was good in run support all week long. He should be the first safety drafted from this game.
8. S Alden Darby (Arizona State)
Darby is an athletic safety with very good speed. He was active and always around the ball. He shows good instincts and terrific lateral quickness. He capped off a solid week of practice with a terrifc showing in the game. He had two picks during Saturday's game.
9. WR Jeremy Gallon (Michigan)
He is an undersized receiver that plays bigger than his measurables would suggest. Gallon has terrific hands and runs precise routes. He is a mismatch for most defensive backs when he is lined up in the slot. He is more quick than fast and he has a knack for getting open.
10. QB Jeff Mathews (Cornell)
He showed the strongest arm at the East/West Shrine Game. He was able to fit the ball into tight windows. He made good decisions, went through his progressions and showed a good understanding of the offense. At times, he has a tendency to hold on to the ball for too long.
11. DL Jay Bromley (Syracuse)
He was hard to block in one-on-one drills. He is a versatile DL with good size. He plays with outstanding leverage and knows how to use his hands. He relies on his quickness in order to get penetration in the backfield.
12. QB Keith Wenning (Ball State)
Wenning was the best QB in practice on the West squad. Despite having an up and down game on Saturday (one pick and a fumble), he demonstrated a strong arm. He showed nice touch on downfield throws and good anticipation. He did a terrific job with playaction fakes, and his ball placement was solid all week. He is another QB that helped himself.
1. QB Keith Price (Washington)
He is an undersized QB with an average arm strength and long throwing motion. His field vision is very limited. Price has a tendency to lock on to his primary receiver and struggles to get the ball downfield. He could carve out a nice career in the CFL.
2. OG Christopher Burnette (Georgia)
He is an undersized OG that struggled in pass protection throughout the week. He had a tough time against quicker DL. Burnette overextended in pass pro and lost his balance on numerous occasions. He needs to improve his footwork.
3. TE Blake Jackson (Oklahoma State)
Jackson had a tough time with drops. He lacks the necessary size and strength to be an every down TE at the next level and doesn't have ths speed to switch to WR. He looks more like an H-back. He also needs to improve his run blocking. His effort was definetely lacking in that department.
4. S Daniel Sorensen (BYU)
He has good size, but he played too high and didn't look fluid in his backpedal. He struggled changing directions. He got lost in a crowded secondary and didn't make any impact plays.
5. C Zac Kerin (Toledo)
He had a tough time with offside penalties and QB/C exchanges during the first day of practice. He couldn't recover after that. Kerin looked overmatched at the point of attack and struggled with quicker DT during the entire week.
6. QB Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)
Lynch had a stellar career at Northern Illinois. But he lacks the size and the arm strength for the position at the next level. He struggled completing passes from the pocket. He had a tendency to lock on to his primary receiver and was unable to complete passes past 10 yards. He completed 2/7 passes for three yards and two picks during Saturday's game.
The East squad was practicing at full speed with pads on this morning after Tuesday's practice was rained out.
Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo was very impressive in Wednesday's practice. He separated himself from all of the other East quarterbacks on the roster today. He was accurate to all areas of the field. He showed a nice touch on the downfield throws. He made good reads and got rid of the ball quickly. His quick release is a major asset. QB Jeff Mathews from Cornell was a little bit up and down today. He was able to showcase his arm strength again and fit the ball into a tight window on a couple of occasions. He threw a tight spiral and went through his progressions. However, he threw an INT and struggled in the redzone. He held on to the ball for too long. He needs to make quicker decisions.
Tennessee Rajion Neal was the best RB on the East squad today. He clearly stood out. He is well-built. He showed a burst through the hole and the ability to bounce it outside. He has terrific hands. After a good practice on Monday, Zach Bauman from Northern Arizona took a step back today. He was unable to find any open lanes. He fumbled the ball in the scrimmage and dropped a wide open reception on a swing pass.
Coastal Carolina WR Matt Hazel had a terrific morning practice. He demonstrated good hands and crisp route running. He ran the double move to perfection against CB Pierre Desir from Lindenwood, got open and made a fantastic diving catch. He made a couple of tough grabs in traffic, located the ball well on downfield throws and showed acceleration after the catch. Michigan Jeremy Gallon put together a very good practice as well. He showed his reliable hands and smooth route running ability. He operated from the slot and was able to create separation with his quickness. Ole Miss Ja'Mes Logan had a disappointing practice. He showed inconsistent hands (had four drops). He also failed to create any kind of separation against defensive backs.
The East tight ends struggled this morning, and none more than Blake Jackson from Oklahoma State. He looks light. He needs to bulk up. He dropped an easy pass over the middle. He also struggled with his run blocking.
DL Jay Bromley from Syracuse is a versatile player. He was wreaking havoc in the backfield in one-on-one drills and in the scrimmage. He plays with good leverage and knows how to use his hands. West Virginia Will Clarke was making plays all over the field. He is an athletic DL with long arms. He has a quick first step and held his ground against the run. He needs to get stronger, but he is a five technique at the next level.
LB Derrell Johnson from East Carolina did a good job rushing the passer. He was able to get into the backfield on a couple of occasions. LB Glenn Carson from Penn State had the only INT on the day. He also did a nice job stuffing the run.
Vanderbilt CB Andre Hal proved once again that he is the best corner here for the East. He had tight coverage throughout the day. He showed good speed. He displayed fluid hips and the ability to turn and run with receivers downfield. Rice CB Phillip Gaines bounced back in Wednesday's practice. He used his length and closing speed to break up a few plays. He showed good awareness in coverage. He didn't bite on the double move in the scrimmage.
S Tre Boston from North Carolina excelled in deep coverage this week. He has good size and great closing speed. His change of directions skills are outstanding. He also has natural ball skills. He was the most impressive safety at the Shrine Game this year.
Arkansas kicker Zach Hocker put his strong leg on display during kickoffs. He was also very accurate. He went 5/6 on field goal attempts and hit a couple of long field goals.
QB Keith Wenning from Ball State was still the best QB at West practice, but he had his struggles here as well. He looked sharp on short/intermediate throws. His field vision was good. However, he did throw two interceptions and struggled with his ball placement in the two-minute drill at the end of practice. Tommy Rees from Notre Dame has physical limitations and has a very average arm. He had a tough time completing passes past 15 yards. Huskies QB Keith Price has been the most disappointing QB during the practice sessions. He is undersized with a below average arm and a long delivery. He struggled with his accuracy throughout the afternoon.
Texas A&M RB Ben Malena had a good practice. He is undersized, but is a tough, hard-nosed inside runner. He is a shifty back. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield.
WR Chandler Jones from San Jose State had another good showing during Wednesday's practice. He is quick and makes tough catches look easy. He caught three straight passes from Tommy Rees in the two minute-drill at the end of practice. WR John Brown from Pitt State has impressed me with his reliable hands and his blazing speed all week long.
OG Chris Burnette from Georgia struggled during the week. He has overextended in pass pro a couple of times. He lost his balance and wound up on the ground. He is not a good knee bender. He has to improve his footwork.
Virginia Tech DT Derrick Hopkins is undersized, but he has a quick first step and very active hands. He has excelled in one-on-one matchups against the offensive linemen this week.
Small school player Tyler Starr from South Dakota really stood out today. He is an athletic linebacker with great size. He stuffed the run on a couple of occasions. He also looked fluid in coverage especially in the scrimmage where he came up with a big INT. USC LB Devon Kenard also had a good practice. He is a physical player with good instincts. He wreaked havoc in the backfield. Max Bullough from Michigan State got good depth on his drops throughout the day and came up with an INT during the scrimmage.
Arizona CB Shaquille Richardson was the best corner in practice for the second straight day. He is a bigger corner with a smooth backpedal. He changes directions well. He had tight coverage on downfield throws against receivers in one-on-one matchups. He excels in both man and zone coverage. North Dakota State Marcus Williams has good ball skills and gets the ball at the highest point. His closing speed is better than what was advertised. San Jose State CB Bene Benwikere came up with a pick in one-on-one.
Safety Alden Darby from Arizona State had a good performance today. He had a couple of pass break-ups during the one-on-one matchups. He is an athletic safety with a smooth backpedal and good change of directions skills.
It rained this morning, and the East team moved their practice indoors to the Tradewinds hotel where the players are staying. It was only a walk-through practice. They should hold a regular practice tomorrow morning. The weather cleared up in the afternoon, and the West squad took the field at 2:40 pm EST.
Ball State QB Keith Wenning was once again the best quarterback on the field for the West. He had the best footwork during drills. He threw a tight spiral and fit the ball into a tight window on a couple of occasions. He displayed good field vision, and his ball placement was terrific. Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees outplayed Keith Price today. Rees was accurate on short and intermediate throws. He showed good timing on his passes and didn't make any mistakes.
San Jose State Chandler Jones, Pitt State John Brown and Valdosta State Seantavius Adams were wide receivers that stood out in Tuesday's practice. Jones lacks the size (listed at 5'8 1/2,180), but he is very quick off the line. He is a smooth route runner and made a couple of impressive catches in traffic. Brown is only 175 pounds, but he has great speed and terrific hands that he showcased in practice. He uses his quickness to create separation. He also located the ball well on a downfield throw in one-on-one drills. Adams has good size and uses it to shield defenders away. He is physical, catches the ball with his hands and makes tough catches in traffic. Toledo WR Bernard Reedy struggled in Tuesday's practice. He is a very small receiver (5'7, 174 pounds). He dropped a couple of balls in WR drills. He also needs to improve his route running. It was a wet field today, but he failed to keep his balance and lost his footing a few times. WR Quincy Enunwa from Nebraska is another guy that had a tough afternoon. He dropped two passes in drills. He lacks suddenness and struggled creating separation against the defensive backs.
Nebraska OT Jeremiah Sirles had a good overall showing in Tuesday's practice despite getting beat on an inside move in one-on-one drills. He has ideal size, maintains his balance and has good footwork. His hand placement was above average. Stanford center Khalil Wilkes is a good knee bender. He stayed low to the ground and showed quick feet.
UCLA DE Cassius Marsh turned in another impressive day on Tuesday. He is athletic and quick off the edge. He changes directions well. He was disruptive behind the line of scrimmage. I am convinced that his best fit would be as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme at the next level. Stanford Josh Mauro had some good moments on Tuesday as well. He is a versatile DE. He is strong. He beat OG Austin Wentworth on an inside move and blew up a run play in the team sessions.
Louisiana Tech Justin Ellis had a good day. He is a big NT at 6'2, 351 pounds. He was very strong at the point of attack. He has good short area quickness. He beat an OL on an impressive spin move in one-on-one drills.
Pitt State LB Nate Dreiling had a good afternoon. He was active against the run. He has good size and shows good instincts. He was also a vocal leader on the field. Michigan State LB Max Bullough measured in at 265 pounds. He played at 250 pounds during his senior season. He looked slow and sluggish out there on the field. He didn't make any impact plays. Colorado State LB Shaquil Barrett had a tough time in the pit drill (one-on-one drill against the OL). He lacked quickness around the edge. He didn't have any success using the bull rush. He also displayed tight hips in the LB drills.
Arizona CB Shaquille Richardson and San Jose State CB Bene Benwikere were the two most impressive corners from Tuesday's practice. Richardson got burned on a deep throw for a TD early on in the practice session. But he came back strong. He broke up a a few passes and came away with an INT in one-on-one matchups against the receivers. He is a physical corner with good size. He stayed low in his backpedal and showed very good closing speed. Benwikere is a smooth corner with quick feet and fluid movement. He was able to turn and run with receivers step for step downfield. He demonstarted natural hands in drills. Notre Dame CB Bennett Jackson gave up too much of a cushion and didn't close quickly enough in one-on-one matchups. He also had a drop in DB drills. BYU safety Daniel Sorensen looked slow in DB drills. He showed tight hips and played too high. He also didn't take good angles to the football.
The East team had an early afternoon practice on Monday. It was about 70 degress outside with a light breeze. Once again, the East squad was led by Jerry Glanville. The team was in full pads today. It was a very well-organized practice.
QB Jeff Mathews from Cornell was the best quarterback on the East squad. He has good arm strength. He was able to drive the ball on downfield throws. He made good reads and went through his progressions. He stepped into his throws and was accurate to all areas of the field. He needs a big week here after a disappointing senior campaign. Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo displayed his quick release. He was accurate on short throws. He showed good field vision and clean footwork for the most part. But he struggled completing passes past 10 yards on Monday. Early on in practice, he also had a difficult time with center/QB exhanges from under center. Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois had an average day. He was very accurate on throws in the short area of the field. He showed a good touch on the fade route for a TD. His footwork was much better than I anticipated. However, he definitely lacks velocity on his throws. He was inaccurate on intermediate/deep passes.
RB Zach Bauman from Northern Arizona had a good day. He showed an impressive burst through the hole. He had terrific balance and finished his runs. Rajion Neal from Tennessee also stood out. He displayed good vision. He showed toughness and soft hands coming out of the backfield. He is an underrated back.
Ole Miss WR Ja'Mes Logan was the most consistent WR on the East squad. He made a couple of downfield receptions in the middle of the field. He extended his arms and showed good hand/eye coordination. He displayed good body control on the TD catch by Jordan Lynch in the endzone. Allen Hurns from Miami has very good speed. He is a legitimate deep threat. He had a bad drop on a downfield throw early on in practice, but came back strong after that. Michigan's Jeremy Gallon is small, but he is extremely quick in and out of his breaks. He ran precise routes. However, he had a bad drop in the endzone.
TE Crockett Gilmore from Colorado State was clearly the best TE on the East squad. He made a terrific diving catch on a downfield throw. He has good size and an impressive catch radius.
Toledo's C Zac Kerin had a bad day on Monday. He jumped offsides a couple of times. He had trouble with the QB/center exchange. He looked overmatched at the point of attack. He failed to keep his balance and wound up on the ground on a couple of occasions. My focus was on the position players today, I plan to watch the offensive and defensive linemen more on Tuesday and Wednesday.
LB Preston Brown from Louisville had the best day out of all of the linebackers on the East squad. He was very active. He did a good job reading and reacting. He did a tremendous job stuffing the run. He delivered a big hit on one particular play.
CB Andre Hal from Vanderbilt stood out today. I was impressed with his ability to matchup in man coverage. He almost had an interception against Jordan Lynch. He has quick feet and fluid hips. Rice's Phillip Gaines showed tight hips in drills. Ross Cockrell from Duke showed hesitation coming in and out of his breaks throughout the day.
Hakeem Smith from Louisivlle and Jemea Thomas from Georgia Tech are the two safeties that stood out the most today. Smith had good gap responsibility on running plays. He delivered the biggest hit of the day at the end of practice. Thomas is undersized, but he is an extremely versatile player. He was everywhere today. I would want him on my team. He was always around the ball. He stuffed the run a couple of times. He broke up the pass downfield against WR Erik Lora.
Punter from Auburn Steven Clark had a difficult time driving the ball today. He didn't get good hang time. Hopefully, he bounces back tomorrow.
The West team had a late afternoon practice. The West squad was led by Romeo Crennel. The players were in shorts and didn't wear pads. It was a poorly run practice with no structure.
QB Keith Wenning from Ball State was the most impressive player on the West squad today. His footwork looked sharp in drills and that carried over to the rest of the day. He has a good arm. He threw a tight spiral, was effective on play fakes and demonstrated a beautiful touch on downfield passes. He also showed good anticipation on his throws. He has a bit of a long delivery, but I am just nitpicking. Notre Dame's Tommy Rees was accurate on short passes. He went through his progressions and took what the defense gave him. However, he has an average arm. He made a couple of bad reads when he attempted to throw downfield. One pass was tipped and intercepted by LB Prince Shembo. Huskies' QB Keith Price showed only a decent arm, long throwing motion and average field vision today. He got better as practice progressed today. He completed two downfield passes.
I thought that RB Brennan Clay from Oklahoma had the stongest day out of all of the backs at West practice. He showed quick feet, a nice burst and great hands out of the backfield.
None of the wide receivers really caught my eye for the West team. It was an average day for them. Nebraska's Quincy Enunwa had a couple of drops in WR drills. Seantavius Jones from Valdosta State also had a couple of bad drops. He also struggled with his route running.
Baylor's TE Jordan Najvar was the star of the day. He caught everything that was thrown his way. He has great size and long arms. He displayed soft hands and high-pointed a few balls. He used his body to shield defenders away from the ball.
UCLA's DE Cassius Marsh displayed great quickness in drills today. He looked like a guy that could easily transition to OLB in a 3-4 defense. Josh Mauro from Stanford got into the backfield a couple of times during the team drills.
CB Carrington Byndom from Texas was very fluid in his backpedal and caught the ball at the highest point during the DB drills. He also showed good awareness and discipline in coverage throughout practice. Marcus Williams from North Dakota State showed natural balll skills and quick feet in DB drills. Notre Dame's Bennett Jackson struggled with his footwork today.
The only safety that stood out today was Stephen Obeng-Agyapong from Penn State. He tipped Rees' pass which was intercepted by his teammate. He showed good instincts and awareness in coverage. On the other hand, BYU's safety Daniel Sorensen had a rough day. He struggled with his backpedal and was a step too late.
Punter Richie Leone from Houston demonstrated a strong leg.
Top 10 Players at the East/West Shrine Game
1. (West) CB E.J. Gaines (Missouri)
He was a three-year starter for the Tigers. He is an athletic CB with fluid hips. He shows good footwork. Gaines is an aggressive player that likes to get physical with receivers. He displays great awareness. He can line up in press, off man and zone coverage.
2. (East) QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois)
He operated an up-tempo offense at Eastern Illinois with a lot of underneath throws. He excels on fade and slant routes. He is an athletic QB with a quick release and a nice touch. He has shown the ability to go through his progressions.
3. (East) LB Max Bullough (Michigan State)
A physical linebacker that delivers the big hits with regularity. He excels against the run. He is a reliable tackler with great instincts. He was the leader of the Spartans' defense.
4. (West) DE Cassius Marsh (UCLA)
He is a versatile defensive lineman that can play multiple positions. His play improved in the second of his senior season. Marsh is a pretty good athlete that plays with good strength. He also knows how to use his hands.
5. (East) S Tre Boston (North Carolina)
He has good size and terrific closing speed. Boston is an athlete that covers a lot of ground in space. He also changes directions very quickly. He displays natural ball skills as well.
6. (East) CB Pierre Desir (Lindenwood)
Here is another small school player to watch during this week. He is a physical corner with ideal length. Desir has terrific ball skills (25 career INT's). He also has fluid hips and is not afraid to support against the run.
7. (West) C Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma)
Ikard is an undersized, athletic center with good fundamentals. He is very effective at getting to the second level and playing in space. He plays with a low pad level and a good knee bend.
8. (East) WR Jeremy Gallon (Michigan)
His lack of size and long speed are definitely a cause for concern. But he is quick in and out of his cuts. He has terrific hands and runs precise routes. He could be an ideal slot receiver at the next level.
9. (West) OT Justin Britt (Missouri)
He is a tough, smart LT with good size. He does a good job in pass protection. He plays with proper knee bend and keeps his balance. He shows good feet. I project him as a RT or a guard at the next level.
10. (West) QB Keith Wenning (Ball State)
Wenning was a starting QB for four years at Ball State. He has good arm strength. He does a good job selling his playaction fakes. His deep ball accuracy has been impressive.
2014 East/West Shrine Game Rosters
Discuss this on our Message Boards