East-West Shrine Game Reports
I'll be pasting some reports from around the 'net about some practice notes regarding players in the East-West Shrine Game. If you've found some others that have good info and would like to share, feel free to copy and paste them into this thread as well.
Re: East-West Shrine Game Reports
Georgia's Dent, USF's McClain shine during Shrine week
By Bucky Brooks NFL.com
Published: Jan. 20, 2011 at 09:13 p.m
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The East-West Shrine Game practices have just about come to a close for the week, but several prospects continue to make favorable impressions on the scouts and coaches in attendance.
Although evaluators will eventually conduct a thorough film review to see if a prospect's production matches his practice performance, the lasting image from a highlight play at an all-star practice or game can carry significant weight in pre-draft meetings.
With that premise in mind, let's take a look at some of the players that have created a buzz in scouting circles this week:
» South Florida's Terrell McClain has been outstanding in individual and team drills. The mammoth defensive tackle has shown excellent strength and power while holding the point against the run. He has repeatedly anchored well against double teams, and flashed exceptional power while defeating blockers inside. Given his size, strength and run-stopping prowess, McClain is going to be a highly coveted prospect as the draft draws closer.
» Lester Jean of Florida Atlantic has been one of the more impressive pass-catchers throughout the week. He has outstanding size for the position and has a good understanding of how to use his body to create separation. He is a natural pass-catcher with good hands, and his willingness to fully extend for incoming passes makes it difficult for defenders to make plays on the ball. Throw in his good combination of speed, quickness and running skills, and Jean has the look of a solid developmental prospect.
» Florida DE Justin Trattou has been a pleasant surprise as an edge rusher this week. He has shown a wide array of rush moves, and his sneaky athleticism has surprised blockers anticipating his power. He is very instinctive with his movements, and frequently used his spin move to counter tackles setting too hard to his outside to record sacks in team drills. With pass rushers coveted, Trattou should see his value rise on draft boards after his solid play throughout the week.
» Georgia's Akeem Dent has stood out as the top linebacker on the field this week. As a downhill player, he shows exceptional power and pop on contact. He repeatedly stoned runners in the hole during inside run drills. Although he needs some work in pass coverage, he has the potential to be an effective plugger in a 4-3 scheme.
» Lehigh OT William Rackley is a sleeper to watch in the coming months. He has been solid throughout the week in drills and doesn't look out of place while competing against players from big schools. Although he is better suited to move inside (guard or center) at the next level, his ability to effectively play right tackle this week will certainly push him up draft boards around the league.
» Central Florida's Jah Reid is another offensive tackle creating a buzz with his play this week. He is a nimble athlete with good feet and movement skills. Although he is still raw in several aspects of his game, his promise and potential have stood out in individual and team drills.
» Cincinnati WR Armon Binns has been impressive to watch this week. He has the look of a pro receiver, and his game matches his impressive build. At 6-foot-3, 204 pounds, he is a big receiver capable of overpowering smaller defenders in space. He frequently snatched the ball away from defenders in traffic and looked comfortable working over the middle on inside routes. While he still needs some refinement as a route-runner, Binns looks like a solid mid-round pick at this point.
» Cheta Ozougwu of Rice could be an intriguing pass rusher on the next level. Although he is a little undersized at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, he has a quick first step and an explosive closing burst. He repeatedly defeated blockers off the edge in one-on-one and team drills. Teams looking for outside rushers in a 3-4 will prize his skills in the mid-to-late round range regardless of his size limitations.
» Penn State RB Evan Royster could be an intriguing third-down back on the next level. He runs well between the tackles and has just enough speed to get to the corner. He has shown a knack for finding creases in team drills, and his crafty running style translates well to the pro game. Throw in his good hands and solid route-running skills, and Royster looks like an ideal situational back in any system.
Re: East-West Shrine Game Reports
Shrine Game Day 1 practice blog
January, 18, 2011
By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl are at the Shrine Game practices and are sending notes throughout the workouts on who's doing well and who's struggling. Keep refreshing to get all the news and notes from the Day 1 practices.
The right call
Arizona OT Adam Grant has a strong punch, and when he gets his hands on a defensive lineman, that guy isn't going anywhere. But one concern about him is that he overextends on the outside and can get beat on the inside. He's not able to recover. In fact, both Grant and LSU's Joe Barksdale are showing that they are right offensive tackles. They both show the same issues as far as sliding laterally and recovering after making false steps. They just can't do it, which is why they'll be on the right side rather than protecting the QB's blind side as left offensive tackles.
Klug keeps after it
Iowa's Karl Klug lined up at DT and DE during one-on-one drills. The downside is he doesn't appear to have the burst to turn the corner while playing DE, and he doesn't have the power to drive opposing linemen in the pocket while playing DT. The plus side is, and one of the reasons we liked him on film, is he's a high-effort guy with active hands, and those help make up for his weaknesses. He's not a prototype for either position, but his motor, hands and athletic ability help make up for that. He's the kind of player who can contribute to a defense despite some limitations.
Oklahoma State Orie Lemon looks the part. He's got a very thick build and a strong lower half. He takes on blocks well, and we like his instincts. He's exposed in space a little but looks like a pure linebacker.
Switching it up
Nevada's Dontay Moch is playing some linebacker, and he's doing well with his hand up and playing in space. He's showing good lateral quickness and a very good closing burst. It'll be worth watching him to see if he keeps developing as he converts from DE to OLB.
Aloha, Alex Green
Hawaii RB Alex Green is undersized, but we like his quick feet. He has a great short-area burst and gets through the line of scrimmage quickly and runs downhill immediately. He's also catching the ball well. Green is pretty good in space and could be a change of pace back. He's having a good day so far.
Great Scott Maryland RB Da'Rel Scott has a good build at 5-11 and 205 pounds. He is a strong runner and runs behind his pads well. He has a good feel for the vertical cut and gets through the hole and through the line of scrimmage quickly.
Two against one
Tough start for Mississippi DT Farell Laurent. The 6-1, 303-pounder was just driven back 5 yards by a double-team during team drills.
Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien is the leader of the West team so far. He has a limited arm, but he's in charge, is making good decisions and is the most comfortable quarterback on the team.
Just an observation It seems as though half the Boise State defense is on the West roster, with SS Jeron Johnson, CB Brandyn Thompson, OLB Winston Venable and DE Ryan Winterswyk all on the West team.
Iowa's Karl Klug is 6-3, 270 pounds, but he looks like a defensive end. He has a linear build.
Bringing it early
There's a higher intensity for the offensive line at practice. Utah OG Caleb Schlauderaff and Fresno State OG Andrew Jackson are really coming off the ball during one-on-one offensive line work. You can hear the pads popping.
West getting ready
The West team is stretching and getting ready for their practice. We'll have updates from this practice as soon as they break into groups for drills.
A change will do him good?
Oregon DE Kenneth Rowe is a late add to the roster (obviously, since they put him on the East team). On the first day, he looks undersized (6-1½, 226 pounds) for a defensive end. He had a hard time holding up against the run during 9-on-7s. He doesn't have a great anchor (goes back to his size) and he has to win with quickness against both the run and pass. In 1-on-1s, anytime he was not able to win with his first step, he got beat. It was like he didn't know how to counter if his speed wasn't enough. During one drill, he stopped moving his feet before the drill was over. It wasn't for lack of effort, but almost as if he didn't know what to do now that he couldn't beat the lineman with his speed. Based on the fact that he's undersized for DE and has a hard time stopping the run and doesn't have the elite burst to turn the corner at the NFL level, we'll be spending the next few days to see if he has the athletic ability to move to 3-4 OLB. We'll be watching how he moves side-to-side, if he has to drop and open his hips in drills, how well he moves in bag work. Everything and anything to see his athletic ability to help us determine if he can make the move.
Never want to read too much into QB play on Day 1, but Delaware's Pat Devlin struggled some. He was late on a lot of his reads and the ball took a nose dive anytime he was throwing into the wind. Again, it's just the first day and all QBs tend to struggle at the beginning, but there is a lot of room for improvement here.
Good and bad with Hines
Ohio State's Jermale Hines is a good-sized safety (6-2, 212 pounds). He's not huge but he's better against the run. We saw that on film and saw that some here as he takes good angles. But he is limited in pass coverage, and you saw that in 1-on-1s as he has slow feet in his pedals.
Little guys playing big
Division III Mount Union WR Cecil Shorts is a good-looking athlete. He has a solid build (6-1, 195 pounds) and while his hands aren't great, they are good. He has good concentration and does not let the ball get into his body. He does occasionally drop a ball, but we think he has a chance to play in the league. He gets separation and could be a No. 4 slot receiver.
Richmond CB Justin Rogers might not have the athletic ability or speed of some of the other prospects, but he showed great effort, was instinctive and jumped some routes. He was always in good position.
Playing center hardly a snap
Connecticut OG Zach Hurd is lining up at center, which is a good thing for him and shows his versatility. He looked good in the 9-on-7s (a running drill) and did a nice job blocking, but he was not nearly as quick getting set in the 1-on-1s. It looks like snapping the ball slowed him down a little. He had a hard time getting set, and the defensive linemen were already into their moves before he could get set. He struggled in pass-protection drills, but again, we think it had more to do with snapping then ball than his ability. It's not that he can't do it, it looks like he just needs more reps at center and snapping the ball.
Illinois OG Randall Hunt looks very tall (6-6, 310 pounds) and got into trouble in pass-protection drills when he set too high. Early on, defensive linemen were having success driving him back, but as the drill progressed and he got more reps, he did a better job of sinking his hops; when he did that, he was very stout. He did the best job of all the interior linemen anchoring against Marvin Austin's power moves.
Tale of two linebackers
Georgia LB Akeem Dent (6-2, 238 pounds) has a nice build. He's been great at taking on and shedding blockers. He looks like a 3-4 inside linebacker. He shows some tightness in space, but after seeing him get rid of blockers, he looks perfect for a 3-4 defense.
Syracuse OLB Douglas Hogue showed quick feet and good agility moving side-to-side laterally. He's a little light in his frame (6-3, 230 pounds), however, and had problems taking on and shedding blockers.
Good feet, bad hands
Syracuse RB Delone Carter stood out during the inside run drill. We like the way he attacks the line of scrimmage. He has good leverage and runs behind his pads. He's a no-nonsense, one-cut runner. While he did well in the running drills, his hands are marginal. He had a lot of drops in passing drills. He has hard hands and let's the ball get into his chest.
Cooper starts strong
Miami RB Graig Cooper looks quick today. He did a good job of getting vertical in 7-on-7s and did a good job getting through the line. We also like the way he catches the ball. He showed good hands. The one thing to watch will be how he holds up. He had a knee injury heading into the year, and ankle issues also slowed him down some during his senior season.
Jean making an impression
Florida Atlantic WR Lester Jean is having a good day. He is a big (6-2, 200 pounds), good-looking athlete with deceptive speed. He finished the season strong, playing well against Texas DB Aaron Williams, and that is carrying over here today.
Austin not in football shape
One of the players everyone is watching in North Carolina DT Marvin Austin. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder, who is rated as the No. 6 DT right now, was suspended by the NCAA for the season. He's doing all the right things so far -- he's first in line for all the drills, giving encouragement and high-fiving teammates -- and looks to be in shape, but it's clear that he is not. You can see it hitting him as drills go on, specifically in the heavy bag club-and-rip drill, where his legs seemed to give out a little at the end of the drill.
Coach 'em up One of the big things is how players respond to coaching. Missouri State OG David Arkin and Clemson OT Chris Hairston are listening to coaches and working on their technique during individual offensive line drills on pass protection.
While yesterday's outdoor practice got rained out -- the teams did walk-throughs in the hotel ballroom -- and it's overcast so far today, the East team is out on the field and ready to go.
Shrine Game Day 2 practice blog
January, 19, 2011
By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl are blogging from the Shrine Game practices. Keep checking in to see who is doing well and who is struggling.
Day 2 complete
The West practice has ended, and we'll be back out here Thursday starting at 10:30 a.m. ET for the East practice.
Broncos tamed A couple of Boise State DBs are having a tough time. CB Brandyn Thompson has limitations in man coverage and appears to be better suited as a Cover 2 corner. Meanwhile, S Jeron Johnson is struggling in coverage. He's tight when transitioning, is slow out of breaks and can't recover.
SMU WR Aldrick Robinson is making a lot of plays so far. We love his quickness, speed, savvy and ability to weave through traffic.
Workin' on footwork
Idaho QB Nathan Enderle has a big-time arm -- one of the strongest here this week -- but his footwork could use some work. It's really choppy at the top of his drops, and he's missing his marks as a result.
Cincinnati WR Armon Binns is really struggling to get off press coverage. He's having trouble dropping his weight and getting separation.
It really is surprising that Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson, at 6-5 and 245 pounds, doesn't have a stronger arm. He's such a big guy, but it's a noticeably weak arm. The ball floats and just doesn't come off his hand well.
One shining moment Portland State TE Julius Thomas is really starting to shine. He just had a TD on a seam route and snatched the ball cleanly out of the air. He shows OK speed. He's not a burner, but he's a long-strider and is a little faster than he appears. He also made a nice catch on a post pattern.
Not easy being Green
Nevada TE Virgil Green looks like he belongs. They've moved him around and he's done a good job of blocking. One time he released out of the backfield and did a good job of walling off Boise State OLB Winston Venable. He also looks like a good athlete running routes. One down note is he had a chance to make two catches that would have really helped him stand out a little more. They would have been spectacular catches, but in this kind of setting, you only get so many opportunities to separate yourself, and he missed a chance there by not making those big plays.
More Nevada ...
Nevada OLB Dontay Moch is making a good impression. We like how quickly he gets depth on his drops, and he looks very natural doing it. The whole time he's dropping, he's also reading the QB, with very good awareness of what's going on around him and where receivers are running their routes.
Take a lap
Who says West coach Wade Phillips isn't tough on players? While trying to run a drill, he got fed up with the organization and how players weren't listening about where to stand, so he blew the whistle and made them run to the other end of the field and back.
Full speed ahead
They're doing 1-on-1 pass protection, with linebackers going against running backs. Now, it's important to note this drill favors the linebackers. They don't have to respect the run -- they just run as hard as they can at the running back, and the point of this is to see how the backs handle it. Needless to say, they struggled, but the one who fared the best was South Carolina FB Patrick DiMarco. He actually did pretty well. He stepped up, got good sound position, anchored and reset his hands, and showed the most fight of any of the backs.
As far as the linebackers go, Orie Lemon from Oklahoma State showed a great combination of power and burst. Those backs just didn't know what to do with him.
The West team is on the field and warming up for their second practice. Once they break into drills, we'll start sending in the updates.
We're between practices now. The West team will be taking the field within the hour and we'll have more updates rolling in soon.
Getting comfortable Graig Cooper isn't wearing a knee brace. He was coming off a knee injury that slowed him some at the start of the season, but either he's taking a chance so he can run as fast as he can to impress scouts or he feels really comfortable. He's been making some good, quick cuts, so maybe it's the latter.
Speaking of Adams ... Purdue TE Kyle Adams has a nice little mean streak when he's blocking. He's not a dominant blocker, but he has good footwork, gets into position and walls guys off. He's not a mauler, but he's a good hand fighter with toughness.
Michigan State S Eric Gordon is a late add, but he's been physical in coverage, maybe a little too physical at times, but he's been doing well. He made a nice play during team drills working against Purdue TE Kyle Adams. The QB was flushed out of the pocket and Adams, who's 6-5 and 250 pounds, tried to work back toward the QB. As the ball was thrown, Gordon, 6-feet and 230 pounds, laid out and knocked the ball down with his left hand.
Penn State RB Evan Royster did a very nice job adjusting to the ball and catching it with his hands today. There are some concerns about his ability to run with power -- he can dance around a little in the backfield -- so he needs to show he can contribute as a third-down back, and he did that today.
Mr. Rogers' neighborhood
Richmond CB Justin Rogers continues to make plays. At 5-10, 181 pounds, he's limited and needs to get stronger, but he's very instinctive and plays the angles well. He's made a couple interceptions, including one where he tracked the deep ball, elevated and snagged the ball at its highest point.
Buffalo CB Joshua Thomas is not having a good day. He's tight in his backpedal, and it takes him time to transition and break forward. He also struggles at times to find the ball. He's in position, but he just struggles to get his head around and locate the ball. When he does find it, he shows great hands and can make plays. One time, he made a nice over-the-shoulder grab.
Shorts' day cut short
Mount Union WR Cecil Shorts went down with what looked like a hamstring injury. He was having a good day. He has a good, athletic build. He is strong but undersized at 6 feet and 187 pounds. He has good quickness and burst, and you saw his savvy today when he found the open windows to sit in against zone coverage. He can also go up and make catches.
Toliver makes his mark
LSU WR Terrence Toliver is having a better day. He's making some plays, using his body and going up to catch the ball well. He's a little inconsistent at times, but during red zone 1-on-1s he was very hard to stop. He was using his 6-5 frame to shield defenders and made a one-handed catch on a fade route. He showed good ability to adjust there.
He also had a nice catch on a back-shoulder fade during 7-on-7s in which he open his hips, adjusted to the ball and brought it in. More importantly, he's taking coaching well. WRs coach Shawn Jefferson has been working with him about staying lower on his release. The coach told him he had been coming out too high and allowed defenders to get into his frame, and Toliver has been listening and applying the lessons learned immediately.
Inside linebackers Akeem Dent out of Georgia and Greg Lloyd out of Connecticut are filling hard, but they are playing too high and allowing blockers to get into them easily.
Connecticut FB Anthony Sherman is not a great athlete, but he's runing hard inside and catching the ball well.
Delaware QB Pat Devlin is having a better day today. Don't like that he'll miss targets at time and his arm strength is above average at best, and while he's playing in control sometimes you just wish he would let it rip more. It's like he's almost trying to aim it. You just want him to let it go and let 'er rip.
Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor was very accurate during 7-on-7s today, but remember that is when there is no offensive line. It will be interesting to see how he does when those big linemen get back in front of him.
Getting better all the time
One of the concerns about Syracuse RB Delone Carter after the first practice was his ability to catch the ball. He did not have a good day yesterday doing that. Today, he's off to a much better start. He's doing a better job of catching the ball with his hands. He double-clutched one pass and had to slow down on another to secure the ball, but he has yet to drop a ball today. So he's making progress in that area. It's always good to see players able to adjust and improve from day-to-day.
Day 2 under way
We're off and running for Day 2. The East team has the field to start. A couple of quick notes: Miami RB Graig Cooper showed good vision and made a nice cut to get upfield during 9-on-7 drills. He had a solid Day 1, and he's picking up where he left off.
Army outside linebacker Josh McNary is doing a nice job of setting the edge and keeping outside containment.
Shrine Game Day 3 practice blog
January, 20, 2011
By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl are blogging from the Shrine Game practices this week. Here's a look at the Day 3 practice.
It was just shorts and shells on Wednesday, so it was a light workout. Still, some performances caught our scouts' eyes.
• We were really impressed with how well Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien threw the ball on Wednesday. He put a lot more zip on his passes and the ball was really coming off his hand well. He showed better than expected arm strength.
• SMU WR Aldrick Robinson did drop a pass during drills, but he continues to make plays during team periods. He finds ways to get open underneath and around the field.
• Southern Illinois CB Korey Lindsey made an interception during team drills, but overall he does not have good ball skills. Even with that pick, you could hear it thud off his pads. He had another chance during team drills for an interception and he missed it. Even during individual drills when they were throwing balls at the players, Lindsey dropped several balls he should have caught.
• Boise State CB Cortez Allen is clearly a Cover 2 cornerback. He just doesn't have the hip fluidity or quickness to hold up in a base, man scheme. He allows too much separation out of breaks, but he has the size and physical style of play to develop into an effective Cover 2 corner.
• Speaking of Boise State, Broncos CB Brandyn Thompson may have had his best practice of the week. We're impressed with his ability to read the QB and anticipate the route while still in his backpedal. He's limited in terms of burst and top-end speed, but he shows good instincts and breaks on the ball earlier, which helps make up for the physical limitations.
• Oregon's Kenneth Rowe and Florida's Justin Trattou stood out during the defensive line drills. But again, that's to be expected when it's just shorts and shells, as both are lighter defensive ends, and drills that focus on athletic ability and agility play to their strengths. Both looked good dropping in coverage -- they had ends dropping in angles in coverage, where defensive tackles would drop straight back like a middle spy -- and showed their athleticism.
Speaking of the coverage drills, USF DT Terrell McClain was good in his drops and showed good hands. He might have had the best return on an interception when he picked off a pass and used a stiff-arm on a return. North Carolina's Marvin Austin was also good in his drops, as was Richmond's Martin Parker.
On the flip side, Tennessee's Chris Walker and Penn State's Olong Ogbu looked a little stiff.
• After watching film earlier in the week on Indiana WR Terrance Turner, we were impressed with his hands, but he's had a disappointing week. We haven't seen what we saw on film. He dropped two passes on Wednesday and either ran wrong routes -- he ran inside, the ball went outside -- or had some miscommunications with the quarterbacks.
• Terrence Toliver had another good day. Although it was a limited and light workout that wasn't at full speed, Toliver made the most of the opportunity. He caught the ball well (although he had one body catch) and was going hard, talking trash and working on his blocking.
• Clemson OT Chris Hairston is enormous. The 6-foot-7, 326-pounder has a huge frame and 35-inch arms, and we like his length. When he gets in position, he just engulfs defenders with his size and strength. He doesn't have the greatest feet and has problems with sudden movement or double moves. He is a right tackle thanks to his limited athleticism.
• Austin was the only lineman who wore down some during the day. Again, it's a matter of getting in better shape. He slowed flashes at time with his hand quickness and short area power.
• Of the three East tight ends -- Purdue's Kyle Adams, Texas' Greg Smith and Michigan State's Charlie Gantt -- Adams did the best job of catching the ball. He is the most consistent route-runner and shows good focus in traffic. Gantt is the best blocker of the three. Smith, 6-4, 250 pounds, looks small for the position. The only time he's effective blocking is when he's out in the second level, and he has not caught the ball well this week. He moves the best, but that's to be expected with his size. Adams and Gantt have a chance as late-round guys, but we don't know whether Smith with join them.
• Syracuse LB Douglas Hogue is not practicing, and no word was given why he was out.
• Georgia LB Akeem Dent has shredded this week. He is big and strong and looks the part. He has good instincts and seems to be the most NFL-ready of all these guys. Dent is not a great athlete and fits inside only in a 3-4 scheme, where he can be protected. He needs to keep playing low, but we can see him developing into a good backup or even a solid starter in a 3-4 scheme down the line.
Re: East-West Shrine Game Reports
Best of the best
Originally Published: January 20, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. -- With only a walk-through remaining, it's time to look at which player at each position has helped his stock the most this week.
Quarterback: Idaho's Nathan Enderle
He had the strongest arm and he improved every day. He also showed better mobility throughout the week. The hardest part of being a QB here is working with receivers, knowing routes and the timing. Today, he was comfortable with the receivers and getting the ball out earlier. He was more decisive and more accurate. He also has the strongest arm and spins it real well.
Running back: Hawaii's Alex Green
He is quick, doesn't dance in the backfield, gets downfield and finishes hard. We also noticed his hands. He is real smooth catching the ball out of the backfield. The only question is his anticipation and vision. Sometimes he's doesn't feel the hole. We didn' t have a draftable grade on him heading into this week, but we're going to take another look at him now. Any guy who weighs 227 pounds but runs like he's 210 has a chance.
Wide receiver: Florida Atlantic's Lester Jean
He's tall and well built. He's still learning to run routes and not the most sudden guy, but he drives guys off the line well and is physical and muscled defenders around. He also can catch the ball well vertically.
Offensive line: Fresno State's Andrew Jackson
He is really strong and showed really good footwork this week. He has good balance and is patient getting in his sets. And he has strong hands. When he gets hold of a defender, it's over. He has a strong punch and can anchor. Everything is compact from his steps to his hands, which are always in tight. He was one of the top linemen here this week.
Tight end: USC's Jordan Cameron
He did an excellent job of getting off the line of scrimmage. He has quick hands and quick feet. He's not the most polished route runner, but he's smooth and fluid. He's very natural adjusting to passes thrown outside the frame or extending on lower passes. He clearly has the most natural ability of all the tight ends.
Defensive line: USF's Terrell McClain
He is strong at the point of attack and just doesn't give ground. He controls blockers with his hands. He has violent hands to get off blocks and he has a power rush.
Linebacker: Nevada's Dontay Moch
He played defensive end in college, but came here and proved that he could play standing up. He's raw, but he's shown he can make the adjustment. We knew he was a good athlete and he showed it this week. He showed excellent ability to change of direction and has good, quick-twitch athleticism for his size. He's a bit raw in his understanding of passing lanes, routes and angles, and had a lack of anticipation in the passing game. But he took coaching well, worked hard and got a little bit better every day. He looks like he'll be able to play WILL linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, in which he can run around and make plays. He'll also bring value as a situational pass rusher off the edge with his quickness and speed.
Defensive back: Richmond's Justin Rogers
He looked comfortable with these guys, no worries about the fact he played at a small school. He has some limitations athletically and with his size, but he's smart, instinctive, opportunistic and plays the ball well. He took coaching well, learned from his mistakes and spent the week trying to be better.
Re: East-West Shrine Game Reports
DT Austin, QB Devlin impress at Shrine practice
By Chad Reuter
NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
Jan. 18, 2011Tell Chad your opinion!
ORLANDO -- After a day of "practice" in a hotel ballroom -- players were forced to the makeshift field by weather -- the mere sight of outdoor practice was a welcome one for NFL scouts, agents and media assembled around the grass practice field outside of the Citrus Bowl.
Several prospects shined Tuesday, and a few haven't seen the light of day in months.
North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who began the 2010 season as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 ranked prospect, started off strong in one-on-one drills. He flashed quick hands and feet to bull-rush or run around mid-tier prospects such as Missouri State guard David Arkin.
Scouts are careful not to oversell the value of one-on-one drills, as defensive linemen such as Austin, University of South Florida's Terrell McClain, Penn State's Ollie Ogbu and Richmond's Martin Parker have an unrealistic amount of room with which to work in the drills. The quickness of Austin, McClain and Parker was evident. At the NFL level, most blocking schemes dictate offensive guards have blocking help from the center and even from tackles at times.
Arkin returned the favor to Austin during team drills, standing him straight up off the snap on multiple occasions. Austin did stand his ground and move down the line while engaged against the run during live scrimmage, once pushing Purdue tight end Kyle Adams aside to swallow the back coming into the hole. Though it was a solid practice, scouts might want to see more to consider Austin a top-50 prospect, especially considering he was so highly touted as a prep and expectations were through the roof entering the season.
Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin garnered preseason attention for both his talent and the natural comparison to former Blue Hen and current Ravens' Pro Bowl starter Joe Flacco. He was easily the most impressive passer Tuesday. His footwork and posture in the pocket was solid and he consistently delivered tight spirals. He was generally accurate, throwing a bit ahead of or behind his target, which is largely expected in an all-star setting, as quarterbacks and receivers lack timing based on unfamiliarity. Fellow signal-callers Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech) and Ricky Dobbs (Navy) had nondescript performances, generally connecting on short throws but failing to make any exceptional throws.
Devlin, the former Penn State quarterback, had one throw he wanted to have back. After surveying the field for a deep option, he checked down to a back in the flat -- but failed to account for Oklahoma safety Jonathan Nelson, who stepped in front of teammate and cornerback Justin Rogers to pick off the pass.
Rogers had the best day among the defensive backs. He was more physical than is typically expected of a 5-10, 183-pound corner and broke quickly on the ball in team and individual drills.
Buffalo's Josh Thomas displayed the ability to make hits as a zone corner, but like two taller corners, Mario Butler (Georgia Tech) and Demarcus Van Dyke (Miami), he had a tough time transitioning and planting to drive to the ball. Butler and Van Dyke were adept at their specialty -- using their height and speed to run with tall receivers Terrence Tolliver (LSU) and Lestar Jean (Florida Atlantic) down the sideline to prevent big plays.
The East receiver group had up-and-down performances working with Devlin. Mount Union receiver Cecil Shorts III laid out for two low throws heading toward the sideline in team drills. But he didn't keep his feet when making cuts and was unable to separate on deep routes despite having 4.4-timed speed. Tolliver made an outstanding one-handed catch over the middle in one-on-one coverage drills but failed to adjust to low and high throws he'd be expected to bring in next season.
In addition to Arkin, two other offensive linemen stood out -- one good, one bad.
Lehigh lineman Will Rackley was fluid and tough in one-on-one and team drills. He could get a bit stronger, but there's no reason to think he can't be a solid mid-round pick with upside.
Right tackle Jah Reid from nearby UCF got by with his size and length on the practice field in most spots but looked very stiff in the process. Without upper- and lower-body flexibility, he will have a tough time moving laterally with NFL defensive ends and preventing them from bull-rushing him back into the quarterback.
The West team
If receiver Ryan Whalen hadn't had elbow problems in 2010, he would have put up big numbers with Stanford QB Andrew Luck throwing to him. On Tuesday, he caught every ball coming into his scope and fought through traffic to make plays. He's a bit slow into and out of his routes, but there's no doubting his toughness and reliability. Another Pac-10 receiver, Oregon's Jeff Maehl, had a rough day. He struggled to stay on his feet when making cuts and dropped a couple of very catchable balls over the middle.
SMU receiver Aldrick Robinson is carrying the torch for former Mustangs receiver Emmanuel Sanders (Steelers) -- who excelled at the Shrine Game last season -- using his quickness and slight frame to run crisp routes and displaying solid hands.
Players throwing passes to those receivers, Idaho's Nathan Enderle, Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien and Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson, didn't stand out. Enderle and Tolzien were solid but not spectacular, making accurate short throws between the hashes. Neither displayed a howitzer for a throwing arm and Enderle's passes did not always come out of his hand very well. Johnson looks like the prototypical passer but his ball flight was also less than ideal, with only an occasional spiral. An NFL quarterback coach will have to work long and hard to perfect his footwork, as he rarely steps into throws or releases the ball while in balance.
Playing across the line from Whalen are some intriguing cornerbacks. Cortez Allen (Citadel) looks a lot like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with his 6-2, 200-pound frame and quick feet. He survived a tough senior year and could acquit himself at this venue. His height keeps him from transitioning quickly, but receivers find it difficult to escape his long arms and aggressive nature on plays when the ball is in front of him or trying to get past him on double moves.
Other defenders who need to have big weeks include linebackers Chris Carter (Fresno State) and Dontay Moch (Nevada), who were defensive ends in college. Both struggled in coverage, looking lost trying to find receivers coming into their area in zone coverage. Moch did show an ability to stick the tight end at the line and run with backs on wheel routes, but lacks awareness, running into defenders and receivers. He showed more strength as a pass rusher than Carter, bull-rushing tackles into the backfield using their height and lack of anchor against them.
Boise State strong safety Jeron Johnson had some issues in coverage, lacking recovery speed to track down receivers when they got a step on him.
Among offensive linemen on the West roster, LSU left tackle Joseph Barksdale flashed excellent athleticism coming out of his stance and moving laterally. However, he could learn from Hawaii's Laupepa Letuli, who latched onto the defender and finished almost every block (though he was overmatched athletically). Barksdale tends to let up after initial contact. Scouts also noticed the former Tigers' tackle was the only player on either side to get treatment for cramps on a 70-degree day.
Defensive linemen Ricky Elmore (Arizona) and Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State) gave Barksdale and Letuli all they wanted. Though neither are exceptional athletes, their hustle and strength was evident at the point of attack.
UCLA's David Carter looked quick off the snap in one-on-one drills but lacks the power that would push him into the top half of the draft.
Re: East-West Shrine Game Reports
East-West Shrine players make final case for NFL scouts
By Chad Reuter
Jan. 19, 2011Tell Chad your opinion!
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Wednesday is really the last day players get to make impressions on NFL scouts before Saturday's East-West Shrine Game. Thursday and Friday are glorified walkthroughs, and most scouts will leave tonight or Thursday morning to being preparations for next week's Senior Bowl festivities in Mobile, Ala.
Once again, the players receiving the most attention were North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin and Delaware's Pat Devlin. Austin stood strong against disappointing offensive linemen Ryan Bartholomew (Syracuse) and Randall Hunt (Illinois) in run situations, as he did Tuesday. He flashed quick hands in one-on-one pass-rush drills, giving teams a glimpse of what his game could be with more polish after being away from the game for a full season. The time off affected his stamina; he lost steam late in practice.
Devlin is the most talented quarterback on either roster, standing tall in the pocket and delivering accurate passes to all levels of the field. His lack of velocity mirrors the average arm he shows on tape. He's still working on taking snaps from under center, but that should come with time since he worked in a pro-style system during his time at Penn State.
Two running backs on the East squad impressed scouts with their quickness. Graig Cooper (Miami, Fla.) has a thinner build than most teams like in their primary ball carrier, and has had trouble staying healthy. But his burst and elusiveness are easy to identify when he does line up.
Delone Carter (Syracuse) has the 5-9, 220-pound frame more similar to what most teams prefer, and picks his way through traffic well. He also caught the ball well out of the backfield. His play this week continued his draft stock momentum off a Pinstripe Bowl MVP performance.
LSU wide receiver Terrance Tolliver is clearly the most polished pass catcher. Florida Atlantic's Lestar Jean has a very similar build, but is just not as fluid running tight routes. Fairmont State's Perry Baker is nearly skeletal in stature, but is smooth in his routes and caught everything thrown his way. Indiana's Terrance Turner has struggled in drills, whether getting his hands up, turning his head around, or simply snatching the ball with his hands.
The lesser-known defender who is working his way up draft boards is Richmond cornerback Justin Rogers.
He lacks exceptional size, but his ability to mirror defenders and be physical gives him a good chance to be a top-100 pick. His high-point interception in practice Tuesday also put on display a nice vertical that helps mask the fact he'll give up a few inches in height to most NFL receivers.
His Spiders teammate, defensive tackle Martin Parker, has also made a name for himself in Orlando. He weighed in at 300 pounds Monday morning, 10 or 15 more than expected, and has held up well against linemen from major conferences. He looks explosive off the snap both in one-on-one and team drills.
UCF right tackle Jah Reid went head-to-head with his college teammate on nearly every snap Tuesday. Reid controlled prolific but undersized defensive end Bruce Miller using his length. Despite his off-the-charts stats (35.5 career sacks), Miller's short arms and average power or speed off the ball do not allow him to project as a defensive end or linebacker at the next level.
The afternoon practice showcased the talent of several defenders working their way up boards. "Small school" cornerbacks Korey Lindsey (Southern Illinois) and Cortez Allen (The Citadel) made it quite difficult for West receivers to get off the line of scrimmage against the press. Lindsey is smaller (5-10, 183) than Allen (6-1 1/2, 197), but he has the aggressive nature to be a major pest.
Three defensive linemen caught the eyes of scouts: Brandon Bair (Oregon), David Carter (UCLA) and Ricky Elmore (Arizona). Bair's lean frame (6-6, 273) belies his strength and hustle when lined up inside. Some 3-4 team will hope they can add 15 pounds to his frame to play him at the five-technique, defensive end position.
Carter has used initial quickness to regularly beat his opponent in one-on-one drills and split double-teams in scrimmage work. He has also held his ground against the run, other than getting sideways at times, allowing teams to consider him at the three- or five-technique depending on their scheme preference.
Arizona's strong duo of all-Pac-10 defensive ends are split up during the all-star game season. Brooks Reed gets his shot against the top offensive line talent -- though he'll likely play some linebacker -- while Elmore has been using power and underrated quickness to beat right tackles here in Orlando. He has kept his mid-round grade as a strong-side end with pass rush and run-stuffing abilities.
Fresno State defensive end Chris Carter was one of several defenders who did not help himself. When standing up as a rush linebacker, he struggled in coverage other than playing easy-to-diagnose throws into the flat. In pass-rush situations and one-on-one drills, Carter did not show a variety of moves to beat his man. He was typically driven around the pocket with little worry from blockers that he might get to the passer.
Oklahoma State middle linebacker Orie Lemon, Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed, and defensive tackle Ted Laurent of Ole Miss did not stand out from the crowd. Lemon's limitations in coverage were evident; he looked incapable of handling running backs coming into his area.
Mohamed hustled to the ball, but lacks the strength to hold the edge as a strong-side 'backer. Laurent is a stout player, but his inability to win one-on-one battles makes it difficult to project him as a player who can be more than a space-eater.
Quarterbacks Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M) and Nathan Enderle (Idaho) once again struggled with ball flight and accuracy, while Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien made solid throws and made quick decisions. He might have average arm strength and size (6-2, 220) but scouts appreciate his ability to process and unload.
The West team's top skill-position player was Hawaii running back Alex Green. He caught the ball well and showed a bit more burst and elusiveness than expected.
Wide receiver Jeff Maehl (Oregon) has not looked anything like the playmaking receiver he was for Oregon last season. He slipped multiple times coming out of routes and struggled to get separation.
The West tight ends, Jordan Cameron (Southern California) and Virgil Green (Nevada) have piqued scouts' interest as potential mid-round picks. Both displayed the ability to secure catches with their hands in front of their frame when facing the quarterback and some ability to run after the catch. The 6-3, 248-pound Green performed well as an in-line blocker, bringing attitude and getting enough leverage to put his man on his heels.