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  1. #1
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    The "other" all-star game

    Most of the attention of NFL coaches will be in Mobile next week at the Senior Bowl. However, as we speak, there is a group of NFL prospects practicing in Houston, preparing for the East-West Shrine Game this Saturday. It'll be shown on ESPN2 at 6:00 Central. Some of the players featured:

    Jon Hefney, S, Tennessee
    Dexter Jackson, WR, App. State
    Jon Goff, MLB, Vandy
    Kenny Iwebema, DE, Iowa
    Sam Keller, QB, Nebraska
    Todd Blythe, WR, Iowa St.
    Allen Patrick, RB, Oklahoma
    Joe Jon Finley, TE, Oklahoma
    Tommy Blake, DE, TCU
    Frank Okam, NT, Texas


    And here's the kicker.......the coaches are Dick Vermeil and Mike White (the OC wanted before Shaw pushed Martz on DV).

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    HUb anyone on that list of special interest?

  3. #3
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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    HUb anyone on that list of special interest?
    Well, we'd have to define special, but Iwebema and Blake would be worth a look on the edge, and certainly Okam. DT may not look like an immediate need, but if there are any visions of moving to a 3-4, Okam could be a legitimate nose.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Iwebema, Okam, and Dexter Jackson, are all kids to look at in this game. I think Iwebema has potential to be a really good DE in this league. and Jackson has incredible speed.

  5. #5
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Well, we'd have to define special, but Iwebema and Blake would be worth a look on the edge, and certainly Okam. DT may not look like an immediate need, but if there are any visions of moving to a 3-4, Okam could be a legitimate nose.
    Those are certainly some names to keep an eye on.

    Blake has just had a strange, strange year. Missed quite a bit of time this year for personal reasons. What I'm hearing about his practices this week have not been positive. It sounds like he's put on some weight and just isn't generating much of a rush. He went from a potential first rounder last summer to a second day pick at this point, I think.

    Regarding Okam, it might be tough for him as a 3-4 nose if he measures in at a legit 6'5". Not impossible by any means (I believe Ted Washington measures in at that height) but tough, especially since he also tends to play too high at times, basically negating his leverage. He's one of those "name" guys I could see slipping to the second day because of consistency concerns. He is a mammoth though.

    Along with the guys you mentioned, some names I would watch for include...

    EAST
    -Jamie Silva (SS, BC): Doesn't sound like he's blowing anyone away in practice, but he had an amazing year for the Eagles, very tough player
    -John Greco (OT, Toledo): 1st team All-MAC at left tackle but is probably looking at a move to RT in the pros because of footwork issues
    -Keilen Dykes (DT, WVU): Personal bias might be a factor, but he played well on the nose here without the weight you're used to seeing in 3-4 NTs
    -Michael Grant (DB, Arkansas): Moved to corner this season and seemed to do well, physical player who has shown potential in practice this week
    -Dexter Jackson (WR, App St): One of the smallest guys on the East roster but is explosive and can make things happen after the catch

    WEST
    -Jed Collins (FB, Wash St): Tight end/H-back/fullback. Capable of catching out of the backfield but isn't quite the lead blocker you'd like
    -Will Franklin (WR, Missouri): Local guy who could be a point of interest for local fans, seems to have solid size and speed and can run after the catch
    -Sam Keller (QB, Nebraska): Season ended early w/ broken collarbone, inconsistent accuracy this week in practice but has good size and a solid arm.
    -Spencer Larsen (LB, Arizona): Might be a two-down player in the pros if he can't improve his coverage skills but he is around the ball and shows leadership on the field
    -Thomas Williams (LB, USC): Probably a late round guy but he's played all three LB positions including quite a bit of experience on the strong side.
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  6. #6
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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    -Dexter Jackson (WR, App St): One of the smallest guys on the East roster but is explosive and can make things happen after the catch
    Nick, correct me if I'm wrong, but this kid played a spread QB for ApSt, right?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Nick, correct me if I'm wrong, but this kid played a spread QB for ApSt, right?
    He played in the Appy State spread offense, but he wasn't the QB - Armanti Edwards was. Jackson is and has been a receiver and a return man. He averaged 22.9 yards per reception last season.
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  8. #8
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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Sam Keller (QB, Nebraska): Season ended early w/ broken collarbone, inconsistent accuracy this week in practice but has good size and a solid arm.
    Sounds like his career in a nutshell thus far. His decision making and accuracy had been inconsistent while playing at Nebraska, but he has the talent to be a starter in the NFL or at least develop into a solid backup if he can find the right team/system/situation. I wouldn't mind seeing him taken in the 6th as a third-string QB.

    :l

    -jake-

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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Another player to watch for is Josh Johnson QB from USD. I go to school there and watched him play all year. He is a special player who can beat you with both his legs and his incredible accuracy/strong arm as he showed in the game tonight. I wouldn't mind the Rams taking him as a 4-5th round pick to give us some depth at QB. Just a thought...

  10. #10
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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    He played in the Appy State spread offense, but he wasn't the QB - Armanti Edwards was. Jackson is and has been a receiver and a return man. He averaged 22.9 yards per reception last season.
    My bad. I thought I might have had him confused.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  11. #11
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    Re: The "other" all-star game

    Frank Okam is a beast. He played a very inspired DT for a Longhorn D that had some struggles early but seemed to find itself at the Holiday Bowl. He's especially tough against the run.

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