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  • Norris: E-W Shrine Review

    Norris: E-W Shrine Review
    Friday, January 17, 2014
    Josh Norris
    All Star Circuit

    Rather than breakdown the East and West rosters position by position, I decided to take this review a different way. Honestly, after the first day it was fairly obvious who the prospects were that had a chance to impress this week. Those players put on consistent performances each day, standing out in individual and team drills. With that said, these rankings are not based solely on this event (as you will see with some prospects that had “down” weeks), but rather how I rank the prospects moving forward. All postseason practices and games are used as an extra exposure, as complementary pieces, not the backbone of an evaluation.

    You will notice a trend in certain positions being listed. That was not on purpose, but I truly feel those spots generated the most talent this week and are some of the deeper positions in this year’s draft. As a side note, I will have my Senior Bowl preview posted soon along with updates throughout next week.

    1. QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois - There might have been certain points in the week where Jeff Mathews looked like a better prospect, but when comparing inseason action, the two are not close. Garoppolo has quick feet, quick eyes, and a quick release. As long as a quarterback can find open throwing lanes and/or throw from multiple platforms, I do not care about their height, but some evaluators were happy to see Garoppolo measure in over 6’2 and with a hand size of 9.13 inches.

    Teams will likely question his ability to work from center and hit patterns with timing and anticipation. Garoppolo certainly works through multiple reads, but there is a bit of an improvisational style to it. The progressions seem to be at his pace.

    Many offenses rely on quick decision makers with a quick release, and Garoppolo can absolutely check these boxes. Things change a bit when pressured, as the quarterback has a tendency to drift laterally rather than step up or work from a phone booth. Garoppolo will end up in the crowded tier of passers after the top four, but do not be surprised if he tops that group. He displays mobility, touch, velocity, placement and a willingness to hit receivers at every level of the field. A second day selection is within reach for Garoppolo.

    2. CB Pierre Desir, Linwood - Long, athletic corners that can match up with receivers at the catch point will be coveted during the draft process. He might be a “small school” prospect, but Desir fits the bill. Standing at 6’1/197 with almost a 33-inch reach, Desir could wind up as one of the longest corners in this class.

    I always complain about college programs not implementing more press man coverage, especially since illegal contact does not exist at this level of football. Since it is not allowed in the actual all star game, Desir was limited to off coverage situations, something he was accustomed to at Linwood. One thing is apparent, Desir is not stiff. He can transition in and out of his breaks and to close or run with receivers. There are some technical areas to work on, and many can likely be attributed to impatience, but Desir is further along than many might believe.

    3. WR Jeremy Gallon, Michigan - Again, I will list height and weight because the NFL obsesses over measurements at times, but for a receiver that stands at 5’7/183 pounds, Gallon can absolutely fight at the catch point. That skill was apparent in pre-event game study, as Gallon consistently works back to his quarterback and leaves his feet to win in contested situations.

    Gallon spent much of the week in the slot and did very well. He is not the quickest or shiftiest, but Gallon can be technical and is difficult to reroute. Despite his height, Gallon is not limited to that alignment. I know he is short, and he is old (24 in February), and he might not run the fastest forty, but I want Gallon on my team.

    4. WR Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina - As I said in my preview, do not be surprised if Hazel ends up as the first receiver selected from this group. Many FCS or lower level prospects get by with athleticism, but Hazel already has a great blend of agility and veteran flashes. One sequence stood out this week, with Hazel utilizing a double move on Desir and adjusting for the catch downfield after creating plenty of separation. He is a true hands catcher with good size (6’1/196). The Linwood corner called Hazel the best receiver he faced during the week of practice. Evaluators know what they are going to get from Hazel, specifically precise movements and reliability at the catch point,

    5. DT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech - Do not typecast Ellis as a run defending nose tackle because of his size (6’1.5/351). Ellis is an upfield disruptor who wins with upper body strength off the line and lower body push to keep his opposition on skates. The Louisiana Tech product is actually quite nimble on his feet, exhibiting a variety of counter moves, including an inside spin move. The combination of the two put Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard on his back in one on one drills.

    Ellis can improve with his run defense, but that will be a natural progression once his pad level and hips drop in these situations. For this reason, Ellis could play a similar role as Star Lotulelei this season if he ends up in the starting lineup: three technique in base sets and moving to the one in obvious pass rushing situations.

    6. QB Jeff Mathews, Cornell - Mathews was a bit of a train wreck this season compared to 2012. His offensive line was dreadful, but Mathews compounded that with inconsistent pocket movement and a tendency to want to make big plays instead of the correct play.

    This week Mathews displayed development, hitting tight windows with anticipation, velocity and placement. There were also flashes of pocket movement, specifically climbing tight spaces when faced with edge pressure, but it was far from live action. Mathews should be a third day pick and will sit on a team as the second or third quarterback early on in his career.

    7. G Dakota Dozier, Furman - The tackle to guard conversion works much better on the inside. There is an argument to be made that Dozier was the only interior offensive lineman that can bend at the knees to absorb and redirect rather than at the waist. I doubt Dozier is an instant starter, but teams are looking for guards everywhere, especially ones that could potentially be a utility lineman and play multiple spots along the line.

    8. DE Will Clarke, West Virginia - Clarke did not impress very much this week. In the early practices the long edge rusher was easily contained or driven back, but the upside is there. If Clarke can maximize his length and combine speed around the corner with hand use for power, he has a real chance at success. If not, I wonder if teams try to bulk him up, which is always an inexact science. Clarke could work best in wide seven and nine alignments.

    9. T Charles Leno Jr., Boise State - Leno has great length for the position and is starting to learn how to use it effectively. He does get jolted a bit too much on first contact, but lower body athleticism is there to keep footwork and mirror. Length is a factor here as well. Leno is not the type to play in his first year, at least in an ideal situation, but he is a nice day three prospect to have on the roster.

    10. T Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGil - Along with Dozier and Leno Jr., Duvernay-Tardif was the only offensive lineman to consistently display knee bend and good lower body athleticism to mirror. He held up better than many big school prospects.

    11. DL Jay Bromley, Syracuse - Bromley produced huge numbers for the Orange this season. Many of these tackles for loss were results of second and third efforts. I question if Bromley can win with his initial move, whether it be quickness or working through blockers. Counter moves or second efforts aren't negatives, but many times Bromley was not engaged, rather he was able to run around awaiting offensive linemen. He showed more development, specifically hand use, this week.

    12. DL Kerry Wynn, Richmond - Wynn is one of the few prospects I had not seen prior to the week. I apologize. He lined up as a power end as a five technique and showcased some good bend for such a big man (6’5/268). I would like to see him used more inside in sub-package situations, and teams might see this as his initial role in the NFL.

    13. QB Keith Wenning, Ball State - I like Wenning. He should be drafted. The pocket movement with good eye level and velocity combined with touch to hit passes int he short to intermediate areas is there. He can succeed on some 20+ yard throws thanks to timing and placement. I cannot comment on his intelligence or personality, but many times that is what keeps third quarterbacks on rosters if they were not an upside selection.

    14. CB Phillip Gaines, Rice - Gaines is a press corner that can contest passes at the catch point. He was not able to do the former much this week.

    15. Edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, Colorado State - Barrett offers nice bend for an edge rusher but played all three traditional linebacker spots this week. I would like to see more hand use or more burst to take advantage of that edge flexibility, but he knows where he wins.


    There were a handful of other prospects who could fit into these last few spots, including WR Chandler Jones, DL Josh Mauro, RB Zach Bauman, WR Erik Lora, S Sean Parker and TE Jordan Najvar.

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  • Nick
    Risers and Fallers from East-West Shrine practices
    by Nick
    Risers and Fallers from East-West Shrine practices
    Jan. 20, 2010
    By Chad Reuter
    The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Three days of intense practices at the East-West Shrine Game concluded Wednesday with prospects trying to make a lasting impression before many NFL scouts skipped town for a few days leading into next week's Senior Bowl.

    Washington defensive end Daniel Te'o Nesheim continued to impress with his motor, while Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless looked fluid as a receiver and blocked with aggression. South Florida linebacker Kion Wilson was strong as a run-stopper in the middle. But those three solidified reputations they built during their careers.

    The following players did the most to enhance -- or hurt -- their draft stocks during this week's practices. For those with disappointing showings, the film from Saturday's game has become all the more critical to be considered for late-round draft status.


    Risers

    OT Roger Saffold, Indiana
    It's hard to argue anyone but Saffold was the best player on the field this week. He was strong, moved his feet well in pass protection and when drive-blocking gave good effort through the end of plays, and was mobile enough to hit targets at the second level. Some scouts will project him inside, but it appears the 3½-year starter at left tackle should at least get a chance to prove he can handle those responsibilities. A third-round selection seems likely for Saffold at this point in the process.

    DT Torrell Troup, Central Florida
    Playing near his home UCF campus, Troup had his way with Canadian guard Matt Morencie and West Liberty center Ben Staggs in one-on-one drills, using his strength and violent hands to knock them backward or to the side on his way to where the quarterback would be in the pocket. Morencie and Staggs are fair athletes but lack the strength to handle Troup -- they shouldn't worry too much, however, as the Golden Knights' foes found him a tough ask all season long.

    WR Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green
    With the East quarterbacks lacking great accuracy, Barnes received many chances to show off his ability to catch the ball outside his frame. He extended to snatch a fastball from Fordham's Josh Skelton over the middle, earning affirming nods from scouts watching the play. In contrast to some of the other receivers on the field for the East team, his strong hands and crisp routes were eye-opening to those not familiar with Barnes' game.

    WR Verran Tucker, Cal
    A hamstring injury ended a promising week for Tucker, who looked quick and sure-handed over the first two days of practice. The 6-1, 194-pounder ran better routes than expected, coming back to the ball and catching from his body. Fellow Pac-10 receiver Terrence Austin took Tucker's spot, and while not very quick off the line, displayed good...
    -01-21-2010, 03:36 PM
  • Nick
    Rotoworld's E-W Shrine Week Review
    by Nick
    E-W Shrine Week Review
    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Rather than breakdown the East and West rosters position by position, I decided to take this review a different way. Honestly, after the first day it was fairly obvious who the prospects were that had a chance to impress this week. Those players put on consistent performances each day, standing out in individual and team drills. With that said, these rankings are not based solely on this event (as you will see with some prospects that had “down” weeks), but rather how I rank the prospects moving forward. All postseason practices and games are used as an extra exposure, as complementary pieces, not the backbone of an evaluation.

    You will notice a trend in certain positions being listed. That was not on purpose, but I truly feel those spots generated the most talent this week and are some of the deeper positions in this year’s draft. As a side note, I will have my Senior Bowl preview posted on Saturday along with updates throughout next week.

    1. RB Zac Stacy (5083/215), Vanderbilt - Was this a great week for Stacy? No, but his running style is not one that would stand out in situations with limited contact. The Commodore would thrive in a slant or zone blocking scheme, using decisive cuts and physicality to make defenders miss at the second level. I am not saying he is the next Alfred Morris, but the Redskin was at this event last year and made very little noise. The two play the position similarly.

    2. RB Ray Graham (5093/192), Pittsburgh - Unlike Stacy, Graham’s explosive style did impress onlookers during limited contact practices. His right knee looks fully healthy, and Graham was unafraid to burst off cuts in either direction. I still consider him an early third day selection, but like Stacy, Graham could be a productive back if given the opportunity.

    3. OLB Keith Pough (6016/241), Howard - The main difference with Pough this week compared to his college film is that he played a lot on the weakside during practices, while also seeing time near the line of scrimmage or in space. He was unable to participate in pass rush drills, but Pough’s closing speed around the edge is excellent. Add on his active and talkative personality, and Pough could be the top player selected in April’s Draft that attended this event.

    4. OLB Gerald Hodges (6011/239), Penn State - Unless you watched Hodges closely, his week likely appeared average, but the Penn State linebacker was consistently where he needed to be against the run and pass with sound technique and positioning. Hodges likely projects as a weakside linebacker behind a four man front but might get some looks from 3-4 teams on the inside.

    5. T/G Terron Armstead (6050/304), Arkansas-Pine Bluff - The small schooler has some issues to iron out, most notably growing a stronger upper body to help win more consistently on first contact, but Armstead was easily the top...
    -01-19-2013, 11:27 AM
  • Nick
    East-West Shrine Game Reports
    by Nick
    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.
    -01-21-2011, 08:12 AM
  • Nick
    Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines
    by Nick
    Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines: Drew Lock vs. Daniel Jones the main attraction
    By Dane Brugler Jan 21, 2019 19

    For​ one week every January,​ the​ NFL​ invades Mobile, Ala.,​ for the annual​ Reese’s Senior​ Bowl. The​ all-star exhibition fields​ the top​​ senior college prospects for an audition in front of hundreds of NFL scouts, coaches and evaluators.

    The Senior Bowl game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2:30 p.m. ET at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be aired on NFL Network. However, it is the daily practices throughout the week that truly matter for the NFL evaluators in attendance.

    The North Team will be coached by the Oakland Raiders and the South team will be coached by the San Francisco 49ers.

    Below are 10 storylines to track during Senior Bowl week.

    10. Washington State’s Andre Dillard is the top offensive lineman in Mobile — does he live up to that high billing?
    Evaluating Washington State offensive linemen can be a difficult task with the wide splits and the quick-strike design of the offense. Nonetheless, left tackle Andre Dillard is one of the most impressive blockers I have studied on tape this fall, projecting as the top senior offensive lineman on my draft board.

    With his light feet, body flexibility and core power, Dillard is rarely beat around the corner, maintaining his balance in his movements. His lack of length is a concern, but he uses quick reflexes and a violent swipe to eliminate the reach of rushers. Dillard’s ability to process and play under control will be vital traits during practice drills.

    A strong week in Mobile could help Dillard go from a possible first-round pick to a probable first-round pick. But it won’t be easy going up against the quarterback assassins on the South squad like Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines, who also is looking to prove why he belongs in the top-32 discussion.

    9. Premium pass rush talent ready to steal the show
    Regardless of the names on the back of the jerseys, the quarterbacks are always the main attraction at all-star games. However, the quarterback hunters off the edge like Ximines will attempt to change that this week during Senior Bowl practices.

    The NCAA’s all-time sack leader, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, surpassed Terrell Suggs’ record with 45 career sacks and is looking to make it back-to-back years with a first-round Conference USA pass rusher (Marcus Davenport). It is easy to spot Ferguson on film because he is routinely the first defensive lineman out of his stance, using his quickness, motor and length to get blockers off schedule. If those traits show during practices, he will cement top-40 status in the eyes of some scouts.

    Although he is a better run defender than pass rusher right now, Boston College’s Zach Allen has the violent hands and contact balance to win off the edge. He projects as more of a base...
    -01-22-2019, 05:05 AM
  • Nick
    Rotoworld's Josh Norris's First Big Board - No QB in Top 25
    by Nick
    NFL Draft Rankings: Big Board
    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    I really like this upcoming draft class. Perhaps the names at the top of the draft aren’t quarterbacks, but there is plenty of talent to be found. Specifically, defensive line and linebacker are the strongest positions.

    So much of the process is still left. All Star games, Combine workouts, Pro Day workouts, prospect visits, etc. These rankings and evaluations are fluid, but I hope to post them every other week, opposite a mock draft.

    1. UCLA LB Myles Jack
    Where He Wins: The complete package at the position, and a complete linebacker is as valuable as it has ever been. Jack’s movements are uncommon. His lower half swivels when adjusting to what is in front of him, and his first steps are explosive and springy, quickly eating up ground to make a play others cannot. Jack is equally as aggressive between the tackles as he is in coverage. At UCLA, he was even asked to play opposite receivers and did not look out of place in coverage. Jack is a foundation piece to build with and around.

    2. Ohio State EDGE Joey Bosa
    Where He Wins: Explosion to power is the name of Bosa’s game. Don’t expect an edge bender when watching Bosa. Instead admire his burst off the line and powerful hands to jolt his opponent, then press and walk them back or shed to make a play in the backfield. Expect Bosa’s jumps (vertical and broad) to be excellent. I would not ask him to drop into coverage. Why waste the pass rushing potential more than it is necessary? Bosa is also an outstanding run defender, shedding one, two or even three blocks at times to make a play at the line of scrimmage.

    3. Baylor WR Corey Coleman
    Where He Wins: Functional athleticism helped Coleman win both “small” and “big” while at Baylor, and the latter is difficult to find with a 5’10/190 lbs receiver. Coleman will win contested catches, elevating over corners or adjusting with body control to haul in targets. Add that on top of vertical speed, quickness in and out of breaks and yards after catch ability, and Coleman has the tools to be an all-around receiver.

    4. Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell
    Where He Wins: Obviously I would not argue with anyone who ranks Treadwell as the top receiver. I love both prospects. Treadwell displayed his physical dominance in college both before and after the catch. Treadwell fits the No. 1 receiver template at 6’2/210 lbs. His game did not slow down in 2015 after returning from a horrific leg injury. Treadwell can win at every level of the field with position and agility for someone of his size. He is used to catching erratic targets away from his body.

    5. Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
    Where He Wins: A foundation piece of an NFL offense and a complete back. Zeke’s eyes and feet are so in tune that he seamlessly shifts his line to accommodate blocking strengths and positioning. Elliott turns plenty...
    -01-16-2016, 06:50 AM
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