East-West Shrine Game

Over the weekend the East-West Shrine Game featured a number of nice players.  While the commentators admitted that “this game isn’t for guys that will get drafted in the first two rounds,” they did go on to say that many solid mid-round prospects were present.  Below, I list specific players who had cleared some draftability-hurdles in my system and who I wanted to scout further with my own two eyes.

Quarterbacks

West: Matt Scott (Arizona), Seth Doege (Texas Tech)

East: Colby Cameron (La Tech)

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Arizona QB Matt Scott showed the most physical talent, in my opinion, but was far from stellar.  He made several strong throws immediately after hitting the 3rd or 5th step of his dropback.  He showed a strong arm on a 35 yard throw from the opposite hash, although it probably should have been intercepted on a nice jump by the defender.  On one drive, he made a nice decision when a 1-man route was covered, tucking to run for positive yardage and show off his wheels.  On two occasions he failed to get the play in, requiring his team to take a timeout.  The announcers pointed out that Arizona operated with a ‘check with us’ sideline playcalling system.  Yes, this is a knock, but surely someone will draft him on the physical tools, hoping to coach him up on the terminology.

Needing to overcome his ‘smallish’ size and ‘system QB label, Seth Doege failed to deliver.  While the commentators praised Doege’s arm strength, it was hardly on display.  He one-hopped a deep comeback on the first drive and had a pass deflected at the line on second drive.  While he showed nice pocket presence, eluding the rush, he under threw a receiver on a crossing route, nearly getting intercepted.  On at least three occasions, he failed to ‘pull the trigger’ on time, once resulting in a sack/fumble and another time in an interception on a late throw to the endzone.  The one bright spot came from on a 40 yard pass down the sideline which was broken up via pass interference.  Doege seemed uncomfortable ‘out of his system’.

Colby Cameron was rough too.  He seemed to labor on an opposite hash 5 yd curl, one hopped an 8 yard curl route, and was late/off target on an out route that was intercepted & returned for a touchdown.  The one ‘nice’ throw he made was a 40 yard streak down the sideline, but the defender routed the receiver outside and the pass ended up off target.  Similar to Matt Scott, Cameron is a one-year wonder from a high powered system, but I would say that Cameron showed less physical talent than Scott.

Collin Klein did nothing to help his case.  He seemed to labor on medium range throws and was intercepted on an underthrow on a deep route.  He missed Emory Blake on a deep-out that seemed like it should have been routine.  He struggled to square his shoulders rolling left.  He flashed as a runner, so maybe their is a niche/wildcat role for him, but I don’t believe he has any future as an every down QB in the NFL

While he grades very poorly in my system, credit to Nathan Stanley for being the first QB to air it out, showing some arm strength and livening up the game.

Wide Receivers

west: Chad Bumphis (Mississippi State), Anthony Amos (MTSU), Jasper Collins (Mt Union)

east: Corey Fuller (Va Tech), Marcus Davis (Va Tech), Emory Blake (Auburn)

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Chad Bumphis struck me as the best receiver in the game.  He showed quick-start speed coming off the line of scrimmage and strong change of direction ability.  On three occasions he threatened the defensive backs, slammed on the breaks, and caught passes on comeback passes.  On one play he challenged the outside shoulder of the defender, got the DB to flip his hips, and broke hard to the inside, wide open for a deep ball.  Unfortunately Seth Doege didn’t pull the trigger.  Bumphis showed good concentration on his touchdown, catching the ball with a CB flashing in front of his face, turning and getting into the end zone.  He’ll have work to do with his run blocking, but showed the receiving skills to be a threat in the slot.

Corey Fuller explodes off the line of scrimmage.  His track background and 6′ 2” frame ooze of upside.  His best play was a deep out that he caught, spun upfield, and showed good acceleration while picking up 21 yards.  He has a

Jasper Collins showed some intangibles that I liked, but had minimal production.  He showed good effort while sealing of the edge with two blocks on end around that scored.  He was also quick to pounce on a fumble.  Unfortunately, he muffed a punt and turned in a so-so 3 catches for 17 yards.

Emory Blake looks like a sharp route tunner.  While he is definitely not a blazer, he showed polish on the two routes in which he was targeted.  Also, he showed up as a blocker.

MTSU WR Anthony Amos continued his march from anonymity to the NFL.  He showed nice concentration hauling in a slant between defenders.  He made nice play in a scramble-drill situation, moving with the QB and coming back to the ball.  He tracked the ball well on a 40 yard throw down the sideline but was the victim of PI.  He looks to have some open field moves and should hear his name called on draft day.

It will be interesting to see what happens with former Army QB Trent Steelman.  He certainly seems to have some ‘shake’ to him, looked fast, and was–unsurprisingly–a high effort player.

Running Backs

West: Kerwynn Williams (Utah State)

East:  Ray Graham (Pitt)

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The game got off to a rough start for Ray Graham.  On the first play from scrimmage he dropped the ball while switching hands, resulting in a turnover.  As a smaller back, Graham would seem to have an opportunity to contribute on special teams, but he seemed slow to reach top speed.  From the line of scrimmage, he showed good change of direction, picking his way for positive yardage. He also showed nice skills on a swing pass, making first guy miss and moving the chains on 3rd down.

Unlike Graham, Kerwynn Williams showed nice return skills and seemed to have more ‘shake’ in the open field.  As a runner, he had a couple nice 7+ yard runs.  Despite his small stature, the announcers praised his pass protection skills, a critical aspect if he is to carve out a niche role in an NFL offense.  I think we’ll hear more from Williams.

Tight Ends

West: Joseph Fauria (UCLA), Zach Sudfeld (Nevada)

East:

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Disappointingly, Joseph Fauria from UCLA had to pull out of the game with a hip injury.  He caught an outstanding 11 touchdowns in 2012 and, on size alone (6′ 7”), should find a place on an NFL roster.

Zach Sudfeld looked slow off the line and seemed to have his routes easily altered by linebackers.  On several occasions he was seen lumbering down the field, blocking nobody in particular, or whiffing on blocks completely.  He also dropped a pass inside the redzone on a nice throw from Matt Scott.  This was a disappointing effort.

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