It is a new era for the East-West Shrine Bowl moving to Las Vegas and trying to attract the best future NFL talent to play in their game. Still playing second fiddle to the Senior Bowl, the Shrine Bowl can be hit or miss depending on the depth of positions. Ultimately, there is some good talent on this offensive roster including a few players who could sneak into Day 2 of the NFL Draft. It will be a chance for these players to shine and prove they belong. Let’s dive in and break down each position and predictions on who will stand out in the practices and game.
Dustin Crum, Kent State
D’Eriq King, Miami (FL)
EJ Perry, Brown
Jack Coan, Notre Dame
Brock Purdy, Iowa State
Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
There aren’t enough QBs in the draft class to really fill out the Shrine roster. The three older established players in Coan, King, and Purdy have a shot to get drafted late based on their experience. Coan is likely the best of the bunch due to his accuracy and leadership ability.
Perry and Crum might be the most intriguing as undrafted types who could make an NFL roster. Both have mobility (especially Crum) and carried their team’s offenses at times this season. Perry never had much around him at Brown and should have an opportunity to shine this week.
Leddie Brown, West Virginia
Zander Horvath, Purdue
Isaih Pacheco, Rutgers
Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State
Calvin Turner, Hawaii
Zaquandre White, South Carolina
Ty Chandler, North Carolina
Jashaun Corbin, Florida State
Trestan Ebner, Baylor
Keaontay Ingram, Southern Cal
Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois
There is a wide range range of runners in this group.
White showed out for South Carolina this year and has flashed NFL ability. He should able to showcase his versatility and pass catching ability. Brown was super productive at West Virginia with great vision and good tackle breaking ability. Both he and White could put themselves in draftable range with a good week at the Shrine Game.
There are also a few upside runners. Keaontay Ingram has had a long career at Texas and Southern Cal and flashes back-up NFL ability due to his blocking and playing low to the ground. Corbin and Pacheco declared earlier and need a big week to improve their stock into the draft after disappointing seasons.
Turner is a hybrid WR/RB who may get some WR reps in the game and be a true offensive weapon. That versatility could make him a flyer 7th round pick.
Of the Fullbacks, Clint Ratkovich is the best as an H-back type who created some tough yards and even took some runs to the house. Don’t overlook his potential.
Finally, a top 10 RB in this class for me, Strong Jr. should show out in this game. Strong excelled at the FCS level and has smooth movement with no wasted steps along with solid hands. This could be a coming out party for him to prove he belongs!
Tanner Conner, Idaho State
Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina
Josh Johnson, Tulsa
Kyle Phillips, UCLA
Charleston Rambo, Miami (FL)
Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest
Samori Toure, Nebraska
Stanley Berryhill III, Arizona
Emeka Emezie, NC State
Ty Fryfogle, Indiana
Davontavean Martin, Oklahoma State
Jerreth Sterns, Western Kentucky
Tyquan Thornton, Baylor
Dareke Young, Lenoir-Rhyne
There are some intriguing small school receivers with athletic abilities on the roster. Young and Conner have athletic movement skills and deep speed to make it in the NFL. The Shrine Bowl practice should showcase them and are likely two names that will be emerging as potential draft picks.
A productive small receiver like Sterns deserves a look for his special teams ability and footwork in routes. Though small and slower isn’t usually draftable, Sterns could make a camp and turn some heads.
Of course, there some NFL ready players on this roster. Fryfogle, Emezie, Thornton, Rambo, Roberson and Toure all have a shot to be drafted already and may be able to separate themselves this week. Roberson is my favorite as a productive, smart receiver with great hands and range. He’d be my pick for highest drafted of the bunch.
Derrick Deese Jr., San Jose State
Lucas Krull, Pittsburgh
Nick Muse, South Carolina
Armani Rogers, Ohio
Gerrit Prince, UAB
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland
Quitoriano Teagan, Oregon State
Jelani Woods, Virginia
With good depth in this TE class, there are some intriguing TEs who could make an NFL impact.
Woods is a Brian Bosarge favorite with his massive size and box out ability. A potential NFL red zone threat with good blocking ability, he should shine as the best TE on the West team.
Krull and Deese both had great years catching the football and should be late round selections. Krull was a first look for Kenny Pickett in the end zone while Deese racked up catches underneath and was talented after the catch.
Finally, never forget that Nick Muse is somehow elite.
Myron Cunningham, Arkansas
Brock Hoffman, Virginia Tech
Alec Lindstrom, Boston College
Vederian Lowe, Illinois
George Moore, Oregon
Bamidele Olaseni, Utah
Jack Snyder, San Jose State
Luke Tenuda, Virginia Tech
Tyrese Robinson, Oklahoma
Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Zachary Thomas, San Diego State
Ryan Van Denmark, UConn
Blaise Andries, Minnesota
Devin Cochran, Georgia Tech
Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech
Austin Deculus, LSU
Jean Delance, Florida
Kellen Diesch, Arizona State
Obinna Eze, TCU
Hayden Howerton, SMU
Jaxson Kirkland, Washington
Xavier Newman-Johnson, Baylor
Cordell Volson, North Dakota State
Luke Wattenberg, Washington
With a huge need at the pro level for Offensive Linemen, there are plenty in this group who should hear their name called on draft weekend.
Eze has been a Draft Countdown favorite with his great length and success against Big 12 pass rushers. He should be able to flash his potential this week and gain some buzz for Day 2. There are a few others who could fall into this category like Cunningham, Kirkland, and even Lindstrom, my #2 Center in the class. Look for each to remind NFL teams of the success they have had in their careers.
Volson is an intriguing player to watch for throughout the week. He had a solid season for NDSU, specifically in his pass blocking, and will get a chance to showcase against FBS players. If he holds his own, it could be a massive improvement to his stock.
A big storyline is how wide open the Center position is in this draft. Not only Lindstrom, but Wattenberg, Deaton, and Hoffman have a big opportunity to flash NFL potential as the pivot point of the offensive line. Could any of them lock in the #2 Center spot behind Tyler Linderbaum? The Shrine Bowl is an opportunity to ascend to that spot.
Finally, there are plenty of mid round lunchpail types. Andries, Diesch, Deculus, Tom, and Van Denmark top my list of solid but unspectacular back-up NFL types. Rounds 4 and 5 should be littered with these players and maybe one can stand up and move into Day 2.
Tommy Heatherly, P, FIU
Caleb Shudak, K, Iowa
Billy Taylor, LS, Rutgers
Parker White, K, South Carolina
Parker White is the standout of this group as he is likely to be signed into a camp and compete for a starting kicking job. With a big leg, he should have a shot at a job for a dome team.
Taylor is an interesting long snapper as well with a solid track record of consistency. He should do well for the Shrine.
The Shrine Bowl should be a great event and worth tuning in to practice reports and seeing who excels!