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Scouting the East-West Shrine Game: Offense

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NCAA Football: East/West Shrine Game Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

There were a number of players in this year’s East West Shrine game that captured my attention as potential late Day 2, Day 3 prospects for the Cardinals. Here are my notes, position by position:

Offense (using the Air Raid criteria that Seth Cox expertly outlined):

QB:

1—-David Blough, Purdue. First off, I had the privilege this past season of watching Blough and his Boilermakers rip my BC Eagles and the Ohio St. Buckeyes to shreds. Those are two top level defenses that boast numerous NFL prospects. What first jumps out to me about Blough is his leadership—-this kid embraces the role. He is a rhythm passer who hits WRs in stride. He lacks ideal size and arm strength, but he makes up for it through smarts and precision. Daniel Jeremiah compered him to Chase Daniels—-which I think is fitting. But, on the high end, at times he reminds me some of Jimmy Garoppolo in terms of his timing, accuracy and release. In this game he led the East back into contention with two second half TD drives, both TDs thrown under pressure into tight windows to Georgia WR Terry Godwin. Off the field, Blough’s relationship with inspirational cancer victim Tyler Trent was very moving and indicative of the kind of heart this young man possesses. (Draft Projection: Day 3)

2—-Brett Rypien, Boise St. Virtually everything I applied to David Blough applies to Rypien. He’s a rhythm passer who takes command of the offense with grit and timely precision. His passes come out a tad faster than Blough’s and are consistently on target. He’s got decent mobility—-you can move him around some—-I think he too compares to Chase Daniels and his passing style reminds me some of Tony Romo’s. (Draft Projection: Day 3)

RB:

1—-Marquis Young, UMass. I have watched and admired Young for the last three years, primarily because he hits the hole hard and even though he’s not your classic looking banger, he consistently absorbs the first contact and keep his legs chugging. He breaks a lot of tackles. Young is a complete RB. He is a good receiver out of the backfield and he is tough as nails in pass pro. (Day 3)

2—-Darren Hall, Pittsburgh. Now this kid is a banger. He reminds me some of former Panther James Connor, although Hall wasn’t as much of a bell cow RB at Pitt as Connor was. But, Hall averaged 7.5 yards per carry this past season, largely because he hits the hole hard, lowers his should and grinds out every yard he can. He ran for 68 yards in the game. (Day 3)

WR:

1—-Terry Godwin, Georgia. He runs like a slightly smaller version of Patrick Peterson—-you see the same kind of quick feet and burst. Very clean and smooth out of his breaks. Picks the ball cleanly with his hands. Was the Offensive MVP in the game: 4/80/2TDs. He’s 5-11, 185 and can play in the slot or wide. He would be a good fit in the Air Raid. (Day 2)

2—-Shawn Poindexter, Arizona. He had 4 games in a row with 2 TD receptions this past season. Smooth, natural runner and receiver. Has decent length. Reminds me some of Jordan Matthews. Picked up 77 yards in the game and scored on a nifty 22 yard TD over the middle. If he times well at the Combine, he could go Day 2. But is most likely a 4th rounder.

3—-Ron’quavion Tarver, Utah St. This kid is a thick, physical slot WR who grinds out RAC yards by dragging defenders and lowering the shoulder on direct hits. Has very good hands. Catches the ball fearlessly in traffic. Not a blazer, but uses his size and leverage to his advantage. His numbers this year: 66/709/8TDs. 18 career TDs at Utah St. (Day 3)

4—-Terry Wright, Purdue. Late bloomer who played in the shadow of sensational freshman WR Rondale Moore, But he started to break out down the stretch when he caught 6/99 versus Wisconsin in an OT loss and then a whopping 7/146/3TDs versus Iowa. Wright is 5-11, 185 slot WR who is sure-handed and quick out of his breaks. He could be a sleeper as a late Day 3 pick or UCFA.

5—-Jesper Horsted, Princeton. Horsted is coming off an All-Ivy League MVP season (72/1,047/13TDs) and he played well in the practices and game, catching almost every pass that came his way, including a nice go route where he got a step or two separation and then out jumped the CB for the ball. He’s got decent size and sneaky athleticism. It would be interesting to hear what his former QB Chad Kanoff thinks of him. (late Day 3 or UCFA)

Honorable mention:

6—-Brady Oliver, Colorado School of Mines. While he didn’t get much action in the game other than a nice square out catch, this sleeper put up record career numbers at CSOM: 224/4,010/59TDs. If he times well, he will get drafted.

TE:

1—-Kendall Blanton, Missouri. 6-6, 265. Looks and runs like Jared Cook. Had 44/476/10.8/6TDs numbers at Missouri. The size and athleticism stick out. He’ll need pro coaching, but could be a steal on Day 3. Check out this TD catch:

http://www.secsports.com/video/17858822/missouri-te-blanton-snags-td-catch-one-hand

2—-Matt Sokol, Michigan St. 6-6, 265. Good, tough blocker and special teamer. Had 222 yards and 1 TD as a junior and 100 yards and 1 TD as a senior. Solid complimentary player who likely will be a UCFA.

OL:

1—-Oli Udoh, T, Elon. Natural looking LT with good size, feet and bend. Was also invited to Senior Bowl. (Day 2 or 3).

2—-Lamont Gailliard, C/G, Georgia. Paved the way for four 1,000 yard rushers the past two seasons. Physical and aggressive. Could play G in Air Raid. Has the feet and 2nd level blocking acumen. Day 2 or 3.

3—-Tyree St. Louis, G/T, Miami. Versatile and athletic. Imo, has Air Raid look to him. Day 3.

4—-Brian Wallace, T, Arkansas. Has the look of a solid RT. Sets up well, good drive blocker. Day 3.

5—-Nick Allegretti, C/G, Illinois. Plays a little upright, but is very physical and can block in space. Day 3.

6—-Lanard Bonner, Arkansas St. Made a beautiful seal block on a rush TD. Good, strong blocker. Could be a sleeper. Day 3.

7—-Tyler Jones, G/T, North Carolina St. Solid player whose versatility could make him attractive as a swing G/T. Day 3 or UCFA.

Honorable Mention:

8—-Trey Pipkins, T, Sioux Falls. Same school where LB Dennis Gardeck played. Pipkins is a project LT with good size, 6-5, 310, and athleticism, but got beat a few times on inside rushes. Day 3 or UCFA.

K:

1—-Matthew Gay, Utah. 2017 Lou Groza winner. Big-time leg. Day 3.

Was this worth your while? Would you like me to offer my notes on the defense? Some fans don’t really care all that much about the Shrine game. I always look forward to it—-they do such a good job for such a worthy cause. And while I miss Mike Mayock this year, Andrew Siciliano and Daniel Jeremiah were outstanding. Man, the job Siciliano does on the Red Zone Channel is epic!