Day one of Shrine practice is in the books. Here’s the latest buzz from the field and the players hotel.
– Scouts say had Florida State junior cornerback Marquez White declared for the draft as teammate Jalen Ramsey did, he would’ve been no worse than a third round pick. They also believe good pro-day workouts could push senior safety Lamarcus Brutus into the last day of the draft. Brutus, a fifth year senior, was not graded by scouts entering the season.
– Had Cam Sutton of Tennessee entered the draft he would’ve been a top 42 choice and he had a real chance of sliding into the late part of round one according to scouts in St Pete. Sutton would’ve been ranked at a top 42 prospect for his return skills as well as his cornerback ability.
– Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson spent a lot of time scouting the linebackers during the first Shrine practice today. And while he’s not in attendance at the Shrine Game, sources tell me the team really likes Mississippi State junior Beniquez Brown, whom I grade as a third round choice.
– North Carolina State offensive lineman Joe Thuney looked terrific today and despite not being classified as a good athlete at the position the belief is he will test well at the combine and/or pro-day workouts.
– There are a number of teams at the Shrine Game who grade Kevin Dodd ahead of his Clemson teammate, Shaq Lawson. Lawson is universally considered a mid-first round pick while I claimed Dodd was a second day pick last month. The consensus is Lawson is being overrated while Dodd is underrated.
– Likewise there are several teams here in St Pete who believe cornerback LeShaun Sims will be a better NFL player than his much more heralded teammate, safety Miles Killebrew. The belief is Sims, who looked terrific at Shrine practice on Monday, is a plug and play cornerback while Killebrew, who’ll be at the Senior Bowl next week, is more a product of size and speed.
– I was told defensive lineman Jabari Hunt disappeared from the Georgia Tech team after being suspended for a game. People I spoke with are unsure about his plans or if he’ll workout for NFL teams
The Shrine game pales in comparison to the Senior Bowl as far as the level of talent on the roster and the number of NFL decision makers attending practices but don’t be fooled. Past rosters have featured several players that have impacted at the next level including Josh Norman, Terron Armstead and Darius Kilgo from recent years. So who could shine at the Shrine this year? Here are five players to keep an eye on.
Nate Sudfeld/QB/Indiana: There’s a feeling among some scouts that Sudfeld is significantly underrated and was worthy of a Senior Bowl invitation. He offers next level size, arm strength and intelligence, so why is he universally ranked as a last day pick? Prior injuries are a concern but so is the inconsistent accuracy of Sudfeld’s throws. While the big passer shows the ability to be on the mark he often sprays throws and even delivers bounce passes on occasion. Is it mechanical? Is it a timing issue? Whatever the case throwing to receivers that are foreign to him as well as playing from underneath center during Shrine week will be critical factors in Sudfeld’s final draft grade.
Robby Anderson/WR/Temple: I was a big fan of Anderson off the 2013 film but the sure handed receiver failed to make grades in the classroom and was forced to sit on the sidelines in 2014. Though sheer determination Anderson, who was not even graded by scouts entering the season, returned to Temple and improved upon his junior campaign, leading the upstart Owls in receiving. He’s a reliable receiver but is Anderson a next level athlete with Sunday speed? The ability to separate down the field during one-on-one drills and effortlessly catch the deep ball could help Anderson move into the middle of the draft’s final day.
James Cowser/DE-OLB/Southern Utah: I first pointed out Cowser back in the middle of November, mentioning he was drawing comparisons to another NFL star who came from the Big Sky conference, All Pro Jared Allen. The Shrine Game offers Cowser a major opportunity as he’ll be seen by a collection of scouts (rather than just the area scouts) and prove he’s the real deal. His speed, quickness and ability to penetrate off the edge against IA offensive tackles (Alex Lewis/Nebraska, Tyler Marz/Wisconsin, Stephane Nembot/Colorado) is something that will be monitored. I’m also hoping Cowser is also asked to drop in space and play linebacker on occasion.
Michael Jordan/CB/Missouri Western: Getting past the name, Jordan is a player scouts have been talking about since October. He offers good size (6-feet/200lbs) and solid ball skills but speed is a question mark. The West receivers, who’ll Jordan will be practicing against, offer bigger, stronger possession pass catchers (Keyarris Garrett/Tulsa, Devon Cajuste/Stanford) sprinkled in with vertical speed (Hunter Sharp/Utah State). The variety of receivers Jordan must cover during the week offers him the opportunity to showcase his skills and secure a spot in the late rounds.
Deon Bush/S/Miami-Fl: After watching Bush the past two seasons I often wonder why he doesn’t get more mention. He’s an explosive run defender who does a terrific job covering receivers over the middle of the field and his size/speed numbers are similar to former Hurricane star Ed Reed. But questions linger; can Bush play over the slot receiver or is he a liability in man coverage? The latter suppresses his draft stock but the former will result in a move up boards. The one-on-one drills, where Bush lines up more like a cornerback rather than a safety, will help answer the question and the East receivers, who Bush will be practicing against all week, include significant next level talent, albeit late round picks.
Note: Beginning tomorrow I will be reporting live from the Shrine Game and working with PhiladelphiaEagles.com, as I have the past four years. Real time reports from practice will be posted on Twitter followed by articles and videos at PhiladelphiaEagles.com all three days of Shrine practice. We’ll also try and have some notes up here as well.
Pre Shrine Game/Senior Bowl rankings of offensive linemen for the 2016 NFL Draft. Posted January 16th with the latest information on underclassmen who’ve announced their intention to enter the draft.
|1st||Ronnie Stanley||Notre Dame||4Jr|
|1st||Taylor Decker||Ohio State||4Sr|
|1st||Jack Conklin||Michigan State||4Jr|
|1st||Germain Ifedi||Texas A&M||4Jr|
|4th||Joseph Haeg||North Dakota State||5Sr|
|6-7||Brandon Shell||South Carolina||5Sr|
|FA||Clay Debord||Eastern Washington||5Sr|
|FA||Pearce Slater||San Diego State||4Sr|
|FA||Gavin Andrews||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Larsten Hanson||Sacramento State||5Sr|
|FA||Ramadan Ahmeti||Central Michigan||5Sr|
|FA||Samuel Carlson||Colorado State||5Sr|
|FA||Zeth Ramsay||Mesa State||4Sr|
|FA||Dylan Intemann||Wake Forest||5Sr|
|FA||Trevor Strickland||Youngstown State||4Sr|
|FA||Christopher May||South Alabama||5Sr|
|FA||Trevin Wallace||Mississippi Valley S||4Sr|
|FA||John Weidenaar||Montana State||5Sr|
|FA||Brock Dagel||Iowa State||5Sr|
|FA||Matthew Kleinsorge||Kansas State||5Sr|
|FA||Bernard Gauldin||Austin Peay||4Sr|
|FA||Aleksandar Milanovic||Adams State||5Sr|
|FA||Ike Harris||East Carolina||5Sr|
|FA||Zachary Martinez||CSU Pueblo||5Sr|
|FA||William Hening||E Central Oklahoma||4Sr|
|FA||Kevin Bowen||E Central Oklahoma||4Sr|
|FA||Dontae Levingston||East Carolina||4Sr|
|2nd||Cody Whitehair||Kansas State||5Sr|
|3-4||Landon Turner||North Carolina||5Sr|
|4th||Willie Beavers||Western Michigan||5Sr|
|5th||Joseph Thuney||North Carolina St||5Sr|
|5th||Christian Westerman||Arizona State||5Sr|
|5-6||Rees Odhiambo||Boise State||5Sr|
|5-6||Joesph Dahl||Washington State||5Sr|
|6th||Darrell Greene||San Diego State||5Sr|
|6th||Vivii Teofilo||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Joseph Cheek||Texas A&M||5Sr|
|7th||Marquis Lucas||West Virginia||5Sr|
|7th||Alexander Fifita||Fresno State||4Sr|
|7th||Le’Raven Clark||Texas Tech||5Sr|
|FA||Clinton Van Horn||Marshall||5Sr|
|FA||Darius Johnson||Middle Tennessee||5Sr|
|FA||Wes Schweitzer||San Jose State||5Sr|
|FA||Shaq Anthony||Tennessee State||5Sr|
|FA||Aaron Neary||Eastern Washington||5Sr|
|FA||Justin Malone||Mississippi State||5Sr|
|FA||Nate Theaker||Wayne State||5Sr?|
|FA||Roscoe Byrd||Georgia Southern||4Sr|
|FA||Quincy Mckinney||East Carolina||4Sr|
|FA||Boston Stiverson||Kansas State||5Sr|
|FA||Terran Vaughn||Stephen F Austin||4Sr|
|FA||Garrick Mayweather Jr||Fordham||4Sr|
|FA||Donavon Clark||Michigan State||5Sr|
|FA||Alex Huettel||Bowling Green||5Sr|
|FA||Luke Hayes||Kansas State||4Sr|
|FA||Jalen Schlachter||Ball State||5Sr|
|FA||Harris Williams||Boston College||5Sr|
|1-2||Nick Martin||Notre Dame||5Sr|
|5th||Jack Allen||Michigan State||5Sr|
|7th||Michael Matthews||Texas A&M||4Sr|
|FA||Nicholas Kelly||Arizona State||4Sr|
|FA||Jamison Lalk||Iowa State||5Sr|
|FA||Marcus Henry||Boise State||5Sr|
|FA||Joshua Mitchell||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Quinton Schooley||North Carolina St||4Sr|
|FA||Joe Hawkins||Weber State||4Sr|
|FA||Angelo Mangiro||Penn State||5Sr|