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East-West Shrine Game Thread, 1/21 at 4 PM ET (NFLN)

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Small-school CB Micah Pellerin displayed a great feel in coverage Monday during one-on-one sessions. He's slow in his drop, exhibits a good closing burst and despite getting a bit leggy at times he had the length to get his hands on a lot of footballs. Looks like a potential NFL starter at 6-0, 195.

• Another corner who really made a nice impression was Coastal Carolina's Josh Norman. He displayed good vision when feeling routes, a solid initial burst when looking to close and displayed "plus" hands when asked to come down with the catch. There are some character concerns to his game off the field, however, the talent is most certainly there.

• I wasn't real impressed with Michigan State wide out B.J. Cunningham. He made a nice catch early in practice working the slant and plucking the ball off his frame. However, he didn't display the speed to threaten corners vertically and wasn't real explosive in and out of his breaks. Looks limited to more of an inside player only at the next level.

• With nearly 34-inch arms, Mississippi State OL Quinton Saulsberry had a tough time getting his hands up quickly off the snap and gaining leverage Monday when asked to play. He was routinely overwhelmed into the backfield and routinely gave up inside hand position on contact. Plus, he looked maxed out physically and didn't possess the type of frame to play guard in the next level either.

• Illinois wide out A.J. Jenkins made a nice catch plucking the football off his frame early in the day. However, after that he displayed his struggles as a route runner not really setting up his routes and running through his breaks. He also struggled to gain much separation and was inconsistent all day catching the football. Looks like an inside player only in the NFL who needs to be used off the line and asked to run mostly vertical routes.

• I though the safety group as a whole Monday had a tough time in coverage. But Kansas State's Tysyn Hartman at least displayed the ability to create a slight burst out of his breaks and use his length to cut down some angles. He is stiff and did get turned around a number of times, but I thought he faired better than Duke's Matt Daniels and South Florida's Jerrell Young.

• Finally, watching UT Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman spin the football Monday gave me flashbacks of when I saw John Skelton down here two years ago. However, much like Skelton, Coleman was inconsistent with his balance in the pocket, looked rushed when trying to settle his feet and his accuracy struggled because of it. However, when he did have time to set his feet and see the throw he showcased the ability to make some tight throws on the skinny post in the intermediate pass game. Notes from West practice…

• Overall, I thought the MVP of Monday was Miami (OH) OG Brandon Brooks. Not only is he a solid 353-pound lineman who carries his weight well. But he dropped his pad level well into contact in the run game and was natural laterally in pass protection. He displayed a very powerful punch on contact as well and plays with the kind of mean streak needed to consistently finish in the NFL. Looks like yet another NFL starter to me at the next level, only adding to the very strong guard class.

• Arkansas WR Jarius Wright had some struggles catching the football with two drops early in practice where he really fought the football. However, his straight-line speed was apparent with his ability to get vertically down the field on the nine route and routinely run by corners. He also displays a snap out of his breaks working the comeback/stop routes and is one of the few guys down here who seems to strike fear into corners with his speed.

• Another wide out who did a nice job Monday was Fresno State's Devon Wylie. He's undersized at 5-9, 182-pounds. However, he exhibits "plus" straight-line speed and runs his routes full go with the ability to cleanly get out of his breaks. He did drop a pass during the session, but displayed the ability to go get the football as well.

• Finally if there was one guy who actually got the better of Brandon Brooks on one occasion Monday, it was USC DT DaJohn Harris. Harris displayed a good get off burst, was sudden laterally during pass rush drills and exhibited the quick arm over to slip blocks and get up the field. Now, vs. more athletic lateral athletes like Colorado's Ryan Miller he wasn't as effective, but overall it was a strong first showing from Harris inside.
Acc to Walterfootball, we interviewed WR Benford, Tennessee Tech.
Originally posted by communist:
Acc to Walterfootball, we interviewed WR Benford, Tennessee Tech.

We should've been talking to Wylie.

But.. Benford doesn't surprise me. I have a feeling there may be some frustration on draft day because we may take more projects. I say this because if they're talking to guys like Benford, well -- let me say this about him, he's a running QB that was too small to play that in the NFL, so he's being converted to WR. Unlikely to get drafted it'd seem, unless it's late.

Benford is 5-11 3/8" and 199 pounds, low 4.5 guy. Small hands too, same size as 5-9 CB Charles Brown's.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jan 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM ]
Note from Tuesday's practice:

Quote:
Miami TE Chase Ford had a monster practice making plays on the football. He isn't a real explosive athlete and lacks much burst off the line. However, he builds speed down the field, showcases good ball skills and coordination, and did a nice job playing with a defender on his hip. Now, he's not to be confused in any way with former Miami standout Jimmy Graham. However at 6-6, 258 pounds you could do a lot worse with a developmental tight end prospect in the back end of the draft.
Whoa, this game is already here. Feels good to not even know about it this year.
Negative Notes:

Quote:
WesBunting Wesley Bunting
#Pitt OLB Brandon Lindsey has been blah so far this week, sealed easily vs run, want to see him rush passer #shrinegame

#Colorado OG Ryan Miller lacks anchor strength, struggles with leverage, gives up far too much ground at POA #shrinegame

Other positive reports

Quote:
Dale Moss, WR, South Dakota State -- Moss is one of the most interesting stories at the Shrine Game. A former guard on the SDSU basketball team, he never played college football until last season. After a year in which he developed his game almost weekly, Moss did not look out of place Tuesday. He was smooth and graceful on the field, displaying solid downfield speed and catching the ball well. Grace admits he's still a work in progress, but there's no doubting that, based on Tuesday's showing, the arrow is pointing north for him.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tony_pauline/01/17/shrine.game.practice.reports.tuesday/index.html#ixzz1jlSvF7KU
  • sfout
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 6,306
Both of my sleeper DL picks have had solid days at practice....

South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson destroyed a lot of the interior linemen in the one-on-one reps. It made one wonder where was that speed and pass rushing during the 2011 season. Robertson did well against Mississippi State center Quinton Saulsberry with a speed and rip rush up the middle. Saulsberry had a disappointing practice.

The other defensive tackle that had a superb day was Baylor's Nick Jean-Baptiste. In the NFL, Jean-Baptiste (6-1, 335) could be a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. He is a heavy load with some quickness. All of the offensive linemen struggled with Jean-Baptiste. He whipped South Florida offensive tackle Jeremiah Warren. Jean-Baptiste has a sloppy body though. He needs to make strides in redistributing some fat into muscle. Still, he cold be a quality nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense in the NFL. Warren had a rough practice and was beat regularly.

second day of practice for Travian...

South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson had his second straight strong practice. On one play, he swallowed a back at the line of scrimmage after not budging in an inch. Robertson beat Mississippi State center Quentin Saulsberry repeatedly in the scrimmages and in a one-on-one. He wasn't the only one, as Robertson had an impressive rush with a rip move to defeat Temple guard Desmond Wynn. Robertson is helping himself, although he got shouted at for getting overly aggressive and putting a nice tackle on a running back in the team scrimmage. However, some coaches will like seeing that.

Also the fact that we are looking into speedy guys like Benford tells me that Ginn is on thin ice heading into the off season. Sounds like we are likely to at least consider parting ways with him.
Originally posted by sfout:
Both of my sleeper DL picks have had solid days at practice....

Quote:
South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson destroyed a lot of the interior linemen in the one-on-one reps. It made one wonder where was that speed and pass rushing during the 2011 season. Robertson did well against Mississippi State center Quinton Saulsberry with a speed and rip rush up the middle. Saulsberry had a disappointing practice.

The other defensive tackle that had a superb day was Baylor's Nick Jean-Baptiste. In the NFL, Jean-Baptiste (6-1, 335) could be a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. He is a heavy load with some quickness. All of the offensive linemen struggled with Jean-Baptiste. He whipped South Florida offensive tackle Jeremiah Warren. Jean-Baptiste has a sloppy body though. He needs to make strides in redistributing some fat into muscle. Still, he cold be a quality nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense in the NFL. Warren had a rough practice and was beat regularly.

second day of practice for Travian...

Quote:
South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson had his second straight strong practice. On one play, he swallowed a back at the line of scrimmage after not budging in an inch. Robertson beat Mississippi State center Quentin Saulsberry repeatedly in the scrimmages and in a one-on-one. He wasn't the only one, as Robertson had an impressive rush with a rip move to defeat Temple guard Desmond Wynn. Robertson is helping himself, although he got shouted at for getting overly aggressive and putting a nice tackle on a running back in the team scrimmage. However, some coaches will like seeing that.

Also the fact that we are looking into speedy guys like Benford tells me that Ginn is on thin ice heading into the off season. Sounds like we are likely to at least consider parting ways with him.

Saulsberry is going to fall a lot I think. I watched him this year and he did not look good at all. Robertson may garner late round consideration, as its good to see he can beat more than one guy who happens to be a poor prospect.
Sounds like Brooks and Pellerin are the winners.

I haven't followed this game much, not many guys I like. Chase Ford sounds like he will get himself drafted. Speaking of TEs, surprised to not hear much about Paulson.

Hows CB Shaun Prater doing? I thought he looked good in colllege.

And any news on Tank Carder? I like the guy, not sure if he has a future in the NFL.

And how about Bobby Rainey? I forgot to check his measurements
Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:
Sounds like Brooks and Pellerin are the winners.

I haven't followed this game much, not many guys I like. Chase Ford sounds like he will get himself drafted. Speaking of TEs, surprised to not hear much about Paulson.

Hows CB Shaun Prater doing? I thought he looked good in colllege.

And any news on Tank Carder? I like the guy, not sure if he has a future in the NFL.

And how about Bobby Rainey? I forgot to check his measurements

NFL.com reports positively on Prater. Paulson too.

Quote:
Iowa CB Shaun Prater is making quite an impression on scouts with his impressive all-around game. He displayed outstanding footwork and movement skills in drills, and was consistently in proper position in coverage. He made several plays on the ball, including an over-the-shoulder interception on a deep ball that showcased his awareness and ball skills. After watching Prater consecutively lock down receiver after receiver in one-on-one drills, I had a high level AFC East official tell me that he might need to revisit his mid-round grade on the former Hawkeye.

Hampton's CB Micah Pellerin didn't wow scouts during the fall, but his prototypical size and athleticism will prompt a team to draft him solely on potential. The 6-foot, 195-pound Pellerin looks the part physically and athletically. He is smooth in his pedal and flashes a burst coming out of his breaks. Although he didn't get his hands on many balls during the practice, his consistent coverage caught the attention of scouts and made him one of the most discussed prospects following the East's practice session.

Oregon TE Dave Paulson has a crafty game that translates well to the pros. He is a patient route runner, adept at setting up defenders with head fakes at the top of routes, and uses his body well to create separation. He displays strong hands catching in traffic and is one of the best pass catchers at the position. While he doesn't appear to have elite speed, his movement skills and savvy could make him a difficult guard at the next level.

CB Josh Norman of Costal Carolina
made quite an impression on scouts on Day 1. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound corner displayed outstanding quickness and footwork. He glides in his backpedal and shows swivel hips in his turns/transitions. Norman put all of those skills together in coverage while registering several break-ups and a pair of interceptions during the morning session. When asked about Norman's pro prospects, an NFC South official proclaimed Norman as one of the top small prospects at the game, and talked about his ability to work into Day 2 consideration with a strong effort this week.

I continue to believe we may have an eye on Pellerin, just like we did with small-schoolers Kilgore and Person. Josh Norman is another guy I've been following this season and curious as to where scouts would tab him once the off-season came. His invite to the Shrine game and now rave reviews lead me to believe he could rise to the 4th-5th and solidify himself there with a good combine, especially while/if others may fall.

Prater is interesting, he has the skills, but will his size (5-10 185) make teams shy away? It remains to be seen. From the looks of it, he would make a very good nickel CB at least, playing a Kyle Wilson type role. But some systems could envision him as a starter.

One player not helping their stock is Jarius Wright, word is he is all physical ability but just not looking good out there. Giving the impression he's a good college player that won't translate to the pros.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jan 17, 2012 at 9:29 PM ]
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,019
Both Micah Pellerin and Josh Norman on the preliminary combine invite list.

Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina 6-0 200 4.49

Has 2 interceptions this year and 12 passes broken up. For his college career, the numbers are 13 picks and 35 passes defended.

Micah Pellerin CB Hampton 6-0 195 4.49

This year he had 4 picks and 15 passes defended. For his career, he had 7 picks and 36 passes defended.
[ Edited by buck on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM ]
One more day two notes (day three notes coming shortly):

Quote:

The west offensive line as a whole did a slightly better job Tuesday and I thought Texas OL David Snow was much improved. Snow displays the ability to bend, move his feet laterally in pass protection and has sneaky heavy hands once engaged. Now, he does have a tendency to get a bit upright and overextend through contact. But, overall in a weak center class, I think Snow is an intriguing later round flyer.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Shrine-Practice-Notes-West-Day-2.html

I think Snow is a consideration for us if we wait til the later rounds to pick up an interior OL.
Quote:
It was a bit of a coming out party for Notre Dame CB Robert Blanton Wednesday. The taller, physical corner has had his fair share of struggles in off coverage this week. However, in press man this afternoon he did a nice job shooting his hand into contact, maintaining his footing and getting his head around quickly in order to locate the football. He did get a bit grabby at times, but he possesses the balance to create a burst out of his breaks and was tough to separate from in press coverage.

The standout again on Wednesday was Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman. Norman finished the day with three picks and again showed off his impressive click and close ability, body control and feel in coverage. He was also very physical in pressman as well. Now, he did have a tendency to step into the press and will get caught with all his weight on his front foot, causing him to struggle to regain balance quickly. However, overall the guy has helped himself as much as anyone down here and looks like a potential starting NFL corner and top-100 pick.

Looks like Josh Norman is making a possible Jerome Simpson-like rise on boards.


Quote:
WesBunting Wesley Bunting
#Miami TE Chase Ford continues to impress, great feel finding soft spots, sneaky burst gettint the football, locates it quickly #shrinegame

Quote:
WesBunting Wesley Bunting
One of the best small school CB crops in years...Justin Bethal and Micah Pellerin have been VG down here as well & warrent picks #Shrinegame
Quote:
WesBunting Wesley Bunting
#FresnoState WR Devon Wylie was one of the few WR/CB's today not playing on skates out of breaks, balanced+explosion=seperation #Shrinegame


Even in the rain, Wylie showing explosiveness. I have to start wondering how far he's going to rocket up if his combine is as good as his performance this week would indicate it will be.

Quote:

WesBunting Wesley Bunting
#BoiseState DE Tyron Crawford did a great job turning speed into power , gained leverage & consistently overpowered on contact #Shrinegame

Crawford is Justin Smith-like in size and could be considered a poor-mans version of him come draft day. He's a guy to keep tabs on. A little under the radar, despite racking up 13.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 3 FF, and 1 FR for a TD. He's 6-4 285 and very athletic -- expected to run in the 4.8 range.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jan 18, 2012 at 3:12 PM ]