The East-West Shrine Game is Saturday, January 17th at 4 PM East Coast Time. NFL Network is going to be carrying it. I'll be watching, and I hope you'll join me. There'll be events throughout the week, some televised, some not. For a schedule of events, click here. For the East Team roster, coached by Mike Singletary, click here. For the West Team roster, coached by Jim Zorn, click here. Zach Zenner? Jamon Brown? Tre McBride? Malcolm Brown? There are some solid young names in this year's game. Are you excited? I'm excited! Let's do some scouting! --Mike B
Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford. Anderson is a 6'6 295 pound defensive lineman from Stanford who projects as a 5th or 6th round pick. He's not an elite athlete, but he knows how to use his hands. Injuries are dropping his draft stock as well. Todd McShay thinks Anderson could outperform his draft position. I think with good coaching he could play a solid role in a line rotation, but he will get overpowered by top tier NFL offensive linemen at times. Here's some film of him in high school, since it's tough to find college highlights of him.
David Andrews, C, Georgia. Andrews is a nice developmental pick at center late in the draft. While he's not going to be an elite pick at the position (he has some balance issues), he does some things well, and teams will take a look at him as a developmental prospect at the tail end of the draft or as a UDFA. While he'll likely start out as a practice squad or inactive player, he's got the talent to work his way onto an active roster in the NFL. He currently projects as an UDFA or 7th round pick.
Mickey Baucus, OT, Arizona. Not to be confused with the senator from Montana, Max Baucus. Baucus projects as a 7th round pick or a UDFA, and is going to need some development to make it at the next level. Scouts love his size, but he's extremely inconsistent. He'll struggle against top level defensive talent, but could find a role as a depth guy or practice squad developmental player on an NFL roster. A strong showing at the Shrine Game would go a long way towards convincing teams to take a chance on him.
Ben Beckwith, G, Mississippi State. Beckwith projects as a 7th round pick, but teams may pick him higher. Beckwith has a history of beating the odds; he made Mississippi State's football team as a walk on and ended his career as a starter with NFL aspirations. He wasn't even rated as a high school player. Beckwith is the type of kid that will probably start out as a developmental pick and could work his way into a role as a solid backup or even a starter in the NFL. I think teams will be intrigued by his history, and someone will take a chance on him late in the draft.
Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma. Blake Bell is a transitioned quarterback who has developed into a decent blocking tight end. He's not going to be an elite prospect at the position, but he'll get looks from teams as a developmental player later in the draft due to his versatility. He projects as a 7th round pick. Here's some film of Bell as a QB. Film of him as a TE is tough to find.
Bernard Blake, CB, Colorado State. Blake projects as a 4th or 5th round draft pick in spring. His numbers aren't elite (1 career interception), but he is an decent coverage corner and outstanding tackler. He's not going to generate a ton of interceptions, and his technique needs to improve in the NFL, but he could be a good player at the next level with proper coaching. There's a lot to like with him, and I could even see a team toying with moving him to safety. Here's some film.
Detrick Bonner, FS, Virginia Tech. Bonner currently projects as a 7th round pick or udfa. He's a great athlete and has played all over the field (linebacker, safety, and corner). While he likely won't be a starter in the NFL, he's an intriguing backup candidate who could see playing time on special teams early on. His form is bad at times, even when making a big play. For example, (film) on this play, while he did break up the pass, Bonner came in without square shoulders and didn't wrap, which would get him burned at the next level. Coaches will want to work on that, and he may spend some time on the practice squad before making the 53 man roster.
Anthony Boone, QB, Duke. Anthony Boone is a 6'0 220 pound senior from Duke, projected as the 22nd best QB in the 2015 draft by www.nfldraftscout.com. While Boone has had a decent career at Duke, he also has average numbers and a bad habit of missing open receivers. While Boone may have a successful NFL career, its likely that he starts out as an undrafted free agent fighting for a roster spot. A collarbone injury in 2013 and Duke's unwillingness to fully commit to Boone (they've used Boone in a QB-by-committee type of approach) will scare NFL teams away from drafting him, but I'm rooting for him to catch on with a team. Here's some film.
Brett Boyko, T, UNLV. Boyko projects as a 7th round pick. He's a bit small for a tackle and doesn't have the quickest feet, so teams may look to move him inside. Expect him to work out at tackle and guard at the Shrine Game. He may catch on as a developmental player on an NFL team or as a practice squad guy.
Da'Ron Brown, WR, Northern Illinois. Brown projects as an undrafted free agent. He comes from a smaller program and doesn't have the best set of hands. That's going to scare some scouts away from him. He is, however, willing to work in the blocking game, which will help him stick as a special teams player or developmental practice squad guy. He'll need some work to see playing time in the NFL however. Here's some film.
Dominique Brown, RB, Louisville. Dominique Brown is an intriguing RB prospect out of Louisville.www.nfldraftscout.com has Brown slated as 5th round pick in a deep class of running backs in 2015. Brown missed the 2012 season with a knee injury sustained during training camp, but has been healthy since and has experience at quarterback, giving him some added versatility. Brown is also a decent receiver out of the backfield. He is used to working in a committee-type of role, and this might be the best approach for him in the NFL as well. He has potential in a Brian Leonard-type of third down role, for example, going in on 3rd and short. Here's some film of him and fellow Louisville RB Michael Dyer.
Jamon Brown, OT, Louisville. Jamon Brown is the second Brown of note from Louisville this draft season. Brown is projected as a 6th or 7th round pick in the draft, and at one point weighed in at 350 pounds. Now, Brown lines up as a 6'6 325 pound draft prospect. This is a kid that worked his butt off, literally and figuratively, for a chance to help his teammates and for a chance to follow his NFL dreams, and this is the type of player I'd feel comfortable spending a late round pick on. Offensive linemen deal with weight issues all the time. A prime example is Andre Smith, who struggled with weight issues as a first round pick with the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown worked hard to get his weight under control before his senior season. That's the type of kid I want on my roster. Here's some film. Brown will succeed as a late round pick, and would be well worth a pick even in the middle of the draft. Jamon Brown could be one of the pleasant "surprises" of this year's draft, but I won't be surprised at all if he performs extremely well in the NFL.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas. Malcolm Brown is one of the more underrated prospects at running back in 2015. He projects as a 5th round pick, but he's been compared to Demarco Murray by some scouts. His problem? Plenty of physical gifts without elite production. That could be coaching though, and as a 5th round pick, Brown could be a steal in 2015 if he pans out; he could be an every down starter in the NFL with proper coaching. Here's some film.
Bryce Callahan, CB, Rice. Callahan is a hard working, driven player that will likely outplay his draft position. He's undersized, but he plays with a good level of intensity. His size and the size of his program will work against him, as he rates as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent currently. A strong showing at the shrine game will go a long way towards changing that for the better.
James Castleman, DT, Oklahoma State. Castleman projects as a 4th or 5th round pick in the draft, and dealt with a foot injury in spring 2013. He's capable of making big plays on defense (example here), but he needs to work on his balance and technique. He'll likely wind up as a rotational player or backup in the NFL, but teams will like his raw talent and will draft him hoping for a guy they can develop.
Sam Carter, SS, Texas Christian. Carter is the type of player that could really benefit from a solid showing at the Shrine Game. He's definitely a developmental prospect at this point; he's a converted QB who needs to improve his tackling skills, but he's capable of making nice plays on the ball (like this one). He projects as an undrafted guy right now, but a good Shrine Game could change that. He's a strong competitor that will work hard to succeed in the NFL.
Anthony Chickillo, DE, Miami. Lost in the glory that is Denzel Perryman, another Miami defensive player is quietly playing very good football. That player is Anthony Chickillo. He projects as a 6th round pick right now. That's just stupid; last year the NFL Draft Advisory Board gave him a 4th to 5th round grade. I'd take him in that range and be extremely happy. There are a few things he could do better (he occasionally gets blown up by elite blockers, and once in a while he doesn't wrap perfectly), but he has the talent to start in the NFL. I think he's going to be a steal in this year's draft. Here's some film.
Gerald Christian, TE, Louisville. Christian projects as a 5th to 6th round pick. He's got all the tools you look for in a tight end prospect; he's got good hands and he's a good blocker. Here's a highlight. He's definitely worth rolling the dice on late in the draft, and at worst could be a nice 2nd tight end on an NFL roster.
Cameron Clemmons, T, Western Kentucky. Clemmons is another player that could definitely benefit from a solid showing at the Shrine Game. He's projected to go undrafted. At 305 pounds, he's extremely small for a tackle, and teams will want to see him put on weight. That being said, a good Shrine week could put him on a team's radar as a developmental pick.
Justin Coleman, CB, Tennessee. Justin Coleman is the type of defensive back that teams will take a look at as a project player at the end of the draft. He makes some heads up plays and some game-changing interceptions, but he's not an elite athlete at the position. Coleman projects as a 6th or 7th round pick at the NFL level, and this ranking is partly because of his size (5'10, 190 pounds), and partly because of lackluster numbers (4 career interceptions). As a late round flier, he's worth a gamble, but I'd prefer a player like Deonte Flowers, the CB from Montana State University at the end of my draft. Coleman will have to produce on special teams early in his career, but could carve out a role in an NFL defense.
Corey Cooper, SS, Nebraska. Cooper projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent. While he does make some nice plays, is an intense competitor, and shows good pursuit, he also tackles poorly and occasionally gets burned on plays by WRs. He'll likely start out as a practice squad guy or developmental player, but he'll get picked up by a team. Scouts like his ability against the run, but he needs to tackle better to see playing time in the NFL. Here's some film.
Jonathon Crockett, RB, North Dakota State. Crockett projects as an undrafted free agent, but he's had a decent final season, and does some things well. Some scouts think he'll slip into the end of the draft. He projects best as a backup or practice squad player. Here's a highlight.
Tyeler Davison, DT, Fresno State. How good is Tyeler Davison? Dane Brugler describes him as a "block eating war daddy." Davison projects as a 4th round pick and could see a decent amount of playing time as a rookie, either as a 3-4 nose tackle or as a rotational DT. Davison isn't going to generate huge numbers, but he'll do something just as valuable. Davison is known for occupying blockers, which helps the players around him put up numbers.
Andre Davis, WR, South Florida. Davis is another guy projected to go in the 7th round or undrafted. He suffered a sternum injury in September, but has recovered from it. He was South Florida's offensive MVP in 2014, and could catch on as a #5 WR in the NFL. He's got solid hands and doesn't make many mistakes. Here's some film.
Titus Davis, WR, Central Michigan. Titus Davis projects as a 5th round pick. He's also possible returner at the next level. Davis is fast. How fast? He's run a 4.38 40. He's a controversial player, some scouts love him because of his production, some knock him because of his technique. He struggles against elite CBs. He's also dealt with some knee injuries. I think he projects as a backup early on. Here's some film.
Dillon Day, C, Mississipi State. Day is a guy teams will look at near the end of the draft as a project player/backup. He was a solid college center, but he's not an elite prospect. He'll struggle against elite talent, but would be well worth taking a chance on late, as he might mature into a starter with some coaching. He projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA.
Miles Dieffenbach, G, Penn State. Dieffenbach would have been one of the top guards in the 2015 draft had he not tore his ACL the spring before his senior year. He worked hard to recover and now projects as a 4th round pick. Dieffenbach is a hard worker that will outplay his draft position if he stays healthy, and he will make some team extremely happy early on. He projects as an elite backup or average starter early in his NFL career.
A.J. Derby, TE, Arkansas. Derby is an extremely intriguing player. While he projects as an undrafted free agent, he's one of the more interesting tight end prospects given his career trajectory. He hasn't racked up huge numbers, but he's a converted QB who's gotten better every year since switching to TE. He was actually a highly recruited QB at the junior college level. He's raw, but he'd be a great guy to pick up in the 7th round or as a UDFA and work with for a few years. His flashes of talent are worth the minimal risk involved. Here's some film of him playing QB in high school. He wasn't bad! Here's a highlight as a TE.
Larry Dixon, FB, US Military Academy. Larry Dixon is a rare breed in draft conversations. He's a fullback. Dixon is projected to go undrafted, but this ranking is a combination of two factors, first, the devaluation of the fullback position in the NFL, and second, the fact that Dixon has a required term of military service before playing in the NFL. Dixon is the type of fullback prospect that can make a major impact in the NFL, but military commitments will put his career on hold. Dixon is a talented runner (here's some film), and was once tackled 34 times in a game against Boston. Boring stat? Not when you consider that for 22 of those tackles he didn't have the ball. A player of Dixon's caliber has the potential to play a major role in an NFL offense, both as a decoy and as a ball carrier. Here's hoping that Dixon has a safe and successful military career and returns home safely. When he gets back, the NFL might just be waiting for him. Teams would be foolish to not take a long hard look at this young man.
Jamil Douglas, G, Arizona State. Douglas projects as a 5th or 6th round pick, but he's going to go higher than that. While he'll be switching from tackle to guard in the pros and has a tendency to play high, this kid is a great athlete. He can squat 565 pounds and has a body fat index in the teens. With coaching, this kid could be an every down starter in the NFL. Here's some film.
B.J. Dubose, DT/DE, Louisville. Dubose projects as an undrafted free agent in 2015. This season was his first season as a starter, and generated solid numbers in both sacks and tackles for loss. A strong showing at the Shrine Game may project him into the later rounds of the draft. He could be a decent rotational guy early in his career. Here's some film.
Kyle Emanuel, DE, North Dakota State. Emanuel projects as an undrafted player, but that should change moving towards the draft. He's been one of the best defensive players in the FCS, and he also performed extremely well against Iowa State, a Big-12 team. That shows he can perform against big-time talent. That being said, scouts do have questions about his athletic ability at the next level. I think he's fine and would make a nice depth player, either as a DE or a 3-4 OLB. Here's some film.
Fritz Etienne, SS, Memphis. Etienne is a small-school safety prospect who spent 2 years playing at Coffeyville Community College before transferring to Memphis. He's projected to go undrafted. Here's some film. Etienne is a player that could either not make an NFL team or could wind up drafted at the end of the draft depending on his performance at the Shrine Game and in the combine. I think he projects as a practice squad player currently.
Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada. Fajardo is a guy who's struggled with accuracy as a college player. He projects as a 5th round pick, and is a potential top 5 QB in this year's draft behind Hundley, Mariota, and Winston, but I don't see him as a franchise-type player. He's too inconsistent. He is a very agile QB, and can make plays on the ground as well as in the air, but his inconsistencies worry me. I think he's a backup at best. Here's some film.
Tayo Fabuluje, T, TCU. Fabuluje projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent. Scouts don't like the fact that he missed the 2013 season or the fact that he gained weight during the offseason. He's also bounced around a bit with transfers. That being said, scouts seem to at least be interested in him, as he has been generating some buzz lately. He'll be a guy to watch in the Shrine Game, and could make a roster as a backup.
Cole Farrand, ILB, Maryland Farrand projects as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He's dealt with injury issues during his career, but he's a tough player that fights through them. He generates a decent amount of tackles when healthy. Some scouts like his ability as a leader, and he could slip into the tail end of the draft. I view him as a backup or practice squad guy. Here's a highlight.
John Feliciano, G, Miami. Feliciano projects as a day 3 prospect, projecting as a 6th or 7th round pick. At 6'4, 316 pounds, he's got decent size for a guard. He's a solid, solid run blocker, and will make a nice backup lineman early on in his career with the potential to develop into a starter.
B.J. Finney, C, Kansas State. Finney is one of the better centers in the 2015 draft, and projects as a 4th or 5th round pick. He could also move to guard in the NFL. While he doesn't have ideal NFL size, scouts like the fact that he can run block and doesn't make mistakes. That'll help him stick with a team early in his career, and he could see some playing time as a rookie.
Parrish Gaines, FS, Naval Academy. Gaines projects as an undrafted free agent, and will have to wait a while to play football at the next level because of his service commitments as a Naval Academy student. He's a decent player with a good skill set, but will need to develop more at the next level to see playing time. Here's hoping that he has a safe and healthy tour of duty and returns home safely with a spot in the NFL waiting for him.
Devin Gardner, WR, Michigan. Devin Gardner is a transitioned quarterback who scouts will be looking at as a WR. He projects as an undrafted free agent, but a team might take a chance on him; teams are always looking at versatile athletes to develop. He doesn't have the fundamentals to stick as an NFL quarterback, but there is always a use in an NFL offense for a WR that can throw the football. Here's some film.
Mark Glowinski, T, West Virginia. Glowinski has played both Tackle and Guard in college, but projects as a tackle in the NFL. He projects as an undrafted free agent, but teams will love his size and versatility. While he'll likely be a backup or practice squad player in the NFL, some team will take a chance on him.
Bryce Hager, LB, Baylor. Hager projects as a 6th or 7th round pick in 2015. He's a tough player who has been in the running for multiple awards and has a good head for the game. That will help him stick with an NFL roster and develop into a solid NFL backup, or even a starter in the right system. He'll be fun to watch at the Shrine Game. Here's a highlight.
Bobby Hart, G/T, Florida State. Hart projects as an undrafted player in 2015, but teams might take a look at him as a utility-type backup lineman at the tail end of the draft. That being said, he's not an elite-type talent and may spend a season or two on a practice squad before being promoted to the active roster.
Benjamin Heeney, ILB, Kansas. Heeney projects as a 4th round draft pick in the 2015 draft, and is one of the better inside linebacker prospects once the elite two (Perryman and McKinney) are off the board. Scouts picture him as a backup or special teams player at the next level, which I agree with early on, but he's got the potential to see more playing time as his career develops. He is capable of making some decent plays. Here's some film.
Taylor Heinicke, QB, Old Dominion. Taylor Heinicke once threw for 730 yards...in a single game. He's probably the best small school QB in this draft, and some analysts are comparing him to Jimmy Garroppolo, thinking that he'll also play in the Senior Bowl. He's a good, consistent player who has the potential to mature into a starter in the NFL with good coaching, but he projects as a backup to start his career. He currently projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA, but I think his stock will climb heading towards the draft. Here's some film.
Greg Henderson, CB, Colorado. Henderson has started every game during his career in Colorado. He projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA, but he's a decent athlete with good awareness. He projects as a practice squad player or special teams guy early on, but he's got the potential to earn a larger role as his career develops. Here's a highlight.
Amarlo Herrera, ILB, Georgia. Herrera projects as an undrafted free agent according to some sources, but might climb into the 6th according to others. He doesn't have ideal size, but he still has the talent to potentially survive as a backup or role player in an NFL defensive scheme. He'll likely be on an NFL roster to open the 2015 season.
Sean Hickey, T, Syracuse. Hickey projects as a 4th or 5th round pick at tackle. He's 6'5, 300 pounds, and could even go higher than the 4th; some scouts have a day 2 grade on him. He'd be a solid NFL backup and has the potential to mature into a starter. His performance at the Shrine Game and combine will go a long way towards sealing his fate in the 2015 draft, and he could definitely benefit from a strong performance in both.
Austin Hill, WR, Arizona. Hill projects as a 3rd or 4th round pick. He suffered a knee injury in 2013, but there are questions about his recovery; he's been held to 4 or fewer receptions in 11 games this season. That will worry teams, and may drop him back to the 6th or 7th. When healthy, Hill has theability to be a solid playmaker, and if he can recover fully and return to his old form, he'll be a steal late in the draft. Here's some film of a healthy Hill.
Zach Hodges, DE, Harvard. Zach Hodges is playing in both the Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl this January. He's a projected 3rd round pick according to www.nfldraftscout.com. However, that rating might be slightly high. Hodges is a project player of sorts and will need time to develop at the next level. He could develop into a solid NFL backup, but he'll need a couple of seasons before he blossoms. The Shrine Game and Senior Bowl will go a long way to help teams make a decision on him. He shows flashes of talent, but he also plays a bit upright and will get swallowed up by NFL-caliber talent on the offensive line. Here's some film.
Chucky Hunter, DT, TCU. Hunter projects as a 5th round pick in 2015. He's a stronger player that can bench 520 pounds and is quick on his feet.He'll be a solid rotational player in the right system, and could make an impact early in his career. Here's a highlight.
Martin Ifedi, DE, Memphis. Ifedi is currently projected as an undrafted free agent and ranked as the 21st best Defensive End in the 2015 NFL draft according to www.nfldraftscout.com. I think that rating is really low. Ifedi came back from injury and played extremely well, and he has played all around in a 3-4 system. Scouts love players that are versatile, and Ifedi is that type of player. He's average in size at 6'3 265 pounds, but let's let his play do the talking. I think he's going to be a steal near the end of the draft, and a strong showing at the Shrine Game will turn teams onto him. The guy has the talent to work himself into a starting role in the NFL, and there is no way he goes undrafted. Here's some film.
Taiwan Jones, OLB, Michigan State. Didn't Taiwan Jones get drafted a few years back? Nope, that was the running back out of Eastern Washington. Jones is a linebacker for Michigan State, who currently projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA. It's tough to find recent film on him, here are some highlights from a couple of seasons ago. Jones is an aggressive player with good instincts, but he doesn't wrap perfectly on every tackle, and this will cause problems for him at the NFL level. That being said, he's versatile and can play both middle and outside linebacker. With a strong showing, Jones could move his way into the middle rounds of the draft.
Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State. NFLdraftscout has Kelly ranked as a 7th round pick or UDFA. He's a dual threat-type of QB, but Kelly is not used to lining up under center (most of his snaps were out of shotgun in college), and is fairly inconsistent with ball placement. That's going to get him into trouble at the NFL level, and I think he winds up as a backup or practice squad player if he sticks with a team. Here's some film. As an interesting side note, Kelly is also a drag racer.
Darius Kilgo, DT, Maryland. Darius Kilgo is one of the main components of Maryland's defense and projects as a 5th or 6th round pick in the NFL draft. Kilgo may get a shot with an NFL team, but his playing technique will need work if he is going to succeed; he plays a bit upright and is slow off the ball. Here's some film. With proper coaching, Kilgo projects as a backup or practice squad player at the NFL level.
Marvin Kloss, K, South Florida. Kickers are always tough to project. Kloss projects as an undrafted free agent, but that projection may be due as much to his off the field history as it is to his onfield production. Kloss was arrested for Grand Theft in 2010 and also failed to gain admission to Florida. His numbers are decent, but they're not as elite as one might hope to see from an NFL hopeful. If Kloss doesn't stick with an NFL team he could make a CFL roster. He's not a bad player, he's just looking at limited opportunities. Here's some film.
Khari Lee, TE, Bowie State. How impressive is Khari Lee's story? Lee started his football career as a walkon at Bowie State and now is hoping to be drafted by an NFL team. He projects as an undrafted free agent, but he has the potential to turn some heads at the Shrine Game. A strong showing this week could pique a team's interest in Lee. I think he starts out as a deep developmental player or practice squad guy, but he could work his way onto an active roster given some time to develop.
Deon Long, WR, Maryland. Deion Long projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA. Scouts will like his speed; he's ran a 4.32 40. He suffered a broken leg in 2013 and has been attacked for a lack of effort at times, which raises questions about his work ethic. That being said, he's an evasive, quick player that can create matchup problems for the opposition. While NFL defensive players are better tacklers than the competition Long faced in college, he's got the talent to make big plays. If he ca mature a bit and work hard at the next level, he's going to be a steal in this year's draft. Here's some film.
Derrick Lott, DT, Tennessee-Chattanooga. Derrick Lott is a small school guy with a big body and a high motor. A transfer from Georgia, he could go anywhere from undrafted to the 2nd or 3rd round. Scouts love his explosiveness, but would like to see him show more consistency. Here's some film. I think he's going to struggle against NFL linemen and will need a few seasons to develop before seeing playing time at the next level, but he could turn some heads at the Shrine Game.
Terrence Magee, RB, Louisiana State. Magee projects as a 6th round pick this spring. He's also returned kicks in college. Magee's averaged 5.4 yards per carry during his senior year. He's a bit faster than Jeremy Hill, the last LSU RB to enter the NFL, and could make a nice change of pace back in the NFL. He's not as dominant as Hill was, but he's wicked fast and could be great in a committee. As a 6th round pick, he's worth it. Here's some film.
Craig Mager, CB, Texas State. Mager is a small school cornerback that projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent in 2015. He hasn't generated a lot of buzz among scouts at this point, but a strong showing at the Shrine Game could change that. He seems to struggle in coverage from time to time however, and will likely spend some time on a practice squad. Here's some film.
Gregg Mancz, C/G, Toledo. Mancz could play either tackle or guard at the NFL level, and will give teams a nice depth option late in the draft; he's currently projected as a 7th round pick or a UDFA. He's got a ton of talent, and he's versatile. Teams are going to like that. I think he makes an NFL roster right out of the gate. For what it's worth, Kiper is high on the kid.
Dean Marlowe, FS, James Madison. Dean Marlowe is one of many relevant small school prospects at safety moving into the 2015 draft. Marlowe has a good nose for the ball (film), and projects as an end of the draft type of player (7th round to undrafted free agent). Teams will take a chance on him because of his raw talent, and Marlowe could emerge as a solid role player in an NFL defense or special teams unit. Marlowe also has experience returning kicks and punts. While he may not become an every down starter on defense, his versatility will help him stick with an NFL roster.
Ali Marpet, T, Hobart. Marpet is a 6'4, 310 offensive line prospect who can play at both offensive tackle and offensive guard. He's playing in both the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Game. Hobart projects as an undrafted developmental player hailing from a tiny program, but a strong showing at the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl would go an extremely long way towards piquing teams' interest in him. He'll need a lot of work to contribute in the NFL, but he could be a decent developmental practice squad player early on. Here's some film on him in high school, since his college film is impossible to find online.
Ronald Martin, FS, Louisiana State. Martin is an intriguing late round prospect in this year's draft. He projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA, but he's shown some flashes of talent. His numbers are decent, but he needs some polishing to make it at the next level. I think he catches onto a team as a developmental prospect at least.
Hutson Mason, QB, Georgia. Mason projects as an undrafted player, starring in an offense clearly based on the run game. His TD-INT ratio in 2014 is 20-4, but he's only cracked 200 yards in a game once. He's an inconsistent passer, but could develop into a decent game manager with some time to mature as a backup. Here's some film.
Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State. Mayle projects as a middle round pick (4th to 5th rounder according to www.nfldraftscout.com). Mayle has the size (6'3, 220 pounds) and athletic ability (he also has played basketball) to draw the atttention of NFL teams. Mayle switched to football full-time in 2012, and dropped 20 pounds prior to this season as a response to scouts questioning his quickness. Mayle is a prospect similar to Jerome Simpson. He's still learning the game, and may not make an immediate impact at the NFL level. However, he is also a far more polished player than Simpson was when drafted, and will likely at least have a decent rookie season en route to a strong NFL career. Here's some film of Mayle as a junior college player with Sierra College. Here's Mayle in 2014 with Washington State. Mayle is a project player of sorts, but a project player with a good chance at success. He's consistently improved as a player, and this improvement will continue in the NFL.
Joey Mbu, DT, Houston. Joey Mbu is a relatively unknown defensive tackle out of Houston. Just a few weeks ago, Mbu was projected to go undrafted. Now www.nfldraftscout.com has him rated as a 4th round pick. He's definitely turning some heads, and is playing in both the Shrine game and the Senior Bowl. This kid is on the rise, and a big performance on in both games would propel him even higher. I like his value as a middle round player. Here's some film.
Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary. Tre McBride projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA, and that's a steal. If he was playing for a bigger program, we could be talking about a 3rd or 4th round pick. He's a solid kick returner, and a clutch WR. He's reminded some experts of Pierre Garcon. Who wouldn't want Pierre Garcon in the 7th round? McBride will make an NFL roster and will make an impact at the next level. I think he's way underrated, and I expect his stock to rise at the Shrine Game. Here's some film.
Bobby McCain, DB, Memphis. McCain is a kick returner and defensive back out of Memphis College. He's another player that www.nfldraftscout.com has projected to go undrafted, but McCain has been a fairly consistent player for Memphis. McCain is a former catcher, and a relatively instinctive player. There's McCain returning kicks. Here's McCain on defense. Here's McCain in high school. While McCain makes some mistakes in coverage, his return skills will likely propel him onto some team's radar, and I expect him to either be drafted late in the draft or sign with a team after the draft. With coaching, he could also eke out a role as a backup or situational cornerback in the NFL. At the very least, he'll find his way onto a team's practice squad.
Shane McDermott, C, University of Miami. McDermott projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA in 2015. Scouts view him as a tough player with great technique, even though he's not an elite athlete. Those skills will help him catch on with a team near the end of the draft. I view him as a backup in the NFL.
Tevin McDonald, SS, Eastern Washington. McDonald projects as an undrafted player, and suffered from a leg injury in 2013. While he didn't make it on UCLA's football team, a note that bodes poorly for his NFL aspirations, McDonald does have a great NFL lineage. His brother, T.J. McDonald, is a starting safety for the St. Louis Rams, and his Dad played in the NFL and is a current CB coach for the Jets. McDonald is also known as a film-room guru, and he's the type of guy that would be extremely useful in practice. I think McDonald's a kid that will work hard and will latch on with a team as a 6th or 7th round pick. While he doesn't have the raw talent that his brother does, he'll make a roster. Here are some highlights from his days at UCLA. McDonald is the type of kid I wouldn't count out just given his work ethic and his background. He could eventually work his way into a starting lineup in the NFL, and will at least be a solid backup.
Darrian Miller, T, Kentucky. Miller currently projects as an undrafted player, but that being said, in 2013, scouts felt like he could make it into the middle rounds of the 2015 draft. Why the decline in stock? Miller may be more suited towards work at guard in the NFL. Teams will likely work him out there at the Shrine Game, and a strong showing would definitely boost his draft stock. Right now he projects as a deep backup.
John Miller, G, Louisville. Miller projects as a 3rd or 4th round pick. While he's not an elite athlete, he's a quick, tough player with a good head on his shoulders. I think Miller could work his way into a team's starting lineup at the next level, and he would definitely benefit from a strong showing at the Shrine Game and Combine. I like him as a player. Here's a highlight (sorry about the quality, as film on offensive linemen is notoriously difficult to find).
Deiontrez Mount, OLB, Louisville. Mount projects as an undrafted player. He moved around a lot at Louisville, and that versatility will likely generate at least some interest among scouts. While Mount won't see the field often as a rookie, a team could pick him up as a project player to develop for a few years.
Keith Mumphery, WR, Michigan State. Mumphery is a guy that is going to struggle to make an NFL team. He's projected to go undrafted, and doesn't do anything exceptionally well, although he's a decent player all-around. That being said, Mumphery is the type of player that could get involved in coaching or mentoring early on. He's a key member of his team's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and has performed extremely well in the classroom. Even if he doesn't make it on the football field, his future is bright. Here's hoping he can latch on with a team. A strong Shrine Game would likely get him a camp invite or contract as a UDFA. Here's some film.
Quayshawn Nealy, ILB, Georgia Tech. Nealy is a project player at linebacker. While he does make some big plays, his technique needs work. He projects as an undrafted player. That being said, he's great at reading plays in action, and that will help him latch on with an NFL team. He needs to improve his tackling technique and get a bit more physical to become relevant in the NFL however. Here's some film.
Darragh O'Neill, P, Colorado. O'Neill is one of the better college punters in the country, and could find a spot on an NFL roster this spring. He projects as a 7th round pick or UDFA. O'Neill averaged 44.6 yards per punt this year and has started for four straight seasons in college.
Damian Parms, FS, Florida Atlantic. Parms is another small school player projected to go undrafted. He's an obscure enough player that its tough to find film of him online, but here's some film of him playing football and basketball in high school. The Shrine Game can potentially strongly benefit players like Parms, who are fairly unknown.
David Parry, DT, Stanford. David Parry projects as an undrafted free agent, and he's going to need a really strong showing at the Shrine Game or in the Combine to find a match with an NFL team; scouts haven't given him much attention. Right now, he projects as a practice squad-type player if he catches on with a team. Here's some film of him in high school.
Terry Poole, OT, San Diego State. Terry Poole projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agentaccording to www.nfldraftscout.com. In 2013, Poole gave up only 2 sacks in 461 snaps, so he is capable of producing on the offensive line. He's a strong player and shows good burst off of the line, but Poole will likely fall late in the draft. Here's some film.
MyCole Pruitt, TE, Southern Illinois State. MyCole Pruitt is a solid small school prospect at tight end. He projects as a 5th round pick, but has received some attention as a small school player, even being featured in a www.nfl.com article highlighting small school players to watch. Pruitt has scored 12 TDs on 71 receptions this year, and may rise on draft boards with a good performance on the Shrine Game. Here's some film. Pruitt will likely make an NFL roster in 2015.
Travis Raciti, DT, San Jose State. Raciti has played Defensive Tackle in both a 3-4 and 4-3 system, and while he struggled in a 3-4 he has been solid in a 4-3. He projects as a 3rd or 4th round pick. He's got good fundamentals, and decent tackling skills, even though he tends to get caught up at the line of scrimmage from time to time. He'll be a solid rotational player in the right system at the next level. Here's some film.
Collin Rahrig, C, Indiana. Rahrig projects as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He's started games at center, left guard, and right guard in college, and that versatility could help him stick with an NFL roster. While Rahrig isn't an elite athlete at any position, teams like guys that can play multiple positions for depth purposes, and Rahrig could stick as a backup on an NFL roster due to his experience playing in multiple spots.
Jermauria Rasco, DE, Louisiana State. Rasco projects as a 6th or 7th round pick in this year's draft, and may be better suited as a OLB in a 4-3 at the next level; he's got a decent motor and decent footwork, but he's going to struggle against NFL offensive linemen. However, he's a bit slow to make the shift. I think Rasco winds up as a developmental prospect or practice squad player early on, but a team will take a chance on him with a strong showing at the Shrine Game and/or combine. Here's some film.
Addison Richards, WR, Regina. Richards is a halfway decent WR prospect, but he comes from a very small school with Regina. He hasn't gotten much attention from scouts, and while he does make some big plays in college, they've been against a far lower level of competition than what he'll see in the NFL. The Shrine Game will go a long way towards deciding his NFL fate. His route running could use improvement but he's got the ability to make plays. Here's some film.
Jordan Richards, SS, Stanford. Richards is an extremely hard hitter (here's a highlight). He's one of the better Strong Safeties in this year's draft and projects as a 3rd to 4th round pick. He's an extremely physical player, and has been consistently productive in college. Richards has the potential to eventually start in the NFL.
Curtis Riley, CB, Fresno State. Riley projects as a 5th or 6th round pick. He's a hard-hitting player and does some things well. However, he doesn't generate a ton of turnovers. He'll likely wind up as a developmental player on a roster, but could also make an impact on special teams. Here's some film.
Aaron Ripkowski, FB, Oklahoma. Ripkowski projects as an undrafted player in 2015. He's overaggressive at times, and is perhaps most often remembered for being ejected from a game against Kansas State with a helmet-to-helmet block that would have drawn a fine, a 15 yard penalty, an ejection, and probably a suspension in the NFL. Given the extremely small market for fullbacks in the NFL, Ripkowski will likely struggle to make an NFL team.
Corey Robinson, OT, South Carolina. Robinson projects as a 5th round pick. He's a big boy at 6'7, 344 pounds, and scouts are going to love his size. With more consistent technique, he'd be a first round talent. His inconsistencies will drop him a bit, but he will make some team very happy in the middle of the draft. He has the talent to become an elite backup or a decent starter.
Edmond Robinson, OLB, Newberry. Edmond Robinson is a small school player from Newberry who could see his stock rise drastically with a solid performance at the Shrine Game. Robinson is projected to go undrafted, but has played football since 3rd grade, and once had 2 interceptions, 14 solo tackles, and a td both as a RB and as a WR, all in one game. Robinson is an relatively unknown player so far, but I expect his stock to rise at the Shrine Game. He may go undrafted, but a solid showing may earn him a spot in camp this coming summer.
Spencer Roth, P, Baylor. Roth is one of the best college punters in the nation and projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent. Roth's average distance is a bit short compared to other punter prospects, but Roth rarely punted from deep in his own territory. Rather, Roth was expected to pin opponents deep. This helps to offset his comparably low average of 43.3 yards per punt this year. He could make an NFL roster.
Ezell Ruffin, WR, San Diego State. Ruffin is a weird prospect to evaluate. He's got good hands and the talent to be a decent NFL slot receiver, but he's had some injury issues and suffered from poor quarterback play for stretches of his career. Here's some film. I've seen Ruffin projected anywhere from UDFA to middle round pick, so he's definitely a guy that would benefit from a solid showing at the Shrine Game. He has been timed with a 4.37 40, and that will turn the heads of some scouts. He's not a guy I'm extremely excited about, but he's not a bad player either.
Ryan Russell, DE, Purdue. Russell projects as an undrafted free agent or 7th round pick. He's an intriguing prospect. He's got the physical gifts to be an every down starter at the NFL level, but he's extremely inconsistent on the field. Russell is a guy that could heavily benefit from NFL coaching. He'll probably start out as a backup or in a rotation. Here's some film.
Jake Ryan, OLB, Michigan. Jake Ryan is one of the better known players in the Shrine Game this year, and may even be a top 50 pick this spring. Ryan missed time last year with a torn ACL, and shifted from OLB to MLB for Michigan this year, but expect him to be drafted relatively high in 2015.
Niklas Sade, K, North Carolina State. Sade projects as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He was extremely prolific in college, setting multiple school records. However, scouts will want to see him make kicks consistently from beyond 50 yards before committing to him. Here's some film.
Wes Saxton, TE, South Alabama. Saxton is playing in both the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Game. He's a very average TE prospect and projects as a 4th or 5th round pick. I think he's going to struggle as a pass catcher in the NFL since he has had issues with drops in college, so I don't see him as an every down starter at the next level. He'd be an ok backup though. Here's some film.
Adam Shead, G, Oklahoma. Shead is an intriguing prospect to watch at the Shrine Game this year. He's started every game of his college career, and scouts love both his technique and his knowledge of the game. He projects as a 5th or 6th round pick and will likely be a solid backup early in his NFL career with the potential to develop into a starter.
Tye Smith, CB, Towson. Tye Smith is another small school player, and projects as a 7th round draft pick or UDFA. His technique is solid and he's been one of the better CBs in the FCS. What's dropping him in the draft is his size; he's 6'0, 170 pounds, and at his weight he'll get overpowered by NFL WRs. He's fast, he's intelligent, and he's a solid player. If he can put on some weight he'll be a solid addition to an NFL team at the end of the draft. At the worst he'd be a solid special teams player.
Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky. Smith projects as a 4th or 5th round pick. Scouts like his hand use, but I think he's going to struggle against NFL blockers. Plus, his tackling technique needs a lot of work. While he does some things well, such as getting into the air to obstruct a passer's view, he also needs improvement if he's going to be a regular component of an NFL defense. I view him as a backup at this point in his career. Here's some film.
Damian Swann, CB, Georgia. Damian Swann is a turnover machine. The guy forces fumbles and picks off passes regularly. Scouts are going to love that about him. That being said, he's one of the lesser-hyped players in the 2015 draft, projecting as a 6th round pick. His technique needs a bit more polishing to be competitive at the next level on a regular basis, but he's a decent late option. Here's some film.
AJ Tarpley, LB, Stanford. Tarpley reminds me a bit of Shane Skov in skill level. Very solid college player, but may have trouble drawing a team's interest. He's a solid tackler, and he's solid in the passing game, but scouts just aren't high on him. I think he could make an impact at the NFL level if a team rolls the dice on him. He projects as a 6th to 7th round pick. Here's a highlight.
Jordan Taylor, WR, Rice. Taylor is a big wide receiver at 6'5. He projects as a 6th or 7th round pick. Taylor has struggled with inconsistency at times, and struggled with a foot injury earlier this season. After his injury, Taylor was on fire, with 48 catches for 780 yards and 6 TDs over 8 games. He's not a guy that's going to be an every-down big play threat, but he will be solid in the short-yardage game and could prosper in a West Coast style offense at the next level. He's more of a short receiver than a vertical threat. Here's some film.
Cam Thomas, CB, Western Kentucky. Thomas projects as a 3rd or 4th round pick. He's a small school prospect that is going to be interesting to watch against top competition at the Shrine game. He occasionally tends to fall behind a bit in coverage, but he is a hard worker on and off the field. His biggest problem is he improvises a bit too much trying to make big plays. If he can work on consistency, he could be a starting NFL CB eventually. Here's some film.
Dylan Thompson, QB, South Carolina. Thompson projects as an undrafted free agent. His career TD to interception ratio is 38:16, and he has thrown picks at costly times, which will lead teams to shy away from him as a prospect. He also spent most of his career as Connor Shaw's backup. Thompson projects as a practice squad guy early in his career. Here's some film.
Davis Tull, DE, Tennessee-Chattanooga. Tull projects as a 7th round pick, and will play either DE or 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He's got an interesting story. No team wanted him on signing day out of high school, and he made his way as a walk-on. Here's a kid that'll go into the NFL with a chip on his shoulder. He faces questions about his size and speed, but he's got great technique, and that will help him stick with an NFL team. He'll need to improve to see the field on a regular basis though. Here's some film.
James Vaughters, OLB, Stanford. Vaughters projects as a 5th or 6th round pick, but may struggle early on at the next level. He's not quite as athletic as some other linebacker prospects late in the draft. That being said, he does have a high motor and plays hard, and that will help him stick on an NFL roster. He'll likely start out as a backup.
Zachary Vigil, LB, Utah State. Vigil projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent, but he'll go higher than that. He's got good instincts and is capable of making plays, and plays until the whistle on every snap. That being said, he'll struggle against top blocking talent in the NFL at times. He's a perfect guy for a team to grab and develop for a couple of seasons, and could be a top tier backup or fringe starter in a couple of seasons. He'd be a great value late. Here's some film.
Brandon Vitable, OG, Northwestern. Brandon Vitable is a projected 6th or 7th round pick from Northwestern who will play at either center or guard in the NFL. He's not an elite offensive lineman, but teams will like his versatility and he will find a spot on an NFL roster, likely as a backup, due to his ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line. Expect the coaches at the Shrine game to get him work at multiple spots during practices that week.
Darren Waller, WR, Georgia Tech. Waller is a guy I really like later in the draft. He could jump into the 6th round of the draft. Even though he's only caught 40 balls in his career, he's got great hands and shows flashes of NFL talent. I think he makes it as a #4 WR on a team with the potential to do more. Here's some film.
Leterrius Walton, DT, Central Michigan. Leterrius Walton is a huge player at 6'5, 300 pounds. Right now he projects as an undrafted free agent and hasn't garnered much attention from scouts, largely due to the level of competition he's faced. That could change with a strong showing at the Shrine Game. He's quick on his feet for a player of his size, but he'll need to work to make an NFL roster. He projects as a practice squad guy right now.
Tony Washington, OLB, Oregon. Washington projects as a 5th or 6th round pick at this point. Scouts view him as a DE/OLB "tweener" right now; he's a decent pass rusher but there are questions; he may not be strong enough to start at DE or fast enough to start at OLB. I think he grades out as a pass rusher to be used in certain packages. Here's a highlight.
Daryl Waud, DT, Western University-Ontario. Waud is a guy that hasn't gotten a lot of attention in the US as of yet; he's a Canadian player. These guys tend to get overlooked until the Shrine Game, which is one of the best parts about the game. I think Waud has the potential to be decent at the next level. He's fast, and he makes plays. While he'll have to prove he can adjust to play against NFL-caliber talent, the Shrine Game will help to show he can at least compete against American prospects. I'm intrigued by his talent, and think he could be a steal near the tail end of the draft in the 6th or 7th. Here's some film.
Kasen Williams, WR, Washington. Williams projects as a 6th or 7th round pick, and is coming off of a 2013 foot injury. Williams is a guy that was extremely highly scouted out of high school but never really blossomed in college against a higher level of competition. He's got the physical gifts to make plays, but needs to work on his consistency. He projects as a developmental guy early on. Here's some film.
Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa. Xavier Williams is another small school player featured by nfl.com. He currently projects as a 7th round pick or undrafted free agent, but a strong showing at the Shrine Game could easily change that. Williams is great on special teams, and blocked 5 kicks in one season. He's a defensive leader for Northern Iowa, and could be a solid, solid part of an NFL rotation on the defensive line. Williams is an extremely valuable pick late in the draft and could see his stock rise heading into spring. Here's some film.
Zach Zenner, RB, South Dakota State. Zach Zenner is my favorite player in this game and one of my favorite players in this draft class. His stock is going to continue to rise going into the Shrine Game, and someone is going to take a chance on this kid. I think he's one of the better running backs in this year's class, and he's definitely the best RB out of the FCS. Zach Zenner leaves the FCS third all time in rushing yards, 11 yards out of first place. The player 11 yards ahead of him? Adrian Peterson, RB, Georgia Southern. Peterson was drafted by the Chicago Bears and his career never got off the ground. Zenner is a better player than Peterson, and will make some team very happy in spring. How much do I like Zenner? Here are a couple of posts on him (here and here). I'm excited to watch him.