The East West Shrine Game is tomorrow, Saturday, at 4 PM. Who's excited? I'm excited! I can't wait to watch it! NFL Network's coverage of the game starts at 4 East Coast time. Some of my favorite guys are getting lots of love this week! I already covered McBride in a previous post, but let's look at some of the other guys:
Here's what nfl.com has to say about Jamon Brown:
With a big, thick, strong body, Brown has really stood out during practice this week. The former Cardinal has played both tackle positions and guard, but I think he will fit best as a guard in the NFL.
I've also talked up Brown heading into this week. Here's my analysis:
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.
You heard it here first, and his performance this week will help get teams interested in him. Brown isn't the only guy I've talked up getting lots of love. If you've read my other posts on this site, you know that Zach Zenner is my favorite player in this year's Shrine Game. Here's what the NFL.com article linked above had to say about him:
Zenner goes hard on every snap and in every drill. He kept making plays this week, whether it was catching the ball out of the backfield or running the ball on an inside drill. He's not a big name, coming from South Dakota State, but I think a lot of teams will be intrigued by him.
This week is exactly what Zenner needed. I think that his strong performance at the Shrine Game will help him gain ground in the draft, and he could wind up being an early-middle round pick after the Combine. How much do I love Zenner as a player? This much.
Deion Long is getting some love too. Here's their discussion of him:
Deon Long, WR, Maryland. He's played much of his career in the shadow of the much more highly touted Terrapins wide receiver, Stefon Diggs, but Long might have been the best wide receiver I saw here this week. He's very good out of his breaks and showed some toughness in his route running. He made a lot of contested catches, and certainly doesn't lack any confidence.
Here's my analysis.
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.
Taiwan Jones is also getting some love from nfl.com. Here's what Charles Davis had to say about him on nfl.com:
Jones looks like an old-school middle linebacker at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, but he can run. He has a suddenness to him that you might not expect from a guy his size. Jones definitely brings the thump with him.
Here's my writeup:
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.
His performance likely will propel him higher in the draft. He's shown that he can make plays against an elite level of competition, and will find his way onto a team.
Martin Ifedi has turned some heads this week too. Here's what Dane Brugler had to say about him on cbs sports after a strong showing in practice on Tuesday:
Ifedi has somewhat of a DE/DT tweener frame and skill-set, but looked effective in both spots during drills. Off the edge, he used natural dip and body momentum to ride the offensive tackles' hip before showing the strong hands to finish in the pocket. And then lining up inside, Ifedi was able to use his foot quickness and upper body power in unison to rip and shed past blockers.
Although a knee injury limited him in 2014, Ifedi has flashed on tape and it wouldn't be a surprise if he uses this platform in St. Petersburg as a launching pad up draft boards.
Compare that to our analysis before Shrine Week:
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.
Another player we got right was Darren Waller, who is generating a ton of hype after a strong showing this week. To quote analyst Tony Pauline:
Darren Waller/WR/Georgia Tech -- Waller was another who came out of the gate hot and physically dominated opponents in the early going. He's an impressive specimen and, at 6-6, 240, he looks as though he could be a successful small forward in the NBA if his NFL career doesn't pan out. During full scrimmage Waller was just okay, but the impression he left on scouts at the start of practice will surely last.
Here's my analysis from before Shrine 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.
One guy that's getting a lot of love from Draft analyst Tony Pauline is John Feliciano:
Jonathan Feliciano/G/Miami-Fl -- Feliciano was not dominant today rather very steady and workmanlike. He wasn't flashy, but at the same time Feliciano never got beat. It was the type of performance that pushes a player into the middle rounds of the draft, which is where Feliciano, 6-5, 320, will hope to hear his name called.
Here's our analysis:
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.
Hopefully these great players and all the players in the game have a great game tomorrow, and stay healthy throughout the course of it. Best of luck to everybody taking the field, and here's to a fun day of scouting!
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