ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shrine Game Preview

It's a colorful game.
This year's first College Football All-Star game comes tomorrow, Saturday the 22nd at 4pm on the NFL Network.  For those of you without the NFL Network look at where there is usually a live stream of all the day's sporting events.   Although the Shrine game is the oldest of the bunch it has recently become the second tier game to the Senior Bowl.  The game tomorrow is going to feature a lot more of the mid-round picks than it will the 1st round guys featured in next Saturday's Senior Bowl game.  However, it's still worth your while because this is the game that allows a lot of Senior guys to showcase themselves and become this year's Draft steals.

Marvin Austin jumps Tyrod Taylor
Here is a short list of who you should keep an eye on.
  • Marvin Austin DT, UNC 6'3" 300 lbs.  Austin was suspended for the entire 2010 season due to improper contact with an agent.  Take that for what it's worth, but it doesn't mean that he can't play football.  Austin had a lot to prove going into this season so it's a shame he was banned by the NCAA.  His athleticism for a guy his size is outstanding.  Austin needed to show that he plays with the "non-stop" motor that scouts like so much and it's going to be very hard for him to show that tomorrow having not played football all year.  He should be a terror against a limited offensive line in this game and more than likely fly up draft boards.  If he plays like a complete monster he could go as early as the late 1st round.  SKOHR's grade: 2nd Round
  • Pat Devlin QB, Delaware 6'3" 225 lbs.  This Blue Hen transfered from Penn State after the 2008 season to become the next great Happy Vally to Delaware QB hope, after Joe Flacco did the same thing a few years before him.  Devlin has ideal size for a QB and an above average arm.  He led the Blue Hens to the NCAA FCS COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS Championship game where they lost to the #1 seed Eastern Washington.  Devlin had only 3 interceptions on the season.  He'll need to show his pocket presence and accuracy in tomorrow's game.  Right now it seems like the top 4 QBs are set for April's draft but behind them it's a toss up right now for who is the 5th.  Tomorrow's game will really help out Devlin if he looks impressive.  Fortunately for him he'll be throwing to the Shrine game's best WR in Toliver.  SKOHR's grade: 3rd Round
  • Terrence Toliver WR, LSU 6'3" 208 lbs.  Toliver seems like he has been the #1 WR at LSU for the last 5 years.  He was widely expected to break out this season but his production really slipped.  Toliver had only 2 games that he scored TDs in this season and not coincidentally those games were also the only 2 in which he had more than 3 catches or 50 yards receiving.  This could have been more of a QB problem though, LSU was 107th in the country in passing offense. He has been plagued by drops before so he'll really need to show strong hands and the ability to consistently catch the ball away from his body tomorrow.  With his size and speed, if he can prove his hands, Toliver could end up in the 2nd round.  SKOHR's grade: 3rd Round
  • Graig Cooper RB, Miami 6' 208 lbs. Cooper has fallen victim to injuries throughout his very promising collegiate career.  Cooper has excellent speed, agility, vision and he has showcased his ability to run hard until a very serious knee injury in last year's Bowl game which he is only now recovering from.  Cooper will have to prove that he is fully back in order to get drafted in the earlier rounds of the draft.  He has all of the physical ability to be a great back in the NFL and with some added bulk could even be a featured RB but scouts will have a hard time forgetting about that knee injury.  SKOHR's grade: 4th round
  • Jah Reid OT, USF 6'7" 320 lbs.  Reid is a three year starter at Right Tackle for the Central Florida Knights.  He is a huge guy with great quickness for a man his size.  Reid will have to prove that he is strong enough to stuff the bull rush from more powerful Defensive Ends.  Unfortunately for him, he is going to face off against his UCF teammate Bruce Miller tomorrow.  Miller is a smaller speed rushing DE who Reid should have no problem stopping but doesn't really help answer any questions.  Reid will need to be solid tomorrow then have a very good combine to bump himself up into the 2nd tier of Offensive Tackles.  SKOHR's grade: 3rd Round
Pat Devlin slings one

There has been some great coverage on the Shrine game practices done by the CBS guys and ESPN's Scouts Inc. team headed by Todd McShay.  The Scouts Inc guys just wrote up a great piece detailing the more exciting matchups to watch in tomorrow's game right here, so check that out before the game but I'll give you a quick breakdown.
  • Big Clemson OT, Chris Hairston vs. Speed Rushing Nevada DE, Dontay Moch
  • Size speed combo FAU WR, Lester Jean vs. Aggressive lanky Citadel CB, Cortez Allen
  • Solid small school Lehigh OG, William Rackley vs. Explosive UCLA DT, David Carter
  • Hoops transfer USC TE, Jordan Cameron vs. Physical Ohio State S, Jermale Hines
  • Smooth speedster SMU WR, Aldrick Robinson vs. Smart tough Richmond CB, Justin Rogers
So go watch the game tomorrow and let me know what you think.  Does anyone here have a chance to be this year's steal of the draft?

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