Quarterbacks

Most to Prove: Easton Stick, North Dakota State

Sleeper: Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State

Biggest Question: Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss

Most Ability: Brett Rypien, Boise State

Keep an Eye on: Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State

East:
  • Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss
  • Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State
  • David Blough, Purdue

The East definitely has the weaker QB group this year. There’s some stuff to like with Jordan Ta’amu, Taylor Cornelius, and David Blough, but it’s hard to see any of these guys getting drafted. Ta’amu has the best chance thanks to his mobility and clean mechanics, but a big week in St. Petersburg is important. Cornelius has the size (6-6, 225 pounds) and arm talent, but not much else. Blough is a tough QB with impressive leadership traits.

West:
  • Brett Rypien, Boise State
  • Easton Stick, North Dakota State
  • Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State

This year the West has one of the most talented QB groups in recent East-West Shrine Game history. Brett Rypien is one of the top QB prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft and this week could lock him into being a second-round pick. His arm talent, consistent accuracy, and footwork will impress scouts. Easton Stick is an NFL Draft Twitter favorite who has some NFL starter traits. Teams are going to love his athleticism and accuracy, but he’ll need to show that he has enough arm. McMaryion has a solid arm and throwing mechanics, but won’t be more than a camp arm.

Running Backs

Most to Prove: Darnell Woolfolk, Army

Sleeper: Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh

Biggest Question: Ty Johnson, Maryland

Most Ability: Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska

Keep an Eye on: Qadree Ollison, Pittsburgh

 East:

  • Ty Johnson, Maryland
  • Jordan Ellis, Virginia
  • Darnell Woolfolk, Army
  • Marquis Young, UMASS

Just like with the QBs, the East has the clear weaker group of running backs. Ty Johnson is interesting with some nice quickness and major burst, but had a down year and battled injuries. Jordan Ellis has some size, burst, and contact balance that should get him in a training camp. If Darnell Woolfolk didn’t have an Army commitment he’d be talked about more. He has a lot of Mike Tolbert to his game. Marquis Young has solid size (6-1, 215 pounds) and lateral agility. He has some special teams upside.

West:
  • Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska
  • Qadree Ollison, Pittsburgh
  • Nick Brossette, LSU
  • Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh

Unlike the East, every running back in the West has the ability to make an NFL roster and even get drafted. One of the best prospects in St. Petersburg is Nebraska RB Devine Ozigbo. He’s going to shoot up boards and a big week will be huge. Ozigbo is a bruiser at 6-0, 235 pounds with incredible contact balance. He has the ability to be a rotational runner in the NFL. Qadree Ollison has a fun skill set. He’s 6-2, 225 pounds with pass catching upside, a willingness in pass pro, and great contact balance. Nick Brossette isn’t the classic big time LSU runner, but he’s in the Spencer Ware mold and has the ability to make a team. Darrin Hall can really help himself this week. His contact balance and burst are going to impress scouts.

Wide Receivers

Most to Prove: Cody Thompson, Toledo

Sleeper: Jamal Custis, Syracuse

Biggest Question: Ryan Davis, Auburn

Most Ability: DaMarkus Lodge

Keep an Eye on: KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State

East:
  • DaMarkus Lodge, Ole Miss
  • Jamal Custis, Syracuse
  • Ryan Davis, Auburn
  • Terry Godwin, Georgia
  • Jesper Horsted, Princeton
  • Terry Wright, Purdue

Everybody knows it’s a hella deep WR class in the 2019 NFL Draft. That’s why the East-West Shrine Game has such a strong group. The best player at the entire Shrine Game is Ole Miss WR DaMarkus Lodge. He has the ability to be a top 50 pick and a top five WR in the class. Lodge should cook all week with his elite release, nuanced route running, and downfield speed. Jamal Custis is the guy teams will love the size of at 6-5, 213 pounds. He’s smooth for a big man with awesome ball adjustment and 50/50 skills. After that the East group drops off a bit to guys who will need to show special teams ability.

West:
  • KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
  • Cody Thompon, Toledo
  • Shawn Poindexter, Arizona
  • Jonathan Duhart, Old Dominion
  • Ron’Quavion Tarver, Utah State
  • Brody Oliver, Colorado Mines

The two big names in the West’s WR group are KeeSean Johnson and Cody Thompson. Johnson can really put himself on the map this week. He has a well-rounded game with maybe the best hands in St. Petersburg. He’ll be a Day 3 pick, but has a lot of upside as a contributor on offense. Thompson will have “football guys” in love with him. He loves to trash talk and excels on special teams. Thompson lacks athleticism, but has solid hands, ball adjustment skills, and YAC ability. Shawn Poindexter, Jonathan Duhart, Ron’Quavion Tarver, and Brody Oliver all have impressive size, but will need to show a willingness to play special teams.

Tight Ends

Most to Prove: Kendall Blanton, Missouri

Sleeper: Daniel Helm, Duke

Biggest Question: Matthew Sokol, Michigan State

Most Ability: Kendall Blaton, Missouri

Keep an Eye on: CJ Conrad, Kentucky

East:
  • CJ Conrad, Kentucky
  • Daniel Helm, Duke
  • Matthew Sokol, Michigan State

The tight end group as a whole at the Shrine Game isn’t overly impressive. The East’s group probably won’t have anybody drafted. If CJ Conrad has a nice week blocking that’ll help him a ton. He’s not athletic, but has trustworthy hands and will need to play special teams to make a roster. Daniel Helm is the best athlete of this group and a decent receiver, but doesn’t add much as a blocker. Matthew Sokol isn’t an NFL player.

West:
  • Kendall Blanton, Missouri
  • Andrew Beck, Texas
  • Kano Dillon, Oregon

By far the most intriguing tight end at the Shrine Game is Missouri’s backup TE Kendall Blanton. He was Albert O’s backup for the Tigers, but Blanton has skill and size. At 6-6, 260 pounds with a willingness to block, he should make a team. He adds some redzone ability with solid ball adjustment skills. Andrew Beck is a solid blocker with fine hands and could make a roster as a UDFA.

Offensive Tackles

Most to Prove: Martez Ivey, Florida

Sleeper: Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls

Biggest Question: Paul Adams, Missouri

Most Ability: Tyree St. Louis, Miami

Keep an Eye on: Ryan Pope, San Diego State

East:
  • Tyree St. Louis, Miami
  • Martez Ivey, Florida
  • Justin Skule, Vanderbilt
  • Olisaemeka Udoh, Elon
  • Ethan Greenidge, Villanova

By far the most talented offensive tackles at the Shrine Game are in this East group with Tyree St. Louis and Martez Ivey. St. Louis didn’t have quite the year people expected, but he has traits. He’s 6-5, 305 pounds with clean footwork and heavy hand use. A strong week could make him a late Day 2 pick in a weaker OL class. Ivey is a former huge recruit who never fully lived up to it at Florida. He has the versatility to play OT or OG. His athleticism and mentality as a run blocker are fun, but he has a lot to clean up in terms of technique. Justin Skule could make a team as a UDFA swing tackle.

West:
  • Paul Adams, Missouri
  • Ryan Pope, San Diego State
  • Jackson Barton, Utah
  • Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls
  • Alex Bookser, Pittsburgh
  • Brian Wallace, Arkansas

This isn’t a super talented group, but there’s some solid football players who could make rosters. Paul Adams has size and is a solid pass blocker. Ryan Pope is massive and makes up for a lack of athleticism with a run mauling mentality. Jackson Barton also has size and a decent anchor. The guy to really watch is Trey Pipkins from tiny Sioux Falls. Pipkins dominated NAIA competition and has great size at 6-7, 307 pounds. If he brings it this week expect his name to start buzzing.

Interior Offensive Linemen

Most to Prove: Jesse Burkett, Stanford

Sleeper: Josh Keenoy, Western Michigan

Biggest Question: Lanard Bonner, Arkansas State

Most Ability: Tyler Jones, NC State

Keep an Eye on: Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky

East:
  • Tyler Jones, NC State
  • Lamont Gaillard, Georgia
  • Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky
  • Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
  • Alec Eberle, Florida State
  • Frederick Johnson, Florida
  • Nick Allegretti, Illinois
  • Joshua Miles, Morgan State

Overall the Shrine Game got an impressive group of interior offensive linemen. Tyler Jones played left tackle at NC State, but is best fit for guard in the NFL. He’s a smooth mover with great hand placement, and a strong anchor in pass pro. Jones could really move his name up the board this week. Lamont Gaillard is an undersize center, but a smart and technically skilled player who can be a depth player in the league. Bunchy Stallings is a name to watch. He has decent size and is a mean SOB on the field who excels in the run game. Sean Rawlings, Alec Eberle, and Frederick Johnson will be in training camps.

West:
  • Jesse Burkett, Stanford
  • Lanard Bonner, Arkansas State
  • John Keenoy, Western Michigan
  • Nick Linder, Indiana
  • Oshea Dugas, Louisiana Tech
  • Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Michigan
  • Keaton Sutherland, Texas A&M

The best center at the Shrine Game belongs to the West with Stanford’s Jesse Burkett. He didn’t have the year some expected, but he’s got everything NFL teams look for in a center. Burkett is technically sound in pass pro with strong hands and good bend. In the run game he’s a finisher and that helps makeup for a lack of athleticism. Lanard Bonner is an offensive tackle who’s moving inside. His size (6-5, 310 pounds) and strength will garner attention. Josh Keenoy is a sleeper center who’s a strong run blocker. Nick Linder is Jaguars starting center Brandon Linder’s brother and he’ll need to have a big week.

Defensive Line

Most to Prove: Mathieu Betts, Laval

Sleeper: Kyle Phillips, Tennessee

Biggest Question: Daylon Mack, Texas A&M

Most Ability: Michael Dogbe, Temple

Keep an Eye on: Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State 

East:
  • Michael Dogbe, Temple
  • Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech
  • Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State
  • Mathieu Betts, Laval
  • Kyle Phillips, Tennessee
  • Chris Slayton, Syracuse
  • Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati
  • Kevin Wilkins, Rutgers

Sticking “defensive line” together is old football thinking. They should be split by edge defender and interior D-line, but oh well I guess. The East has a strong D-line group led by Michael Dogbe and Ricky Walker, both interior guys. Dogbe isn’t a big name yet, but the Shrine Game should change that for him. He’s not huge (6-2, 280 pounds), but he’s got a hot motor and technical skills. Despite lack of size he holds the point well and uses quickness to make plays in the backfield. Walker also lacks some size, but makes up for it with quickness and a motor. Both these guys are Day 3 picks. Jordan Brailford is the biggest name on the edge. He’s versatile and has an awesome motor. Mathieu Betts is dominant player from Canada who could get himself drafted with a big week. Kyle Phillips is an underrated run defender and looks like a classic 5-Tech.

West:
  • Landis Durham, Texas A&M
  • Daylon Mack, Texas A&M
  • Daniel Wise, Kansas
  • Armon Watts, Arkansas
  • Chris Nelson, Texas
  • Markus Jones, Angelo State
  • Derick Roberson, Sam Houston State
  • Joel Van Pelt, Calgary

Both the guys with the most hype in the West D-line group are from Texas A&M. Landis Durham is an edge with some nice athletic traits and decent bend around the edge. If he dominates one-on-ones his name will rise. Daylon Mack is a hefty (6-1, 335 pounds) nose tackle who will make the NFL for his ability vs the run. He needs to show he’s more than a limited role player this week. Daniel Wise is the brother of Patriots defensive lineman Deatrich Wise and plays hard with nice leverage. He should find a role as a run defender. Armon Watts has nice size, but just one year of production. He has the tools to find a role as a 5-Tech. The rest of the group needs to have a big week to help their shots at being in a camp.

Linebackers

Most to Prove: BJ Blunt, McNeese State

Sleeper: Cole Holcomb, North Carolina

Biggest Question: Khalil Hodge, Buffalo

Most Ability: Malik Carney, North Carolina

Keep an Eye on: Justin Hollins, Oregon

East:
  • Malik Carney, North Carolina
  • Khalil Hodge, Buffalo
  • Cole Holcomb, North Carolina
  • Tre Watson, Maryland
  • Sione Takitaki, BYU
  • Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron

The East has an impressive linebacker group with multiple guys that can make NFL teams. Malik Carney is an undersize and versatile edge rusher that will need to make the move to off-ball linebacker in the NFL. Carney is an athletic pass rusher that’ll need to show an ability to move in space. Thankfully he’s got a great motor and if he makes this move smoothly he should move up the board. Khalil Hodge is an old school thumper at LB. For him to be more than a late Day 3 pick he’ll need to show an ability to improve in coverage, otherwise he’s just a run down LB. Cole Holcomb lacks size, but has special teams written all over him with his motor and aggressiveness. Tre Watson is somewhat forgotten in this linebacker class, but his size and athleticism will grab attention. Sione Takitaki and Ulysees Gilbert need to show special teams ability.

West:
  • BJ Blunt, McNeese State
  • Justin Hollins, Oregon
  • Drew Lewis, Colorado
  • Joe Dineen, Kansas
  • Cody Barton, Utah
  • Chris Peace, Virginia

While the East squads LBs have experience, big names, and talent the West squad is a bit of a raw unknown. BJ Blunt comes from the FCS where he was a linebacker and safety. He’s aggressive and athletic with the ability to be a special teams star. Justin Hollins was an edge at Oregon and has impressive size at 6-5, 242 pounds and a lot of athleticism. Hollins needs to prove he’s more than an athlete and show technical improvements. Drew Lewis, Joe Dineen, Cody Barton, and Chris Peace will need to show special teams ability.

Cornerbacks

Most to Prove: Jamal Peters, Mississippi State

Sleeper: Donnie Lewis Jr., Tulane

Biggest Question: Michael Jackson, Miami

Most Ability: Derrick Baity Jr., Kentucky

Keep an Eye on: Montre Hartage, Northwestern

East:
  • Michael Jackson Sr., Miami
  • Derrick Baity Jr., Kentucky
  • Rashad Fenton, South Carolina
  • Jimmy Moreland, James Madison
  • Keisean Nixon Sr., South Carolina
  • Isaiah Wharton, Rutgers

One of the strongest position groups, for both sides, at the Shrine Game is the cornerbacks. The East is led by two potential top 100 picks in Michael Jackson and Derrick Baity. Jackson is a long and physical zone corner who doesn’t have great athleticism. What he does have is great press-zone technique and a willingness to play the run. Baity is 6-3, 188 pounds and thrives in press-man. He uses is length very well and has clean and consistent footwork. Both of these guys will be a lot of fun vs the WRs in practice. Rashad Fenton is a smaller cornerback, but possesses decent athleticism and oily hips.

West:
  • Jamal Peters, Mississippi State
  • Montre Hartage, Northwestern
  • Donnie Lewis Jr., Tulane
  • Blace Brown, Troy
  • Ka’dar Hollman, Toledo
  • Jordan Wyatt, SMU
The West isn’t as top heavy at cornerback as the East, but it’s got more depth. Jamal Peters has a rare size (6-2, 220 pounds) and athleticism combo for a cornerback. He’s raw, but has shown ability in man coverage with great explosion and twitchiness, he could shoot up the board. Monte Hartage is one of the most underrated CB prospects in the draft. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s got size (6-0, 195 pounds), ball skills, press technique, and fluidity. Donnie Lewis is a sleeper press-man cornerback who should move up the board this week. Blace Brown is a technically sound CB who’s an involved tackler. Ka’dar Hollman should be in a camp.

Safeties

Most to Prove: Lukas Denis, Boston College

Sleeper: Andrew Wingard, Wyoming

Biggest Question: Delvon Randall, Temple

Most Ability: Evan Worthington, Colorado

Keep an Eye on: Adarius Pickett, UCLA

 East:
  • Lukas Denis, Boston College
  • Delvon Randall, Temple
  • Zedrick Woods, Ole Miss
  • Chris Johnson, North Alabama
  • Saquan Hampton, Rutgers

The safety group in the East is led by Lukas Denis. He had a ton of hype entering the season, but a down year has turned him into a Day 3 type of player. Denis lacks size, but he has ball skills and is a well-rounded cover safety. He needs to show athleticism and physicality this week. Delvon Randall has a lot of talent, but massive athleticism questions. He’s got great instincts and is a physical player, but if he can’t show an ability to keep up in coverage this week it’ll be tough for him to go early Day 3. At minimum Randall can be a stud special teams player.

West:
  • Evan Worthington, Colorado
  • Adarius Pickett, UCLA
  • Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
  • D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin
  • Tyree Kinnel, Michigan

Need a physical safety? The Shrine Game’s West safety group if for you. Everyone in this group is a willing hitter and that gives them all special teams upside. Evan Worthington is the most interesting safety in St. Petersburg. He’s 6-2, 210 pounds and can play deep, in the box, or at nickel. He’s not a great athlete, but his physicality and hips help with that in coverage. Against the run he excels using his size and aggressiveness to make plays. Adarius Pickett could be a huge riser, he plays much bigger than he is at 5-11, 195 pounds. He’s always around the football and making plays vs the run, he has special teams stud written all over him. Andrew Wingard is the biggest hitting DB in the draft and could find a role as a nickel LB. His athleticism will be the question he needs to answer this week. D’Cota Dixon is also a massive hitter with athleticism questions, he should be a special teams guy in the league. Tyree Kinnel is physical, but doesn’t add much else.

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Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
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Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.

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