Senior Bowl practices start today, which usually officially kicks off draft season. There was another less heralded prospect All-Star game this past Saturday: The East-West Shrine Game. The Shrine Game is an All-Star game for prospects from smaller schools or prospects that aren't as highly touted as Senior Bowl prospects. The Shrine Game has featured some top quality players in its history, including Super Bowl winning quarterbacks John Elway, Joe Flacco, and Tom Brady. There were a number of players who helped their draft stock in this game and others who did not. The players in the "stock up" are all good prospects that could help the Dolphins.
Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky
Smith was the star of this game. He was basically unblockable, consistently in the backfield on both passing and running plays. He tallied a sack and numerous other pressures. Smith isn't an overly explosive athlete and wins mostly with technique. He's strong at the point of attack and while he won't make anyone think forget about Cameron Wake, he will be the type of player that can see a lot of work in a rotation and the team will not see a drop off in production.
Anthony Chickillo, DE, Miam
Chickillo was another star of this game. Chickillo, along with Smith, made life miserable for West QBs. He was also in the backfield consistently and picked up a sack and a number of pressures. He was stout in the run game. One draftnik I follow on twitter suggested that Chickillo will be another player from ‘The U' that has a better pro career than collegiate career. He could be a steal on day three.
John Miller, OG, Louisville
Miller is a 6'2", 315 pound offensive guard. He played right guard in this game and showed power in the running game and good pass protection. He is on the shorter side for an offensive lineman, but has the lower body power to be a force on an NFL line. He played well and should hear his name called anywhere from the late 3rd round to the 5th round.
Jamon Brown, OT, Louisville
Brown was Miller's teammate at Louisville. He's listed at 6'6" 330 pounds. He has the appearance of a classic NFL right tackle. He played right tackle beside Miller and between the two, paved roads for running backs and protected the quarterback. He's showed enough athleticism that some team may try to develop him into a left tackle. He is a mid to late round developmental type and based on this game performance, may be a steal for the team that drafts him.
Tre' McBride, WR, William and Mary
McBride was a standout all week in practice and showed well in this game in terms of route running and creating separation. QB play hurt everyone in this game, but the McBride showed quickness and footwork that could make him a productive player in the pros.
Austin Hill, WR, Arizona
Hill was a top prospect at Arizona and was building an impressive resume during the 2012 season. He tallied 81 catches, 1364 yards, and 11 TDs. He injured his knee in 2013 and missed the entire season. He only produced a 49 catch, 635 yard, and 4 TD season in 2014 and entered this game with question marks. He answered some questions in this game showing good speed and made an impressive leaping catch. Hill is listed at 6'3" 212 lbs. and could increase his stock even more with a solid showing at the combine. If his medical stuff checks out, he could be a steal for a team in later rounds, especially a team like Miami.
Terrance Magee, RB, LSU
Magee didn't have the best numbers at LSU, but showed he could follow in the footsteps of other product LSU running backs. Magee is a bowling ball at 5'9" 215 pounds. He ran with power in this game, but he also showed good cutback ability and receiving ability in this game. He could be a late round back that could work in a rotation and produce well at the next level.
There were 6 QBs in this game: Hutson Mason (Georgia), Cody Fajardo (Nevada), Taylor Kelly (Arizona State), Anthony Boone (Duke), Dylan Thompson (South Carolina), and Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion). In a terrible QB class and with a number of top QB prospects sitting out of the Senior Bowl, this was an opportunity to stand out. Every QB struggled in this game. The game was set up where defenses had to play single high safety, no press coverage allowed except inside the 5 yard line, 4-3 fronts, and no goal line packages. Even with that, the QBs struggled to make quick reads on slants, comebacks, and other simple routes. Accuracy was an issue all game and that hurt the WRs. Fajardo showed some running ability and Heinicke had the best arm of the group. But none of them looked great and will probably go undrafted or a late round pick at best.
Darren Waller, WR, Georgia Tech
Waller is a 6'5", 240 lbs. receiver that offers a team an intriguing developmental project at wideout. Waller struggled to create separation all game and as Mike Mayock mentioned during the broadcast, will have to routinely win on contested catches because every pass his way will be contested. Waller will have to show the ability to win at the LOS and improve his route running to be a productive target in the pros. He will also have to improve what appeared to be inconsistent hands at best.
Kasen Williams, WR, Washington
Williams was once a top receiver prospect, but injuries have curtailed his career. Williams is a 6'3" 215 lbs. target, but looked slow on the field and may struggle to create separation. Williams was hurt by the QB play, but never showed the burst or athleticism that other players showed.