-Graham really showed well today for the East team. He proved that he was fully healthy with a number of very nice runs that showed off his agility and speed. He did a good job finding the hole and making people miss to get extra yards. Graham also caught the ball extremely well out of the backfield, showing he could be a viable 3rd down back at the next level.
-Blake showed the best of a very talented receiving group for the East squad. He came up with big catch after big catch, showcasing very good hands. He got in and out of his breaks well and showed some polish as a route runner. It was a very strong all-around practice and one that should help propel him up draft boards.
-Steelman was an option quarterback at West Point, but came to the Shrine Game as a wide receiver. Despite being new to the position, Steelman had a really nice day catching the football making a number of nice receptions. Even one that he may have been called for a push off on, was a very nice reception along the sideline where he had to make adjustment to the ball. Steelman also got some looks as an option quarterback in practice as well. Steelman also impressed with his work ethic as he even worked on being a long snapper, after the linemen doing the job kept struggling. He won’t do that at the next level, but his willingness to do anything and succeed at it will be noticed among scouts.
-Jefferson showcased a really nice frame and good hands as a receiver. He also won some key battles in full scrimmage drills opening up some really nice running lanes. He should definitely draw some interest as a number 2 TE in the late rounds of the draft.
-Taylor is as big as most linebackers here, but ran well enough to think that he can stay at safety. He has a nice back peddle and is fluid enough in his turn. He showed some really good instincts in 7-on-7’s and 1-on-2 drills, and was complimented by the coaching staff for being in proper position multiple times. Had full hitting been allowed, it is clear he would have made some impact plays.
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-McGee had one of the best all-around practices today, showed really good coverage ability and played the ball extremely well in the air, coming down with a couple interceptions. He rarely got fooled and was probably the toughest defensive back for receivers to face. He also really showed good short area quickness, which could make him very effective in the slot.
-Cross started out a little slow in practice, but as the day wore on he improved greatly. During the scrimmage portion at the end of practice he made some really nice plays, getting into the backfield for sure stops.
-Vellano was among the quickest linemen (on either side) off the ball, which allowed him to get good leverage on a number of plays. Didn’t make many flashy plays, but he played smart filling holes and slowing down the run quite a few times. In one-on-one drills he had a couple of really nice sessions showing good power.
Check back later as I have a full-recap of today’s practices!