East Roster Preview – Collin Klein Leads East
I already previewed the Shrine Game’s West Roster and players to watch this week at the East-West Shrine Game. Here are the top players on the East Roster to watch:
Quarterback Collin Klein, Kansas State:
Klein was in the Heisman race and had Kansas State in the top 5 this year as an option quarterback. He displays good leadership and work ethic to go along with his good size and strong running ability. Serious questions remain about his passing ability, particularly his throwing motion. He can answer some of the questions this week in a pro-style system. Even though he doesn’t project as a good passer, he should get a look as a specialty type of player, given that more NFL teams are doing read-option packages with their quarterbacks.
Running Back Ray Graham, Pitt:
Graham was one the nation’s leading rushers in 2011 until he blew out his knee. He came back this past season and wasn’t as explosive, but displayed good agility and quickness. He can still be an effective weapon out of the backfield but no longer should be considered a featured back option. Expect to him to go off the board in the 4th round.
Wide Receiver Rodney Smith, FSU:
Smith under performed at Florida State this past season, but flashed the ability to be a quality receiver at the next level. With a 6’5 frame and excellent jumping ability, he could be a major red zone weapon. He will probably gain interest in the 5th or 6th round in the NFL Draft.
Wide Receiver Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech:
Davis has an excellent size-speed combo and the agility to play out of the slot as well. Davis has big play ability and can stretch the defense, but there are question marks surrounding his route running and consistency. His upside and his athleticism should have him going off the board in the 4th or 5th round.
Running Back Zach Stacy, Vanderbilt:
Stacy is a short, compact running back with good speed and explosiveness. He’s a decisive running back who hits the hole hard, and has a quick cutting ability to change directions. He can also be a weapon used out of the backfield, and a guy you want to get in open space. He should be an interesting 4th or 5th round selection.
Cornerback Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech:
Sweeting is a fluid 6 foot cornerback with good length and starting potential. He can inconsistent in coverage but flashes good playmaking ability and is a sure tackler.
Defensive Lineman Devin Taylor, South Carolina:
Taylor never became the dominant edge rusher that many expected in college, but still had an overall productive college career. He’s got great length and should be a solid base end in a 4-3 system. He’s strong against the run and can still get some pressure on the quarterback.
Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano, Maryland:
Vellano is a lunch-pail type of defensive lineman, who occupies blockers and plays the run well. He’s not great in any single area, but he plays at high level and always seems to be around the ball. He fits best as a 5-technique in a 3-4 system. He should be a 4th-5th round selection.
Linebacker Gerald Hodges, Penn State:
Hodges projects best as a 4-3 strong side linebacker, but could also project inside in a 3-4 system. He’s strong against the run and has been good in pass coverage. He’s not a great pass rusher and will be limited if asked to blitz a lot.
Linebacker Lerentee McCray, Florida:
McCray projects well in a 3-4 system as a rush linebacker and has upside to get after the quarterback. He was inconsistent some in college, but had a strong senior year campaign that should make NFL teams take notice. He does have question marks in coverage ability and has not be a strong run stopper in his career.
Safety Josh Evans, Florida:
Evans is a multi-year starter at Florida and has been a good in-the-box type strong safety. He struggles some in deep coverage but has been good against tight ends and running backs. Evans is hurt by a deep safety class, but could be a good value pick for a team late in the draft.