West Team Practice Notes Day 2 of Shrine Game Practice

2014 East-West Shrine Game NFL Draft


Keith Wenning (Ball State):

-Wenning is clearly the best quarterback on the West squad. He has above average arm strength (best on the team) and delivers the football with nice touch, especially on deeper routes. It’s not the prettiest or highest velocity throw, but it gets there and has hit multiple receivers in stride. He threaded some tight windows today as well, and showed poise in the pocket. For a smaller school guy he’s making a name for himself as a late round developmental prospect.

Running backs:

Ben Malena (Texas A&M):

-Malena looks solid across the board, displays nice vision running the football and decent hands.

Tim Flanders (Sam Houston):

-Didn’t watch the running backs too much, but have liked what I’ve seen in Flanders. Shows speed and nice burst, also looks like he’s tough to bring down. Not the most natural pass catcher, but he has some nice potential.

Wide Receivers:

Quincy Enunwa (Nebraska):

-Looked pretty good in action yesterday (wasn’t a full pads day), but unfortunately got injured early in practice today and will have to pull out of the game. Interesting guy with size and speed to watch.

Seantavius Jones (Valdosta State):

-Looks the part with 6’3″ size and good speed to match. He does a fair job of getting in and out of his breaks, but he does round off some routes. Also he’s very much a body catcher (and that has led to some drops). He’s a small school guy with some potential, but he looks to be a project.

Chandler Jones (San Jose State):

-Slot guy, with crisp route running ability he’s got good speed and acceleration and catches the ball pretty well. Not the most physical receiver and would get rerouted at times.

Bernard Reedy (Toledo):

-Easily the best receiver on the West roster, shows really nice speed, quickness and hands. Can play inside and probably even survive on the outside given his toughness (though not ideal). Comes back to the ball and doesn’t give up on the play. Like many players he struggled on a slick field today, one one throw he slipped and fell, but didn’t give up and made the catch from the ground.

John Brown (Pitt State):

-Another undersized slot guy type. Flashes good speed and ability to track the deep ball. He’s got some nice elusive ability, but needs to prove he can beat press coverage.

Tight Ends:

Jordan Najvar (Baylor):

-Impressed with his size and speed combination. He catches the ball well (though he did have one bad drop today). Saw him catch a number of contested passes in two days of practice. Want to see him more as a blocker, but he’s got the frame for it.

Offensive Line:

Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma):

-Very disappointing practice. Was eaten alive by bigger defensive tackles. Coaches praised him for his technique, but he just didn’t have the strength to anchor. He could be a real problem facing NFL caliber defensive tackles.

Chris Burnette (Georgia):

-Really disappointing day for Burnette, he got pushed around on the interior far too often. Didn’t look as good as he did playing in the tough SEC this year, and just looked slow off the snap. Really needs to improve the rest of this week.

Dakota Dozier (Furman):

-Was one of the more impressive offensive linemen today. He’s a small school guy but fared very well in practice and definitely looks to be a very intriguing interior line prospect. Dozier did a nice job with a quick jab to get the defender off balance, he held his ground really well throughout practice and quickly got in his stance. One slight concern is once or twice Dozier got his hands outside on the shoulders and probably would have gotten called for a hold.

Ryan Groy (Wisconsin):

-Groy made a couple early mistakes in practice and was caught reaching for the defender, but after a talk from the coaches really improved the rest of the day. He played with a real good base and was able to stop cold some of the stronger interior rushers. I like the quick adjustments he made from his early mistakes and how he seemed to improve with every rep.

Kevin Graf (USC):

-Graf had an up-and-down practice today, when he played with good leverage and could get his feet under him he handled edge rushers. When he couldn’t get his feet under him at times he struggled. He needs to be more consistent and quick off the snap. Also he needs to be better with his hands in using them to re-route edge rushers.

Austin Wentworth (Fresno State):

-Wentworth had a nice all-around day blocking. He handled some of the bigger defensive linemen fairly well and showed good footwork and a strong anchor throughout practice.

Defensive Line:

Beau Allen (Wisconsin):

-Solid nose tackle type, needs to show better consistency. He used his size and strength to push the pocket and win inside. He’s not an every down player or a starter, but could be a nice rotational player in a 3-4 at the nose spot.

Justin Ellis (Louisiana Tech):

-Big quick nose tackle, who was quick off the ball and for the most part stayed low. Really ate up a number of interior blockers and caused major problems for the offensive line. He’s exactly what teams are looking for in a NT prospect, though he’s still a bit raw overall. A couple times he played too high and was able to be blocked. He needs to be more consistent.

Cassius Marsh (UCLA):

-Probably the best all-around edge rusher on the West squad. Maybe a tad light for the 4-3 and a bit of a question mark in coverage in a 3-4, but he can rush the passer. He won a number of battles today and an NFL team will find a place for that pass rush ability.

Josh Mauro (Stanford):

-Had one of the better days of any prospect. Probably best suited in a 5-tech (will need to add some weight) in a 3-4 or a base end in a 4-3, Mauro showed versatility and the ability to rush inside and out. Gave multiple linemen problems throughout practice, both in individual and team drills.

Derrick Hopkins (Virginia Tech):

-High effort guy, who plays the leverage game. At 6’0″ he was able to get under interior lineman’s pads quite a bit and cause some havoc in the backfield. Not the most talented or physically gifted prospected, but still wins his fair share of battles.

Larry Webster (Bloomsburg):

-Webster had a lot of buzz entering the game and you can see some flashes, but overall he didn’t seem to match the hype. He’s got some good edge speed, but didn’t really have a lot of success against the offensive tackles. Webster can win with speed, but he doesn’t seem to have any counter-moves or block shedding ability.


Max Bullough (Michigan State):

-Created a good bit of buzz for weighing-in at 265 at only 6’2″ (was listed as 6’3″, 245), but the extra weight didn’t seem like a major negative. His coverage and pursuit were both on the positive side and in warm-ups you could see natural flexibility. Bullough would probably be best served to cut 15-20 lbs, but it’s hard to put the “overweight” tag on him.

Devon Kennard (USC):

-Kennard shows good athletic ability and some natural cover skills which is impressive for the former defensive end/rush linebacker. He didn’t get much change to showcase his pass rushing strength, but he proved he’s a well rounded linebacker today.

Tyler Starr (South Dakota):

-Starr was impressive in his coverage assignments throughout practice. He runs really well for almost 250 lbs and is the tallest linebacker here at the game. Matched up very well versus tight ends and showed good pursuit ability as well.

Defensive backs:

Alden Darby (Arizona State):

-Great instincts throughout practice, played the ball very well in the air and tracked down ball carriers with ease. He’s very fluid and was able to transition and flip his hips well in drills.

Sean Parker (Washington):

-A little on the smaller side for the position, but he looks to have good athleticism and  hits with a pop. Thought he looked good in individual drills, though didn’t play as well in team action.

Daniel Sorensen (BYU):

-Loved Sorensen’s range that was on display today, ran deep with receivers and flowed to the ball carrier. He always seemed to be around the football and had one of the better days among safeties.

Bennett Jackson (Notre Dame):

-Jackson showed good instincts and the ability to track the ball in practice today. He did give up some catches, but contested everything and made it very difficult on the receiver to bring it in. He doesn’t wow in any one area, but is solid across the board and should be able to play both inside and outside.

Shaquille Richardson (Arizona):

-Richardson showed well today in all areas. He displayed deep speed, covered short quick passes and took good angles to the ball carrier. He’s got good size and speed and could be emerging as the best defensive back on the West Roster. He’s very smooth in transition and on a slick field today kept his feet for the most part.

Rashaad Reynolds (Oregon State): 

-Reynolds was very fluid getting in and out of breaks and looks like a potential nickel corner at the next level. I loved his reaction time and ability to stay with receivers in and out of breaks. Probably not going to hold up on the outside at the next level as a starter, but he showcased some nice back-up/slot corner ability here today.

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