This week's Senior Bowl gets a lot of publicity due to the high level of talent on display. However, there was some talent on display last weekend in the East-West Shrine Game, and I thought it'd be worth taking a look back. I did a live blog of the event, and Todd McShay rolled out his stock report following the game. Some of the folks coming out of the Shrine Game WILL make an impact at the next level and it'd be worth while to look them over.
McShay posted the five guys he thought improved their stock and five who hurt their stock:
1. Michigan State QB Brian Hoyer
2. Houston OT Sebastian Vollmer
3. Colorado State RB Gartrell Johnson
4. TCU RB Aaron Brown
5. San Jose State DT Jarron Gilbert
1. Missouri QB Chase Daniel
2. Texas A&M FB Jorvorskie Lane
3. Ohio State OT Alex Boone
4. Oklahoma WR Manuel Johnson
5. Georgia MLB Dannell Ellerbe
A quick look at those selections and some guys pop out. Hoyter only attempted four passes, but they were solid and he didn't seem like a guy who could barely complete half his passes (I know, small sample size alert). I was actually impressed with Fresno St. QB Tom Brandstater. He was 10/19 for 159 yards and a touchdown. On the plus side he showed a real live arm and could get the ball down the field. On the minus side, he struggled with his accuracy. He seems like a late second day pick at best so certainly low risk. My suggested strategy was taking somebody in the 4th or 5th round and developing them, so that probably wouldn't apply with Brandstater. Although I think he'll be drafted, I'd love to grab him as an undrafted free agent.
One guy I'm surprised McShay didn't mention was Deon Butler, a wide receiver out of Penn State. Butler finished in the school's all-time top 3 in receptions, yards and touchdowns. Butler is currently ranked 30th among draft eligible wide receivers. At 5'9, 173 lbs I can't say I'm surprised. However, I think somebody is going to get a potentially very solid receiver. He's almost the same size as Desean Jackson. Jackson has crazy speed on his side, but I think Butler's hands are a great asset. I'd imagine, barring something big in the combine, he's a late second day pick. If the 49ers don't go receiver early, consider me a fan of Butler's already (which means useless scouting reports and pushing for him).
Gartrell Johnson is a guy I wrote about a fair amount in the live blog. He finished the game with 63 yards, although 39 of those yards came on one rush. However, he supposedly had a solid week of practice, which is what the scouts are looking for. A running back who stepped up in the game was Marlon Lucky of Nebraska. He finished with 68 yards on 7 carries, with 47 coming on one carry. However, down in the red zone he was able to punch it in.
It was hard to assess on my own who struggled since I didn't see any of the practices. By far the worst performance belonged to Missouri QB Chase Daniel. For a guy who people weren't high on anyways, he did nothing to help himself. The only other guy who really stuck out in his struggles was Jorvorskie Lane. He's a 280+ pound fullback who could not bull his way into the end zone on three tries down close. Not a good thing.