The East-West Shrine Game was this past Saturday, with the East winning 23-13. At the end of it all the score isn't what is important, it's about how the prospects performed.
Here is a run down of some of the notable prospects and how their stock fares after the game:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois - This will be the beginning of the buzz that you hear about this quarterback. Although he's from a small school, scouts love what they see out of Garoppolo. He went 9-14, with a touchdown in the game and was the MVP. Garoppolo appeared to be the most NFL ready quarterback out of all those who played in the game. This is a class that is loaded with talent at quarterback, so it will be hard for him to go any earlier than round three. Garoppolo will also be playing in the Senior Bowl this Saturday.
DE Ethan Westbrooks, West Texas A&M - Westbrooks, coming from a small school needed to have a big game, and he sure did. Notching two sacks, Westbrooks was the Defensive Player of the Game.
WR Chandler Jones, San Jose State - Jones was the most impressive receiver of the game. I have to believe he helped his draft stock considerably, showing many good attributes. Jones displayed good footwork and hands, hauling in seven receptions for 73 yards. On the season Jones had 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. He may be only 5'11", but he plays bigger than that, the kid can jump and get the ball.
QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois - This was a day to forget for Lynch, who hurt his draft stock. Lynch has shown spotty accuracy in his career, and today he was brutally bad in the time he was in the game. Going 2-7, with two interceptions, Lynch must have a good combine and pro day or he may be looking at a position switch.Lynch is a highly mobile quarterback but that doesn't mean much if you're turning the ball over when asked to be a quarterback and pass. It was surprising to see a Heisman hopeful fall so flat in a game like this. The good news for Lynch is he will have chances to redeem himself before the draft.
S Alden Darby, Arizona State - Darby had an exceptional game and helped his stock. At 5'11" and 195 lbs, Darby could be looking at a switch to free safety. He showed good ball skills at the back end of the defense in the game, bringing in two interceptions. Darby still projects to be a mid to late round pick.
CB Ross Cockrell, Duke - After doing a good job of containing receiver Mike Evans in his last game, Cockrell continued making scouts pay attention to him. In the game, Cockrell notched an interception, and it was a good one. He jumped the route on the receiver and wound up in front of him for the interception. The play was very reminiscent of some of the interceptions Tramaine Brock has hauled in this season. Cockrell's stock continues to go up.
K Zach Hocker, Arkansas - Kickers need love too. Hocker was 3-3 in the game, with a long of 56. He was 3-4 on the season from over fifty yards away. Hocker has a strong leg.
WR Jeremy Gallon, Michigan - Gallon was the Wolverines biggest playmaker all season long, and lead the East in the Shrine Game in receiving (4 receptions, 55 yards). Gallon played a lot of slot this week, and at 5'8", he will need to make that transition if he hopes to have longevity in the NFL. Although he doesn't have elite speed for a small slot guy, he does have the toughness.
CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood - Desir is raw, but his athleticism is undeniable. At 6'2" tall and able to run sub 4.5 forty, a team will take a flier on him for that alone. Although Desir has played against lesser competition, he showed this week he is able to compete against bigger talent and hold his own. Look for his stock to rise even more after the combine. I wouldn't surprise to see Desir drafted at the tail end of round two or early round three.
DE Will Clarke, West Virginia - A more polished version of Margus Hunt is what Will Clarke will become this offseason I predict. Clarke stands 6'6", 271 lbs, and will likely be a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. Clarke recorded a sack in the game and provides a pass rushing threat. He has work to do in regards to run support.
Who did you have an eye on in the game? Are there any players you hope to see drafted by the 49ers?