The Shrine Game takes place this Saturday at noon pacific, and will provide an opportunity for high level talent to compete against other high level talent. It's not the best of the best, but it will include a lot of guys we'll see on Sunday afternoon next season. The folks at Scouts Inc have put together lists (Insider protected) of the best players in the game, players to watch and those with something to prove. Here are the guys Scouts Inc decided to highlight.
At this point in the offseason my draft knowledge is fairly limited (one of the reasons I brought on Drew K as a front page writer). Since I know that many of you are passionate about the draft, I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of these lists. For example, given the players listed as "Top 5," what does that tell you about the talent level in Orlando this week? Scouts Inc included some comments on the various players that you can check out at the link above. After the jump I discuss some of these guys a bit more.
Top Five Players
DE Greg Hardy, Ole Miss
DE Lindsey Witten, Connecticut
TE Dennis Pitta, BYU
S Larry Asante, Nebraska
DE Willie Young, NC State
Five to Watch
RB Lonyae Miller, Fresno State
MLB Mike McLaughlin, Boston College
CB Devin Ross, Arizona
OT Kevin Haslam, Rutgers
S Barry Church, Toledo
Something to Prove
OLB/DE O'Brien Schofield, Wisconsin
CB Alterraun Verner, UCLA
QB John Skelton, Fordham
OT Zane Beadles, Utah
Rutgers left tackle Anthony Davis is a big name expected to go high in the draft. Scouts Inc pointed out his teammate Kevin Haslam as a player with some potential as a right tackle in the NFL. They also mention that he has some experience at guard, and could bulk up enough to move inside. Has anybody watched enough (or any) Rutgers football to throw out a few thoughts specifically on him? The 49ers have needs on the offensive line, and if they plan on keeping Joe Staley at left tackle, maybe a versatile guy like Haslam is a later depth option. Just a thought.
The other offensive tackle on the lists above is Zane Beadles of Utah. Apparently he has plenty of strength, but there are questions about athleticism and foot quickness. I'll check out the practice notes for more details on how his week goes.
Scouts Inc's practice reports also pulled out a random player that could be a potential late round tackle/guard option: local product Chris Marinelli of Stanford. Apparently he struggled a bit in practice yesterday, showing a relative lack of athleticism, and getting under defenders. At the same time, after the first day of practice, Todd McShay thought he could turn into a late-round steal. So obviously the information will have to be considered in the bigger picture looking at the week as a whole.
Speaking of the practice reports, Scouts Inc provides some live-blogging from practice with a run down of players having particularly good and bad performances. If you check out the East and West team rosters and are curious about specific performances, you can post a comment about the players and I'll check for any information in the practice reports given that many facts don't have Insider accounts.