Posts Tagged ‘Kasen Williams’

25 Standouts, 13 Disappointments from 2015 East-West Shrine Game

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
Za'Darius Smith stood out among his peers in this year's Shrine Game. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

Za’Darius Smith stood out among his peers in this year’s Shrine Game. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

After a week of eye-opening practices in St. Petersburg, East-West Shrine Game week concluded Saturday with the game itself, as more than 100 senior prospects for the 2015 NFL draft got a chance to showcase their skills in front of league scouts.

The game is actually assigned less value than the practices, as the vast majority of NFL team representatives left town after Day 3 of practice on Wednesday, but it was one more opportunity for the players who participated this week to make an impression. So while we’re not doing a separate set for notes for gameday, the performances from Saturday’s contest have been factored into the following breakdown of the week’s best and worst.

The following rankings do not necessarily reflect how the players will actually be ranked on draft boards, but are indicative of which players did the most to make themselves money this week.

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2015 East-West Shrine Game Notes: Day 4

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
Wes Saxton (No. 13) stood out for his athleticism in St. Petersburg this week. (Photo: Dan Hope)

Wes Saxton (No. 13) stood out for his athleticism in St. Petersburg this week. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Excepting the game itself, East-West Shrine Game week came to a close Thursday, as the East and West teams held their final practices of the week.

There were few scouts to impress, as sparse crowds were evidence that most NFL team representatives had already left town. Nonetheless, the players went to work trying to stand out for the coaches, media, fans and handfuls of scouts who were still on hand.

The East practice continued to be mostly slow-paced with a walkthrough section, as was tradition for Mike Singletary’s squad this week, but the West practice was also significantly shorter than previous days and less intense.

As such, there wasn’t as much to evaluate Thursday as there was in previous days, so there weren’t any players who clearly stood out above the rest. That said, there were still some players who strengthened their impressions on me today, including two top small-schoolers who I talked to after their respective practices to get their thoughts on how the week went and what they think they can bring to NFL teams.

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2015 East-West Shrine Game Notes: Day 3

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
Oregon linebacker Tony Washington (No. 19) arrived at the Shrine Game on Wednesday, two days after suffering defeat to Ohio State in the CFP National Championship Game. (Photo: Dan Hope)

Oregon linebacker Tony Washington (No. 19) arrived at the Shrine Game on Wednesday, two days after suffering defeat to Ohio State in the CFP National Championship Game. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Wednesday might have been the final opportunity for players to make an impression on many of the NFL scouts at this week’s East-West Shrine Game, as attendance among evaluators was already starting to dwindle Wednesday and is likely to decrease significantly Thursday. For Oregon’s Tony Washington, however, Wednesday was the first day he got to take the field in front of the crowd in St. Petersburg.

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2015 East-West Shrine Game Notes: Day 2 West Practice

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
Kansas State center B.J. Finney (No. 72) was among the standouts of Tuesday's Shrine Game practice for the West team. (Photo: Dan Hope)

Kansas State center B.J. Finney (No. 72) was among the standouts of Tuesday’s Shrine Game practice for the West team. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The 2015 East-West Shrine Game’s week of practices is halfway complete. The West team took the field for its second practice session of the week Tuesday afternoon, at St. Petersburg High School, where some of Monday’s standouts impressed again but other players also took the spotlight, many positive but some negative.

The West team had better conditions to deal with Tuesday—at least in regards to the weather. While the sunny, warm skies were a big improvement over the pouring rain that hit the beginning of Monday afternoon’s session, players continued to have issues with slipping because of a worn-down grass field.

Of course, any player who wants to make it in the NFL will have to be able to deal with less-than-ideal conditions at the next level as well, so players are still expected to be on top of their games despite the conditions. Many of them were, including Kansas State center B.J. Finney, on Tuesday.

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2015 East-West Shrine Game Notes: Day 1

Monday, January 12th, 2015
St. Petersburg High School is the backdrop for this week's West team practices at the Shrine Game. (Photo: Dan Hope)

St. Petersburg High School is the backdrop for this week’s West team practices at the Shrine Game. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Monday was the first of four practice days at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., where more than 100 senior prospects for the 2015 NFL draft are competing in an effort to raise their stocks and prove to league scouts that they have the skills to be successful pros.

The first day is somewhat of a precursor to Tuesday’s and Wednesday, when the teams will be in full pads and the intensity will pick up. Wet conditions at both practices also put a damper on the evaluation process, as players had to compensate for weather. Nonetheless, every moment at the Shrine Game is an opportunity to impress, or potentially disappoint, someone watching.

There were a number of players who already took advantage of that opportunity as they started out Shrine Game week with strong performances in their opening practice—at least in my view.

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