Earlier today my counterpart Andy Miley shared his East-West Shrine Game thoughts and I thought it would be a good idea to do the same.
The East-West Shrine game is a great chance for some of the lesser-known senior draft-eligible prospects to catch a scout’s eye before the event marking the beginning of the NFL Draft process: the Senior Bowl.
I took the chance to quickly watch through the 86th edition of this classic all-star game to see if I could spot any potential fantasy football sleepers for your dynasty squad (Repeat, I am not a scout).
A few players impressed me in the game, but remember not too get too carried away with the results. Most of these players won’t be participating in the Senior Bowl and have major flaws in their game before they can step on to an NFL field, let alone help your dynasty team (think the Island of Misfit Toys).
Without further adieu, here are my top-3 players with a few honorable mentions:
1. Delone Carter RB, Syracuse: While it might be easy to pick the MVP for the East team (11 carries for 54 yards, 1 TD), Carter was clearly the best offensive player on the field all day. I was really looking forward to seeing Carter play for the first time and he did not disappoint. Carter showed great quickness and burst for a power back (5’8”, 225 lbs.) and ran downhill when given the opportunity. He also showed some good hands out of the backfield, and although he did dance around some, he also showed some excellent patience on some runs. Carter reminded me of power backs like Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones. You can be sure Delone Carter will be on as many of my dynasty rosters as possible if he lands in a great situation on draft day.
2. Nathan Enderle QB, Idaho: Nathan Enderle was the only quarterback on the field that looked like he could start an NFL game at some point in his career. Enderle needs a lot of refinement, especially in his footwork, but showed some of those ‘it’ factors you look for in a quarterback: arm strength, leadership, work ethic and confidence. Enderle reminded me of a Sage Rosenfels type of QB: good enough to start but better off the bench as a backup quarterback.
3. Alex Green RB, Hawaii: Alex Green did not even impress me all that much, so it speaks volumes about the other talent in this game that he cracked my top-3 (maybe I should have just done a top-2?). Green showed some good burst but often ran directly into his offensive line which makes me question his vision. He’s going to be a late-round pick but is a perfect fit for a one-cut running scheme similar to what the Houston Texans run under Gary Kubiak.
- Julius Thomas TE, Portland State: The ex-basketball player did not look that out-of-place on the football field. Thomas did haul in a touchdown pass from Enderle in the back of the end zone and on the next play also scored the two-point conversion. I saw Thomas get open a few times on some seam routes, so maybe there is hope for him as a developmental prospect. Let’s be clear though: he is no Jimmy Graham.
- Tyrod Taylor QB, Virginia Tech: I give Tyrod Taylor credit for wanting to stick at quarterback. If Taylor does want to stick in the NFL, he should take a few pointers from Seneca Wallace, who was a similar player in college.
- Scott Tolzien QB, Wisconsin: Scott Tolzien is one of the guys I am rooting for in this draft class to stick as an NFL backup QB. He did pretty much nothing in this game, but got no help from his offensive line. Tolzien throws a nice ball and has some leadership traits. Don’t write him off yet, but he isn’t much of a fantasy option.
- Cecil Shorts WR, Mt. Union: I was disappointed Cecil Shorts didn’t play in the game due to injury. I was looking forward to see him play finally after hearing a lot of good press on him the last few months.
- Graig Cooper RB, Miami: Graig Cooper still looks like he has some room for growth while Evan Royster looks maxed out physically, even though Cooper is similar in stature to Evan Royster. Cooper showed some nice open field moves but needs to limit his dancing in the backfield and bulk up his lower body.