What started off as a snooze fest ended up with an exciting final quarter in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game. What made it even better was that ESPN was kind enough to cut off the first part of the game with the end of a 2nd tier college basketball game. All we missed was an outstanding interception by O’Brien Schofield, who just happens to be making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Not a big deal…right?
The 85th Annual East-West Shrine game was led by former NFL head coaches Romeo Crennell (East) and Marty Schotenheimer (West). Even former NFL receiver Kennan McCardell came in to coach the receivers for the West squad.
The game itself was uneventful until the 4th quarter, when BYU quarterback Max Hall drove the West team down for a go ahead touchdown, only to see the East team, led by Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka, drive down the field for the winning score.
Several players stood out in this game in good and bad ways. Here are some of the highlights of my notes.
- –Wisconsin DE/OLB O’Brien Schofield shows a tremendous amount of potential. He showed the ability to read the quarterback when he made the interception as well as displaying decent hands. Schofield was able to shed blockers and get to the ball carrier and showed excellent pursuit. Schofield also shined on special teams in kick coverage.
- –UConn DE Lindsey Witten had a solid performance. Witten consistently had good penetration into the backfield and showed a lot of hustle. On one play, Witten lined up at LDE and the passer threw a pass in the opposite side flats to the running back. Witten came from all the way across the field and made the tackle. Details like this will be noticed by NFL Scouts.
- –LSU DE Rahim Alem showed good outside pass rushing technique using an under arm rip. Alem lined up outside the tackle on several occasions and created pressure on the QB, forcing them to move in the pocket.
- –Michigan State wide receiver Blair White does all the little things right. White just knows how to get open and is a consistent catcher. He’ll catch with his body at times but overall, he’s reliable. He knows how to sit in the zone and work the sideline routes. Route running is solid and he’ll make a fine late round addition to an NFL roster.
- –Buffalo WR Naaman Roosevelt had an average game, but made a strong, leaping catch for a pass that was too high and forced him to stretch out. Roosevelt also displayed some YAC skills, making one move and then turning up field on the defender
- –Mike Kafka, QB for Northwestern, showed solid mobility when pressured. His accuracy is only average and he has a slight sidearm delivery.
- –Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor really impressed me in the game. Hopefully he’ll put to rest ideas of him playing at LB at the next level. Chancellor was all over the place for the East defense and was usually in on the the tackles. Chancellor also loves to hit and displayed a much better than expected range. Chancellor showed that he can read and manipulate the quarterback and used that to his advantage. Coming up in run support seems to be something that Chancellor LOVES and he even excelled on special teams kick coverage.
- –Penn State QB Darryl Clark didn’t live up to expectations. He seems to try to muscle the ball into spots instead of just throwing it. Clark’s passes seemed eratic at times and didn’t put much zip on short to intermediate passes.
- –Army TE Ali Vilenueva is huge. He’s had to play three different positions in recent years but appears to always give his all. He could be a good late round value pick for a team looking to sign a blocking tight end.
- –West Virginia WR Alric Arnett really surprised me. Arnett played on an East roster where he was completely overshadowed by names like Freddie Barnes. However, Arnett had a solid game, making several acrobatic hands catches. Arnett even showed not just a willingness to block down field, but was effective while doing so!
- –Texas Tech CB Jamar Wall had a solid game. He broke up several key passes and made some good open field tackles. Wall did a good job jumping routes, but better not try this at the next level….at least not right away.
- –BYU TE Dennis Pitta might have been the best player on the field. This guy is an absolute machine catching the ball and knows how to get open. Looks like Dallas Clark when he catches but needs to beef up his blocking ability.
- –Fordham QB John Skelton has a rocket arm. There’s no doubt about that. With a slight flick of his wrist, the ball goes as far as he wants. The problem is he has somewhat of a sidearm throw and his footwork needs a lot of help. Despite common comparisons to Joe Flacco, I compare him to Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson. Big arm, not mobile at all.
While I made notes on other players, those were the players I found myself coming back to again and again. Check back soon to see how the Shrine Game affected the draft stock of some of the key players in this game.
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