View Full Version : 2013 East-West Shrine Week

01-15-2013, 01:55 AM
I'm just going to post my observations as I go through the week of practices. Nothing heavy or anything, just some thoughts on the players as I see them.

*WR Jasper Collins of Mount Union on the West squad looks like the best wide receiver here, thus far. I took a good look at his work at Mount Union prior to coming to practices, mainly because of the success of both Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts out of the same school. On tape there was definitely a "here we go again" feel as he clearly is fast and can get open deep, but also has bevy of receiving skills that look attractive at the next level. Usually small school guys can feel a little bit overwhelmed the first couple of days of an All Star practice week, making mistakes trying to get everything perfect. This guy was good out of the box, batteries included. His balance and feet running sluggos and other double moves were fantastic and the speed showed. He also showed the ability to track the deep ball, run under it, and get it over his shoulder.

*WR Corey Fuller of Virginia Tech on the East squad was probably my next favorite as he showed many of the same things as Jasper Collins. The balance, feet and ability to track the ball and run under it were evident. He adjusted to the ball in the air well. He had one drop trying to catch the football outside of his frame with his hands but I'm inclined to let that go on a first day.

*Among the other WRs, Rodney Smith of Florida State, Anthony Amos of Middle Tennessee State, and Emory Blake of Auburn all had their moments in the sun. Rodney Smith ran a deep post route against CB Brandon McGee of Miami, had McGee pretty tight to him, and had the corner from the opposite field back up and try to intercept the ball as it got there, but the ball squirted through and Rodney bobbled it while falling, but came down with the pass. Very tough catch. Emory Blake ran some nice underneath routes and caught the football in team drills. Anthony Amos is an interesting athlete but he is a prime example of the lower competition player that needs some time to get his feet under him and stop slipping all over the place trying to be perfect. He finished practice a lot stronger than he started.

*Generally I felt like the West wide receivers were pretty easy to size up, as Jasper Collins looked head and shoulders above the rest, Dan Buckner of Arizona looked smooth and consistent in the hands department but like he lacked speed and athleticism, Amos looked the part of the typical talented-fish-out-of-water small schooler, Tyrone Goard of Eastern Kentucky and Keenan Davis of Iowa failed to look exceptional at anything, and Chad Bumphis of Mississippi State looked exceptionally fast and athletic with exceptionally bad hands and ability to track the ball in the air.

*I was disappointed in Marcus Davis of Virginia Tech. I expected more out of him based on the way he finished the year. He did not look sudden or explosive, like he was doing everything tentatively out there. Twice he got out on a deep ball and just completely failed to see the ball in the air and adjust to it. One you could argue was uncatchable, but that doesn't change the fact that he never spotted the ball and adjusted to it. He'll need to pick it up. He's got the same kind of size/speed combo as Roberto Wallace did but there are times watching him when you think he's more than that because of his ability to make physical tough catches.

*Did not really pay attention to the offensive line. Sorry. I hear Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff looked good. There were no pads today so it just wasn't worth it to me.

*Similarly I largely ignored the defensive linemen especially on the East. I saw the West squad doing some drills so I took a peek at one point. All I will say about them is that Travis Johnson of San Jose State looked quickest of all defensive linemen, though undersized. In addition to being consistently quickest into his 2nd and 3rd steps off the ball, Johnson also made a nice play fighting through blocks physically in team drills. It's enough to have me taking a closer look at his work at SJSU. Caleb Schreibeis of Montana State also looked fast off the ball though I didn't see much else.

*Though it's not the acclaim he would want, the West roster had DT William Campbell of Michigan long snapping, and it was terrible. Everything was either way over the punter's head, or dribbling on the ground in front of him. The punter Josh Hubner of Arizona State still did well with it, so he should probably thank Campbell for the chance to show the scouts that he won't get rattled by bad long snaps and that he's got some ups to climb the ladder and catch a bad snap, then still get the ball off. The punter himself was not so happy about this, and the whole episode induced the line of the day. He came off the field complaining to the kicker about the whole drill, asking the kicker if he saw it and describing how Campbell had snapped three way over his head and more dribbling on the ground. Then he said "Everything was either Derek Jeter or Tyson Chandler". I laughed.

*Similar long snap issues on the East squad. At one point the second string long snapper was in and it was bad enough that Jerry Glanville shouted something to the effect of "Coach, who's your first string long snapper? We need to get him back out here cuz this guy sucks."

*The standout RB of the day was easy enough to guess if you've followed him over the years, and that was Ray Graham of Pittsburgh. He easily stood out over his East teammates for his burst and vision. He kept a good tempo as well. Not too surprisingly, the standout of the West bunch was Christine Michael of Texas A&M. I'm not the biggest fan of Michael although there is definitely a point at which I would pull the trigger on him which is more than I can say for a lot of players at the position. He showed good vision and fantastic tempo. The man knows how to practice.

*The best quarterback of the day had to be Nathan Stanley of Southeastern Lousiana. I knew nothing about him at all heading into the day. A compatriot of mine asked me if I'd gotten a chance to look at him and I answered that I had not. So I looked, and I loved what I was seeing, relative to everyone else (which is an important point...there are almost never any decent quarterbacks at Shrine practice). He's VERY tall at 6'5" at the least, with a solid look and build to him. He did not move sluggish for his size. I wouldn't say he had a cannon for an arm but he threw the prettiest ball of all the quarterbacks, and clearly (in my opinion) the most accurate...which is how you score big with me. His decisions seemed to come out on time.

*The rest of the quarterback bunch were kind of mean. Though people I respect keep wanting to cheer for Colin Klein of Kansas State, I didn't see it. In fact he looked like a flipping disaster throwing the football and holding onto it too long. I don't mean to be harsh, but he looks like a pop warner quarterback with his arm motion, the ball comes out wobbly a lot, and the arm strength isn't there. What's worse, neither the accuracy nor timing were there either. I thought Colby Cameron of Louisiana Tech really struggled on the day with accuracy and timing. He looked too careful out there. It was not impressive. I felt like he was hurting his receivers' chances of showing off. The West quarterbacks were for the most part a flipping disaster from an accuracy standpoint. They started to turn things up in drills where things are simplified and they're just throwing the sluggo or post-corner deep, but otherwise it was pretty rough especially for Seth Doege of Texas Tech and Alex Carder of Western Michigan. That left Matt Scott of Arizona who I honestly felt probably had the second best day of the quarterbacks, but that was not saying a lot. This could all change. Last year the most impressive quarterback of the week ended up being Packers 7th round pick B.J. Coleman of Tennessee-Chattanooga. But on the first day his accuracy was scatter-shot, whereas Chandler Harnish of Northern Illinois had the best first day but ended up really regressing as the week wore on.

*Tight Ends Joseph Fauria of UCLA and Zach Sudfeld of Nevada were good to watch playing next to one another. It really highlighted their differences, strengths and weaknesses, while still keeping them comparable due to their shared height of about 6'7" tall. Sudfeld is built more thickly, feels like a much more solid player. Additionally, he was a little craftier, a little better balanced and had a knack for making himself available to the quarterback on shorter routes. He wasn't that slow, either. All of this was very marginal, it's not like he blew Fauria out of the water in any of these categories. It was very close and the two stood out head and shoulders in these categories above their third teammate Josh Line of Idaho State. Where Joseph Fauria made himself stand out though are in your key "potential" areas. He unfurls those long arms and long body at the top of the catch, gets air and can catch balls outside of his frame a lot better than Sudfeld. Additionally, he showed off his ability to engage that final gear and accelerate through to a ball that would have been out of Sudfeld's range on the deep post-corner, and finished it off with a diving catch that he held onto as he rolled in the ground. It was a fantastic play and showed why Fauria is ultimately going to be the one drafted before Sudfeld in April. The problem? On that very same diving catch, Fauria came up limping. He walked around with one of the trainers assistants (gatorade girl) for a little bit, limping and trying to see if he could work out the problem. He couldn't, so he came to the sidelines where the head trainer greeted him and began asking him if it was his hip which it seemed to be, and he escorted him off the field. I'm not sure we're going to see Fauria for the rest of the week after that one.

*On the East squad, D.C. Jefferson of Rutgers became a busy man. He caught a lot of passes on the day and showed off soft hands. He's a big guy at 6'6" and 250 lbs, and he's built very athletically. He caught balls reaching back, and generally secured them well enough to run after the catch. The problem was despite his build, he's just not that athletic. There isn't much burst there or speed. I came away thinking he's good here and he was a busy man because the quarterbacks were dumping off a lot as they feel their way out in the offense, but he's not necessarily a good NFL prospect. The other tight ends were not really worthy of note.

*The most impressive linebacker to pass the 90 second look test had to be Keith Pough of Howard University. He was a real alpha performer on the day. His size at 6'3" and 238 lbs was tremendous. Furthermore, he seemed to be having fun at practice and had the most playful energy of the bunch, though there were other linebackers that had intensity. He made plays in team drills and looked good in individual drills.

*I'm partial because he's the first guy I've gotten to evaluate honestly from my own alma mater, but I thought Robert McCabe of Georgetown looked genuinely good and was around the ball a lot against the run AND pass. I have to hand it to him. He's got some buzz going for him. I realize A.J. Klein of Iowa State is one of my favorites, and of course I'm likely to be partial toward Sam Barrington of South Florida, but they did not stand out as much. However, that could just be a product of not possessing a thousand eyes. You can only see so much. So while I know that people will want to also know about Sio Moore of Connecticut and/or Gerald Hodges of Penn State, let me just say they're in the same boat. When/if they do something that stands out, I'll let you know. For now the winners on the day were Pough and McCabe.

*I watched a lot of defensive back individual drills today. I particularly like paying attention to footwork drills and watching guys' feet and hips. You usually expect corners to take top honors on those drills but this year the player that caught my eye the most on the East was Safety Josh Evans of Florida, and the one who caught my eye the most on the West was Safety Shamarko Thomas of Syracuse. Thomas I'd have expected to look good. I wasn't expecting anything on Evans. There were others that looked and moved the part. I would say few were really bad, though I noticed some stiff hips on Rod Sweeting of Georgia Tech.

*The West defensive backs group boasts a lot of players that can make plays on the football. They did some catching drills that were flat impressive. I say impressive because nobody made it easy. They often signaled which way to break just as the ball was coming out, and so these guys had to make snap reactions and often pull in an off target ball from really bad balance points. But they did it, consistently. It was...impressive. Damontre Hurst of Oklahoma had the most impressive such play but all of them got in on the action it seemed.

*In the team drills, a couple of players stood out best. One was the aptly-named safety from the North Carolina State Wolfpack, Earl Wolff. He did an excellent job breaking on the football and identifying his assignments. He had an interception at one point and also came up to make some tackles for very short gains. Terry Hawthorne of Illinois also had a very good day in coverage during team drills, not quite putting himself in position to knock down passes but putting himself in position to make tackles for very minimal gains. Though he had a really tough day against Alabama recently, I thought Zeke Motta of Notre Dame bounced back pretty nicely with a strong day of practice.

*With another warning about potential bias, I thought CB Kayvon Webster of South Florida had as good a day overall as any corner on either team. In team drills he got a key breakup, knocking the pass up into the air to where it could've been picked off if someone was there to execute the tip drill. He also got some nice tackles. I mentioned before that Rodney Smith of Florida state caught a deep ball on Brandon McGee of Miami but that a second corner had come across the field and gotten depth to try and swipe the ball out of the air. That second player was Kayvon Webster. I happened to be looking at Webster on the play and I thought he did a fantastic job reading that there were no threats in his zone, reading the quarterback's eyes and getting depth in his back pedal, seeing the deep post route being run by Rodney Smith, then breaking on the football while it was in the air. He only just barely came short on the interception, as the ball squirted through his hands. The most impressive part of Webster's practice day though was the intensity with which he approached special teams drills. He clearly knows how he is going to get his foot in the door in the NFL, and he's working his hardest to make sure it happens. You see the coaches during teaching drills trying to teach the guys technique, form, get your feet here, narrow your body there, etc...for example on drills as a gunner on punt coverage. Most of the players just focused on speed, thinking speed is what is going to catch everyone's eye, and so they took shortcuts on the teaching points. Webster focused on executing the techniques, and it paid off when they got into team punt drills and he was able to get down the field and greet the punter as the ball arrived. Similarly, as the second blocker on the other side of the ball against the gunner, he was the only guy I saw on the East squad approaching the duty with both intensity and an attention to detail, and so he was the most effective overall. It wasn't that he was the only one going 100% while everyone was at practice speed. He was going the appropriate practice speed. But he was focusing on taking no shortcuts, getting everything right, and maintaining his intensity throughout the play instead of just doing his job for short bursts.

01-15-2013, 02:08 AM
Thanks for the astute insight CK!

Austin Tatious
01-15-2013, 12:12 PM
Good stuff, CK.

Rather disappointed in Fauria based on your tepid comments on him. I felt like he has flashes like Jimmy Graham to some degree. But your report has some Michael Egnew type feel to him. Sounds more like a 3rd or 4th rounder, as compared to the 2nd rounder I have seen him advertised as in some projections.

01-15-2013, 12:25 PM
Michael Egnew feel? Not sure where that comes from.

I just essentially confirmed that he looks like the best tight end on the field and that he makes some really athletic plays on the football.

01-15-2013, 12:49 PM
Thx for the updates

01-15-2013, 01:08 PM
Jasper Collins is an intriguing WR. He's one of my small school sleepers. Truthfully, if not for the success of Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts this kid probably wouldn't get many looks since Mount Union is Div III but somehow that school has produced good players and they just finished winning their 11th NCAA Div III football championship. Collins played in 15 games (15-0) had 92 receptions, 1694 yards (18.4 ypc) and 22 receiving TDs...9 100-yard games, 2 200-yard games and the last 6 straight games, most of which were in the playoffs, were all over 100 yards receiving.

He's had a better college career than Pierre Garcon but not as good as Cecil Shorts who had a phenomenal career at Mount Union.

01-15-2013, 02:12 PM
He looks a lot more Cecil Shorts than Pierre Garcon, not least of which because he looks small.

Mile High Fin
01-15-2013, 04:39 PM
Interesting read.
I'll reference these comments when watching the developments of the NFL draft going forward.

Fin Thirteen
01-15-2013, 05:46 PM
Emory Hunt mentioned Jaspar Collins in his WR piece, so I took a look. Not bad, looks about 6' on video, long arms, lean but fairly muscular. Nice burst off the line, handles the jam well and looks to have good lateral agility. Didn't see much burst from second gear once he got a little separation. Decent yac ability and good hands. He was a willing blocker if not technically great and was definitely unafraid to go into traffic for the ball. What I liked about him was he showed obvious desire to be a contributor and focal point in the game but stayed very relaxed, composed and loose. Looks pretty decent.

01-15-2013, 06:01 PM
Some quick Day 2 notes, I'll leave the bulk of my update for after Day 3 which is most important.

*I did not attend morning practice for the East team as I was tied up.

*Shout out to Ben Volin of the PBP whom I saw at practice. He said things are boring back in Miami as there's practically nothing happening news-wise, so why not come up?

*TE Joseph Fauria missed practice and even though they have yet to replace him in the lineup, I have to think caution being what it is, he'll probably miss the rest of the week. But until they replace him with someone, there's a chance he'll come back in.

*Al Harris is turning out to be quite the DB Coach and he's caught the eye of several onlookers, including Jeff Ireland. However, as the press have stated, Miami is not expected to make changes to their coaching staff.

*Al Harris unleashed his talented West defensive backs on the unsuspecting West receivers today. Yesterday you could catch a glimpse of how talented the West defensive backs generally were, but they were handcuffed. Today they pressed, and boy were they physical. It brought out the best and worst in the receivers.

*Mount Union's Jasper Collins wilted like lettuce under a heat lamp against the press from Al Harris' defensive backs. He got jammed up so badly on a few plays he couldn't even run the route. It wasn't all bad, he started to show glimpses of using his speed as a weapon against the jam, making it so that you couldn't get hands on him or if you tried he would pull away. But the glimpses were fleeting, and generally speaking the pressure mounted on him so bad that even when he got open he often dropped the football. Bad, bad day for Jasper.

*One of the reps where Collins got tied up so badly he couldn't run the route brought out the line of the day from DB Coach Al Harris. Travis Howard of Ohio State did the jamming, and Collins got weeded up so bad that he totally improvised the route and broke to the inside (even though it was an outside route) and the QB improvised with him, completing the pass. Al Harris then shouted out to Travis Howard, "That's alright, if he has to make up his route while he out here, then you pressin' the sh!t outta him."

*Where Keenan Davis and Tyson Goard looked like JAGs yesterday, today the physicality of practice brought the best out of them. They made plays, and especially the lengthy and athletic Goard has my eye based on his performance today. He wasn't always doing everything right, at one point he had to be coached on coming back to the quarterback on his routes, but with his frame and how he responded to a physically tough practice style, I'm intrigued.

*The best corners on the day looked to be Terry Hawthorne and Ohio State's Travis Howard. Strong shout to Nevada's Khalid Wooten and UCLA's Sheldon Price as well. I thought guys like Iowa's Micah Hyde, Oklahoma's Damontre Hurst and UCLA's Aaron Hester were up and down. Unfortunately the one who was mostly down on the day was Kansas State's Nigel Malone.

*Shamarko Thomas looked superb today. Showed great anticipation and reading of the quarterback. He's showing himself to be the complete package a la T.J. Ward who was at these practices a few years back.

*The linebackers didn't do particularly well or poorly today. I thought Virginia's Steve Greer had a tough day in coverage.

*The defensive lineman that stood out to me the most was once again San Jose State's Travis Johnson. He is extremely quick, the quickest of all defensive linemen, and he made plays using strength and physicality during team drills. Calgary offensive tackle Kirby Fabien had trouble with him all day in pass rush.

*The quarterbacks were once again scattershot and prone to execution failures. There were fumbled exchanges all over the place, poor throws, balls that came extremely late, etc. Matt Scott showed on some plays that he could throw with anticipation and timing, and he throws a very pretty ball. He looks taller than I always thought of him, as well. However, his accuracy was scattershot and he was probably the most prone (though all were) to poor execution and fumbled exchanges.

*With Joseph Fauria gone and no tight end to replace him (yet), Zach Sudfeld and Idaho State's Josh Hill took full advantage and showed off a little bit in the passing game. Neither seems to me to be a really "good" player but they played well today.

*Les Brown's brother, Braden Brown of BYU is out here. As uuusge.

*Didn't see much from the OLs again today but I'll be hitting them pretty hard tomorrow.

01-15-2013, 08:09 PM
Isn't Al Harris already on our coaching staff?

01-15-2013, 11:01 PM
Heard on the Big O show that Nathan Stanley has really stood out and is the only QB worth a damn out there. Says Colin Klein is flat out awful.

01-15-2013, 11:11 PM
I sound like a Westwood homer - I like Fauria, Price and Hester

01-15-2013, 11:13 PM
Isn't Al Harris already on our coaching staff?

Yeah but as an intern. What I meant was I don't think he's getting a promotion and replacing one of our staff members if the report is true that none of the staff are being let go.

But now it's being reported he's being promoted. Not sure how that works since Phil Anarumo already has an assistant DBs Coach.

---------- Post added at 10:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:11 PM ----------

Heard on the Big O show that Nathan Stanley has really stood out and is the only QB worth a damn out there. Says Colin Klein is flat out awful.

Sadly that's been my assessment since about halfway into Monday's first West practice. These guys are not that great but Nathan Stanley might be decent.

01-15-2013, 11:21 PM
Sometimes it's nice not to really have a strong background on a guy at Shrine practice, see if he really stands out to you before you can fall in love with stats or stories, backgrounds, even tape.

About 15 minutes into the first West practice of the week I was watching DL drills. They were practicing getting off the snap and into their vertical rush. I noticed a guy that was getting a full step at the least over every single other player that lined up with him. I started asking a friend about him and he just noted that he's kind of small, might have a chance as an OLB in a 3-4. I was watching him in team drills and for his size, he was showing great strength and was making plays against the run. Then today in team drills he blows by a Calgary offensive tackle en route to a sack, and had owned the guy's number all day in other drills. He also made two more plays against the run in the backfield using great strength for his size. He's the only defensive lineman on either the East or West squads that has really caught my eye, the only guy I've written about (twice now).

Shamefully, I didn't know much of anything about him prior to practice. Not so shamefully, the guy who grabbed my attention in only 15 minutes of practice turned out to be the active career leader in sacks at 32 (49 career TFLs), with 13.0 sacks and 21.5 TFLs this year (not to mention 3 forced fumbles), and has twice been on the mid-season Ted Hendricks Award watch list.

Fin Thirteen
01-16-2013, 08:56 AM

You're watching Shamarko Thomas, who a lot of us like. Could you also keep an eye on Nevada's Duke Williams and let me know how he's doing? Much appreciated.

01-16-2013, 10:44 AM

I and I'm sure ALOT of people on this board want to get a much better idea of scouting, particularly from paid Miami Dolphins Scouts. I've read many of your writings including this one and I'm always left impress with your observation with various subtle difference between this guy and that guy etc. From your observation, relationship etc with other scouting people especially people that work for the Miami Dolphins can you help clarify a few things and some of this is obvious

1) Is their a standard? When you observe/scout a DB, TE etc? Build, Speed....

2) Are most NFL Scouts good, very good, awesome at what they do?

and the big one

3) How does it go so wrong? Pat White pick, Eddie Moore etc? How does the information from the Scout to the GM to Draft day happen? How can an "obviously" bad player still get selected?


01-16-2013, 11:18 AM
Jasper Collins measured a lot smaller than he's listed for Mount Union. Came in at 5101 and 183 lbs. Decent sized hands though at 9 1/4". He's got short arms and a small wingspan giving him a small catch radius...that's a big minus.

01-16-2013, 12:37 PM
Yeah but as an intern. What I meant was I don't think he's getting a promotion and replacing one of our staff members if the report is true that none of the staff are being let go.

But now it's being reported he's being promoted. Not sure how that works since Phil Anarumo already has an assistant DBs Coach.

Accroding to Ben Volin:

Another source also said that former Packers CB Al Harris, a two-time Pro Bowler and a coaching intern with the Dolphins last year, will return in 2013 as a defensive assistant who focuses mostly on defensive backs.