Monday, January 16, 2012

It's East-West Shrine Game Week


As a draftnik and a college All-Star game fan this is one of my favorite times of the year when looking at the upcoming draft. This Saturday starts the run of three good all-star games. First is the East/West Shrine game. Then comes the best of the All-Star games in the Senior Bowl and finally the NFLPA all star game. Anyway the East-West Shrine game is a game that usually doesn't have many 1st round caliber seniors playing (this is a senior only all-star game much like the Senior Bowl) but there is a wealth of NFL prospects that may come out of this game. For example, the Redskins drafted three players that played in the East-West game last year with one ending the 2011 season as a starter. Those players include: Evan Royster, Brandyn Thompson and Aldrick Robinson.

More or less, East-West has talent but just don't expect many of these players to be drafted during days 1 or 2 in the draft.

Here is a list of five players to keep an eye on at the East-West Shrine Game:

1. B.J. Coleman QB (Tennessee-Chatanooga)- a prospect that has a great deal of tangibles (height, arm) but played at a smaller school as a transfer after the whole Lane Kiffin leaving Tenessee for USC debacle. He apparently has talent but has a lot to work on. Pro Football Weekly has him 8th in their QB rankings. National Football Post has him ranked 7th. CBS Sports has him ranked 14th.

2. Chandler Harnish QB (Northern Illinois)- Another small school prospect that has been moving up some draft boards. I haven't had a chance to watch either Coleman or Harnish, so let's see if they can live up to the buzz about them.

3. Joe Long OT (Wayne St.)- I can't find a single ranking on him on NFP or CBS but I want to watch him on Saturday. He is the younger brother of Miami LT Jake Long. Doesn't mean that he'll be the next Eli Manning to brother Peyton (probably more like Jordan Palmer to his brother Carson), but I'm curious to see if he's worth using a late round pick.

4. Jerry Franklin ILB (Arkansas)- sixth in the SEC in tackles, leading the Razorbacks with tackles. Very durable and is 3rd in Arkansas history for tackles with 374, Might be worth looking at as depth and a future replacement for London Fletcher.

5. Robert Blanton CB (Notre Dame)- I like his size and ability to play man. Might be competition for Brandyn Thompson and Kevin Barnes.

Others: Jeff Adams (Columbia), Davin Meggett (Maryland)

The game starts Saturday the 21st on NFLN at 4PM EST.

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