DEEP FRIED DRAFT

The 94th edition of the East-West Shrine Game is quickly approaching. The annual all-star game will take place on Saturday, January 19th. The contest will broadcast from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida at 2 pm (CST) on NFL Network.

The Shrine Game isn’t as highly thought of like the Senior Bowl. However, this does not mean the game is bereft of prospects.

In the second of a four-part series, I will break down the offensive squad for the West team.

WEST OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

Brett Rypien                         Boise State                          6'2                195
Easton Stick                          North Dakota State          6'2                215
Marcus McMaryion           Fresno State                       6'2                195

The West squad definitely has the advantage under center. Rypien is highly thought of in several draft circles. He manages the game well. Rypien has adequate arm strength to make NFL throws. I think his draft ceiling is in the third round. Easton Stick is not Carson Wentz. Now that we have that out of the way, Stick is a decent prospect. He is a good athlete. Stick has good, not great arm strength. McMaryion really emerged his senior season. He has taken to the tutelage of Jeff Tedford well. He threw 25 TDs in 2018 with 3629 yards passing.

RUNNING BACKS

Devine Ozigbo                     Nebraska                             6'0                236
Nick Brossette                     LSU                                         6'0                221
Darrin Hall                             Pittsburgh                           5'11              225
Qadree Ollison                     Pittsburgh                           6'1                230

The Pitt duo is intriguing. Ollison is a bigger back. Hall has great size but has the breakaway ability. Brossette was the feature back in Baton Rouge for one season. He responded with a 1000-yard season and 14 scores. Ozigbo is the back with the most potentially the highest upside. I need to go back and do further study on him. However, the little bit I have seen fascinates me.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Cody Thompson                  Toledo                                  6'2                200
Jonathan Duhart                 Old Dominion                     6'3                220
Shawn Poindexter             Arizona                                 6'5                218
KeeSean Johnson               Fresno State                       6'2                202
Keelan Doss*                       UC-Davis                              6'1                206
Xavier Ubosi                         UAB                                       6'3                215

Cody Thompson was a big play threat for the Rockets. Unfortunately, he was sidelined for a chunk of 2017 with a knee injury. An injury he may still not be 100% back from. Poindexter has tremendous size. Duhart was the more well-known receiver for the Monarchs but it was his teammate Travis Fulgham that got the Senior Bowl invite. KeeSean Johnson is Marcus McMaryion’s go-to guy. He is a good route runner with excellent hands. Ubosi is a height/weight/speed player. He had over 200 yards and 3 TDs in the UAB bowl win. *Keelan Doss received a Senior Bowl invite and likely won't play.

TIGHT ENDS

Kendall Blanton                   Missouri                               6'6                265
Elkanah Dillon                      Oregon                                 6'5                245
Andrew Beck                        Texas                                     6'3                255

Dillon is a grad transfer from South Florida. He has potential but the production isn’t there. Blanton looks the part but isn’t what I would call a world beater. He averaged less than nine per catch. Beck came to Austin as a linebacker. He finished 2018 with 281 yards on 28 catches.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Brian Wallace                       Arkansas                              6'6                320
O'Shea Dugas                       Louisiana Tech                   6'5                339
Paul Adams                           Missouri                               6'6                315
Jackson Barton                    Utah                                      6'7                312
Ryan Pope                             San Diego State                 6'7                315
Trey Pipkins                          Sioux Falls                            6'7                307
Juwann Bushell-Beatty    Michigan                              6'6                315
Alex Bookster                      Pittsburgh                           6'6                315

A few of these guys are going to kick inside. The best prospects of the group are Juwann Bushell-Beatty and Jackson Barton. Trey Pipkins is one of those intriguing players. He has great size but Sioux Falls football tape is hard to come by.

INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE

Lanard Bonner                     Arkansas State                   6'5                315
Keaton Sutherland             Texas A&M                         6'5                315
John Keenoy                        Western Michigan            6'3                300
Jesse Burkett                       Stanford                               6'4                304
Nick Linder                            Indiana                                 6'3                300

Nick Linder was one of my top center prospects LAST YEAR. He decided to leave Miami and transfer to Indiana. The rose ain’t blooming like it was. However, Linder is still an NFL-quality center. Burkett is a late-round prospect. Keep an eye on Lanard Bonner. He is making the move from offensive tackle.

That concludes the preview of the WEST team offense. Next, I will look at the EAST team defense.

2019 SHRINE GAME

WEST TEAM OFFENSE PREVIEW