The West roster lacked the same impressive, surprising players than the East did, but they still featured a handful of under-the-radar guys that likely will force teams to go back and watch more film. Names like Keith Pough, Khalid Wooten, and Caleb Schrebeis are the ones to learn, as well as which FBS players stepped up.
Check here for the players who moved up boards, who moved down boards, the Top 5 prospects on the West roster, and the starting line-ups if I was picking it for the game.
Who Was HELPED The Most
Keenan Davis, WR, Iowa
Some weren’t as impressed with Davis as I was, but after watching enough of him on film to “know what he is”, which is a perfect slot/seam catcher who is efficient in the short area, Davis did even more than I expected. He won’t be an outside-the-hashes impact player, but he can get off-press, gets separation in the short area, and attacks the ball in the air well between zone coverage.
Keith Pough, OLB, Howard
One of our Top 4 round linebackers for most of this year, Pough exceed my expectations of him coming into this week. Mostly a pass rusher at Howard for most of his career there (and a very good one), Pough showed great range in RB and TE pick-up, the ability to sink and drop in coverage, and being active on the interior. Combine that with the leadership he showed all week, and he could be many team’s “favorite” non-Top 50 linebacker.
Khalid Wooten, CB, Nevada
Optimum Scouting’s Chad Dinkins was a fan of Wooten coming into this game, but after Wooten showed he was the best press cornerback here as well as showing the change of direction ability to mirror on the inside, and he’s become the top slot coverage cornerback at the event. Maybe not a lock for the Top 5 rounds, Wooten certainly wouldn’t be a shock there at this point.
Who Was HURT The Most
Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
Matt Scott clearly had the most upside of any quarterback this week thanks to his athleticism and arm strength upside. But he lacked consistent ball placement downfield, his accuracy on timing routes on the edge were very erratic, and he didn’t get a chance to showcase his nimble-ness as a runner. Scott still intrigues, but no longer is a draft-pick lock.
Tyrone Goard, WR, Eastern Kentucky
I wasn’t a huge fan of Goard coming into today, mostly thanks to his ability (on film) to only run one routes well: the 9 (or vertical) route. I hoped to see more of other routes this week, but outside of a few adequate occasions, Goard only showed vertical route ability. There’s potentially a market for his services if he can flash that elsewhere, but he’s no lock for the Top 5 rounds.
Dann O’Neil, OT, Western Michigan
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from O’Neil this week, so I’m not if he was more “hurt” or “exposed” by a talented group of pass rushers. I describe him as a poor, poor mans version of Nate Solder, needing to win with initial extension to have any chance against quicker off the snap rushers. And this week, he struggled when faced against Wes Horton, Caleb Schrebeis, and even Travis Johnson, who isn’t consistently quick off the snap.
Top Five Highest Rated After This Week
1. Keith Pough, OLB, Howard (3rd Round)
-I liked Pough coming into this week. I like him a lot more for reasons different than what he showed on film. In a linebacker class lacking definition past the Top 50, Pough could be a trendy sleeper. A leader who’s athletic, versatile and an unwise player to bet against.
2. Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois (3rd Round)
-Despite his struggles at times this week, Hawthorne still has the upside to be a Top 3-4 round pick because of his physicality, press coverage, and ability to both attack upfield and get vertical. A concerning week for the once highly viewed (by me) prospect, Hawthorne still shouldn’t fall too far, if at all.
3. Zeke Motta, Safety, Notre Dame (3rd Round)
-Similar to Pough, I came into the Shrine Game liking Motta, and left really liking him for completely different reasons. Motta showed the ability to press and get vertical in man coverage despite being a likely Cover 2 safety.
4. Josh Boyd, DT, Mississippi State (4th Round)
-The quickest interior lineman off the snap this week, Boyd should be one of the first players to get a Senior Bowl call-up (should have been there in first place in my opinion). He’s in the mid-round area where there isn’t much DL competition.
5. Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse (4th Round)
-I liked, not loved, Thomas on film, but the active and aggressive safety showed great change of direction and RB/WR/TE pickup on film. I didn’t focus on him too much this week, but he likely won’t fall/rise too much away from the 3rd -5th round area.
“Starting Rosters” Based on This Week Alone
QB – Alex Carder, Western Michigan
RB – Kerwynn Williams, Utah State
WRs – Keenan Davis, Iowa ; Jasper Collins, Mount Union
TE – Zach Sudfeld, Nevada
OTs – Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas ; Braden Brown, BYU
OGs – Jeff Baca, UCLA ; Sam Brenner, Utah
OCs - Andrew Robiskie, Western Illinois
DEs – Caleb Schrebeis, Montana State ; Wes Horton, USC
DTs – Josh Boyd, Mississippi State ; William Campbell, Michigan
LBs – Keith Pough, Howard ; DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina ; AJ Klein, Iowa State
CBs – Khalid Wooten, Nevada ; Terry Hawthorne, Illinois
Safs – Zeke Motta, Notre Dame ; Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse