The East-West Shrine Game will take place on Saturday on NFL Network at 4 p.m. ET. It is the longest-running all-star game in college football and features several NFL prospects. Most players are low-round talents with upside but could greatly increase their stock with a great performance on Saturday. Just ask Redskins running back Alfred Morris, who went from stone-handed FAU alum with no shot at the draft to a back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher and a sixth-round pick.
Another benefit of the game, is that introduces fans to a lot of small school prospects. This game will likely be a first-look at several players for national audience and it will be interesting to see how they play against top college talent. With a record number of underclassmen in this draft class, it is extremely important for seniors to make a splash in order to have a shot at going before Day 3.
Josh Collacchi and I took at stab at 10 players we thought would be possible Eagles targets in this game. Below are the guys we think you should look out for on Saturday:
QB Jeff Mathews, Cornell (6'4" 229 lbs) East Team
Mathews could be one of the developmental quarterbacks in this draft, and has one of the best arms in the country. Watching him perform against faster players is a big step in his evaluation process. He possesses the size and the arm, but needs to improve in many other areas to become a quarterback in the NFL.
WR Jeremy Gallon, Michigan (5'8" 184 lbs) East Team
The fifth year senior has a lot to prove, and with a chip on his shoulder. Gallon can be a weapon in the slot for a pass-happy team at the next level, and the only thing going against him is his size. At just 5'8 and 180 pounds, he needs to show elite playmaking ability to make it into the middle rounds, given his lack of breakaway speed.
DT Zach Kerr, Delaware (6'2" 310 lbs) East Team
Kerr was dominant at the FCS level, and he will show what he can do against higher competition in this game. After seeing Kerr live a few times, there is no question he can play at the next level, but he will need to show it on a consistent basis for NFL teams to take notice. Kerr was nearly impossible to move at Delaware, and he hopes to show the same talent in the Shrine game.
CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood (6'2" 206 lbs) West Team
Desir will be talked about immensely between now and the draft, and for good reason. At 6-foot-2 and over 200 pounds, the size will immediately attract everyone, but his football ability is the reason why he is one to watch. At times he may get burned down the field, as he lacks elite speed, but a technically sound corner who can make plays at a size that is hard to find.
WR Seantavious Jones, Valdosta State (6'3" 200 lbs) West Team
One of my favorite names in the country (Seantavious is awesome) gets his chance to show he belongs at the next level. Has a good size/speed combination, but is very raw in terms of ability. He will not be close to the top receivers in this class, but will be worth a look as a project.
WR Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina (6'3" 190 lbs) East Team
Hazel is a hipster scout's dream. He is tall, quick and a decent route runner from a small school. While Hazel did not carry the team, he was an absolute play-maker. He fits with the Eagles due to his willingness to block and his ability to get yards after the catch. He is elusive and could likely be had in the later rounds.
S Alden Darby, Arizona State (5'11" 192 lbs) West Team
I got to see this guy live against Oregon State and he is has a nose for the ball. He can force turnovers (four interceptions this season) and is solid in coverage. The Eagles obviously need an upgrade at safety, but depth is just as important.
S Tre Boston, North Carolina (6'1" 205 lbs) East Team
A talented athlete and a solid tackler, Boston had some hype going on prior to this season. While he is not a turnover machine, he is a vocal leader on the field and is tough as nails. He is a smart player that uses great technique and his size makes him even more appealing. He is decent in coverage, but likely more of box safety in the NFL and could eventually start in the league.
S Sean Parker, Washington (5'10" 190 lbs) West Team
Can you tell what I have made a priority? Parker is a safety net-type player with Ryan Clark written all over him. He is a scrapper, who can make plays in both coverage and against the run. He shows good hustle and will tackle cleanly. He has a lot of experience in one-on-one coverage.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6'3" 222 lbs) West Team
Garoppolo led the nation in passing yards (5,050) and touchdowns (52) this season and would be a strong backup for any WCO team. Like Nick Foles, he is great at scanning the field and finding open guy. Also like Foles, has good pocket mobility. He comes from the same school as Tony Romo.
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