Every year, under the radar senior draft prospects get together and showcase their talents at the East-West Shrine Game. This year, the game has drawn a lot of talented players who should draw a lot of intrigue. Looking at the rosters, here are some names to watch as players who the Eagles should take a look at. There is a lot of great info coming out of St. Petersburg, Florida right now, so I asked FootballGameplan.com's very own Emory Hunt, who is on location, for his first person view on these players.
- Vernon Adams, Quarterback, Oregon: Vernon Adams made a lot of noise when he transferred from Eastern Washington as one of the best players in the FCS to Oregon before this past season. Adams had a slow start, but finished the year as one of the most prolific and efficient quarterbacks in the Pac-12. Though he is undersized, Adams has tremendous smarts, accuracy and ability to extend the play. According to Hunt, Adams "Looked the best out of all the QBs. Best arm out here and can make all the throws necessary", going onto saying that Adams has looked good throwing downfield as well. To me, Adams might not be able to make an impact early in the NFL, but he has the brains and tools necessary to develop as a later round quarterback. His accuracy and brains would be a good fit in the west coast offense Philly may look to run.
- Victo Ochi, Defensive End, Stony Brook: At 6-2, 255, Ochi comes in a bit smaller than many teams would want from their defensive linemen. However, the small school stud does a lot to make up for his size with great tenacity and quickness. He finished as one of the most productive defensive players in Stony Brook's history and he doesn't seem to be slowing down for the Shrine Game. Emory Hunt called him the "Best pass rusher here that consistently gets the corner and is able to affect the play on both ends of defense. He's been a hard stop in 1-on-1." Hunt also commented that he can absolutely play with his hand in the ground. This is great news for the Eagles who are shifting over to a four man fronted defense. Ochi sounds just like the type of player who would fit in with Jim Schwartz, based off his ability, but also his tenacity.
Kivon Cartwright, Tight End, Colorado State: Cartwright is an interesting case because of how long he spent in school. He is a fifth year senior and is a bit older, but that doesn't diminish how talented he is. He is very athletic and stands at 6-4, 250 pounds. He is natural receiver at the position with room to grow as a blocker. Doug Pederson has a propensity to like more athletic tight ends, so Cartwright could draw the team's intrigue.
Tajae Sharpe, Wide Receiver, UMass: There is plenty to be made about how frustrating the Eagles receivers were last season and the team may look to add more competition to the position this offseason. Sharpe has flown under the radar due to playing up in Amherst, but the reality is that he can ball with the best of them. He is a bit smaller, weighing 190 pounds despite standing at 6-3, but he is an excellent route runner with great focus at the catch point and the ability to create after the catch. UMass has not exactly been a world beater during his time there, but he has shone brightly, carrying that offense on his back. The Eagles would be foolish to not even give him a look.
- Jamal Golden, Safety, Georgia Tech: With Walter Thurmond an impending free agent, the Eagles should be interested in keeping their eyes out for youth at safety. Jamal Golden is a vastly experienced defensive back, acting as the staple of the Yellow Jacket secondary for much of his time in Atlanta. Golden has outstanding instincts and plays a physical brand of football. He isn't the biggest or most athletic, but he is a cerebral player who is dependable in coverage and against the run. While he will not make a ton of splash plays, he is very solid and that kind of presence is necessary on a defense.