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2016 Shrine Game preview

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Some of the most interesting names to watch for in Saturday's annual Shrine college all-star game.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

This Saturday, January 23rd, will be the first of the two primary college all-star games: the East West Shrine Game. While not as hyped as its older brother, the Senior Bowl, the Seahawks have actually seemed to find quite a few of their draftpicks under John Schneider at the Shrine. Here are the Seahawks that came to Seattle via the Shrine Game:

2015 4th round OL Terry Poole

2015 4th round OG Mark Glowinski

2015 5th round CB Tye Smith

2015 UDFA WR Kasen Williams

2015 UDFA S Ronald Martin

2015 UDFA LB Quayshawn Nealy

2014 2nd round OL Justin Britt

2014 4th round DE Cassius Marsh

2013 2nd round RB Christine Michael

2012 UDFA OL Rishaw Johnson

2011 UDFA S Jeron Johnson

*Also waiver-claimed: Nick Moody, AJ Francis

Interesting that we’ve found a couple 2nd rounders at the Shrine, and also note that we’ve increased the number of draftpicks spent on Shrine players each of the last three years.

I’ll give you some of the names on each of the four half-teams (East Offense, East Defense, West Offense, West Defense) that I will be keeping my eye on this year.

East Offense

TE #81 Steven Scheu- I had written some on Scheu in preseason, or perhaps last year, after he had a nice Junior campaign of 39 catches, 13.46ypc, 4 TD in 2014. This year his numbers slipped (26 catches, 8.88ypc, 1 TD) and I really lost track of him. Scheu has pretty ideal TE size at 6’5"/245.

WR #1 Tajae Sharpe- Tajae is another guy I’ve been writing about since last year, only Tajae lived up to his potential this year posting the most receptions in the country with 111, to go with 1319 yards and 5 TD. Tajae is a tall, lean WR that has good route-running and good hands. 6’3"/188.

WR #21 Chris Brown- I don’t remember which Notre Dame game I was watching, but Brown caught my eye in it. Listed at 6’2"/195, but he looks smaller to me. Really, he looks similarly built to Paul Richardson. Brown was the WR2 for the Irish behind Will Fuller, but was used primarily as an underneath, shifty, screen pass type receiver. Better hands than Fuller, but more of a 4.48 speed guy to Fuller’s 4.35.

RB #25 Brandon Ross- I spotted Ross early this year:

That size is pretty much in the Seahawk RB wheelhouse, and Ross finished this year with 958 yards, 10 TD, and a pretty nice little 6.39ypc.
Keenan Reynolds is also on the East as a RB, but I’m not sure what to make of him yet. Need to see him catch passes.

East Defense

DE #91 Victor Ochi- All-star games are, perhaps, most useful to see small-school players get a chance to go against some of the power-5 conference competition. That will be the case for Ochi. I’ve just seen one game from Ochi, but it was promising. 6’2"/255.

DT #97 Javon Hargrave- A similar story to Ochi, Hargrave will be attempting to prove himself vs stronger level of competition. Against MEAC competition, Javon racked up 13.5 sacks, 22.0 TFL, 11 QBH, 2 FF in 2015. 6’2"/295.

LB #37 Antwione Williams- Sunday night I was thinking about the draft and realized I really haven’t watched many LB, and certainly haven’t found many I liked. So I watched the top guys on draftbreakdown. Then I started going through all of the Shrine guys one-by-one. Antwione is the one that stood out to me. Listed 6’3"/245 and very high cut. On tape Williams just explodes through his tackles.

DE #51 Mike Rose- On paper, Rose is interesting from a production standpoint: 10.5 sacks, 15.0 TFL, 7 QBH, 2 FF. But on closer inspection, half of his sacks came in two games: Wake Forest and Boston College. Not exactly top OT competition. But he’s a very smart, likable player. 6’3"/270.

**There is a very good chance the next Seahawk DB draftpick comes from the Shrine rosters.

CB #31 Juston Burris- Another NC State kid, this is a player that has had some inconsistencies this year. Some games I watched and was completely sold, and then he’d have games where he would take two steps back. Needs a good week of practice and play. But the size is ideal: 6’1"/207.

SAF #2 Deon Bush- A great hitter. A great kid. Versatile enough to play either strong or free. 6’1"/205.

SAF #8 Justin Simmons- A really interesting, centerfield type free safety. Very good tackler. I’ve been tracking Simmons since week 3 when he caught my eye vs FSU. 6’3"/194. Even had him in my 2nd mock (http://www.fieldgulls.com/2015/10/26/9614174/2016-nfl-draft-seattle-sea-mock-2-0).

SAF #22 Elijah Shumate- Probably more of a strong safety. Inconsistent on tape, but seems to have above average athleticism. 6’0"/224.

West Offense

QB #3 Vernon Adams- I think most in the NW are very familiar with Adams at this point. Hopefully we see him under center a little bit.

TE #83 David Morgan- A really good blocking TE, I’ll be watching to see if there is much athleticism and hands to go with his rungame skills. 6’4"/260.

WR #1 Keyarris Garrett- The country’s leader in receiving yards, Keyarris is a huge target with impeccable hands. Can he separate against those East DB’s? 6’4"/221. (Note: just checked Shrine website prior to publishing and Keyarris has been added to the Injured list.)

West Defense

CB # 36 Le’Shaun Sims- Miles Killebrew kind of stole the Southern Utah spotlight, but Sims reminds me a little bit of 2015 2nd rounder Quinten Rollins. A very thick, athletic build at 6’0"/200. 2 INT and 10 PBU this year. As a sophomore, Sims had 5 tackles, 2 PBU, and an INT vs Gabe Marks and Washington State. James Cowser from SUU is also pretty legit.

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/663369/highlights/318767391/v2

LB #41 Travis Feeney- I will be watching Sweet Trav to see if they’ll play him at a traditional LB’er spot. We know he’s undersized for a DE, and even for a LEO, so his future may require him to push back from the LOS to WILL. 6’4"/226.

You may have noticed I didn’t highlight any OL from either team. This is mostly because the Senior Bowl really cornered the market on the top-end OL this year (while others are Juniors and not invited to either game). Similar story for the DL players.

I’m still trying to figure out who Schneider likes at Utah. I feel like there is one in particular, but I don’t know who. The Utes that will be playing in the Shrine: OC Siaosi Aiono, SAF Tevin Carter, LB Gianni Paul.

Players of interest invited to Shrine but currently injured: DE Matt Judon, CB Taveze Calhoun. Both of these guys were in my preseason mock: http://www.fieldgulls.com/2015/8/10/9125693/2016-nfl-draft-preseason-sea-mock