After five days of spirited practices, the East-West Shrine game took place at Tropicana Field Saturday afternoon with two rosters of NFL hopefuls battling to improve their draft status.
PewterReport.com covered practices all week and reported on the standouts in our daily reports and in this article we give you a list of players that performed well in front of scouts, GMs, those in attendance along with the NFL Network audience.
Louisiana Tech Running Back Lennon Creer
Maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention this week in practice, but I didn’t remember any standout plays from Creer while on the field at St. Petersburg High School this past week. But Creer came out strong an then saved his best for last scoring the go-ahead and eventual winning touchdown on a 9-yard touchdown gallop with less than one minute to play to give the West team the victory. Creer finished with 80 yards on 15 carries and maybe a much better outlook come draft weekend in April.
University of Tennessee Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman
Coleman earned the starting nod for East team coach Bobby Ross’ team and showed great pocket awareness and accuracy in the first half going 6-for-6 to open the game with one touchdown. Coleman made great strides all week after starting Monday’s practice of very shaky. Mobile in the pocket and showing a strong arm, Coleman may have seen his draft chances rise after a week in St. Pete.
Miami Tight End Chase Ford
Ford showed good hands all week in practices, and on Saturday again showed the toughness and willingness to go up for a ball in traffic. Ford ran a deep tight end seam and went up between linebacker Tank Carder and the West team’s safety to snag a pass for 64 yards. Ford has great size but will need to improve his blocking, as he isn’t necessarily fast and nimble on his feet.
Michigan State Wide Receiver B. J. Cunningham
Cunningham also impressed scouts and the media in attendance during the daily practices and on Saturday caught the East team’s first touchdown pass. Cunningham ran a nice red zone stop route and secured the ball before spinning to the outside avoiding a tackle from the cornerback then racing to the end zone for the score.
Miami Wide Receiver LaRon Byrd
Byrd didn’t get a lot of balls thrown his way but made the most of his opportunities including a touchdown pass in the first half. Byrd lined up in the slot and ran a hard inside slant using his 6-foot, 4-inch body to box out the defender before making the snag at the goal line.
Florida Atlantic Running Back Alfred Morris
Morris was impressive all week for the East demonstrating a physical, low center of gravity style running ability. On Saturday Morris enhanced his draft status displaying the same traits in the game as he did all week in practice. Fumbling was a concern in college but Morris showed good ball security for the East on Saturday evening.
California University of Pennsylvania Wide Receiver Thomas Mayo
Little known before coming to St. Petersburg this week Mayo was one of those players that scouts eventually can’t ignore. Scouts ended the week raving about Mayo’s acceleration, toughness, and excellent hands. Saturday, Mayo displayed those same traits and made some take notice.
Wake Forest Defensive Lineman Kyle Wilber
Wilber most likely will need to add some weight to his frame before excelling in the NFL, but his quickness and closing speed were evident Saturday with one sack and another QB takedown just past the line of scrimmage.
Merrimack College Linebacker Shawn Loiseau
Loiseau was another player who came to St. Pete with little fanfare but rose to the challenge and may have positioned himself to be at least a third-day pick. While not too many splash plays, it seemed Loiseau was all over the field on defense and special teams.
TCU Linebacker Tank Carder
Carder spent quite a bit of time in the backfield Saturday night at Tropicana Field and looked good in his pass coverage drops from his linebacker spot. Carder was physical at the point of attack for the most part and showed fairly good range moving sideline to sideline. Carder had at least two tackles for loss Saturday.
Arkansas Wide Receiver Jarius Wright
Wright had a number of scouts watching his every move in practice all week and didn’t disappoint catching passes and showing the ability to beat the East team’s coverage. Unfortunately for Wright, his quarterbacks didn’t help him out too much and there were several errant deep balls thrown. Wright’s Razorback career produced plenty of highlight material for scouts who might not have seen enough in St. Pete Saturday.
Miami of Ohio offensive Lineman Brandon Brooks
The massive Ohio product was instrumental in the West team’s rushing success and opened up numerous holes for running backs Lennon Creer, Marc Tyler, and Bobby Rainey. Brooks was also solid in pass protection.
Others who had a solid game were WKU RB Bobby Rainey, Colorado QB Tyler Hansen, UCLA TE Cory Harkey, Fresno State WR/KR Devon Wylie, Miami DT Micanor Regis, and Virginia DE Matt Conrath.