Day one of practice is in the books as we got our first opportunity to look at the talent that will be participating in the East-West Shrine Game. Players were vocal in excitement to start playing, which for many was their first time getting back to organized football practice in weeks.
There were athletes from all different kinds of schools and conferences that are trying to showcase their talents in front of NFL scouts and coaches. With the opening practices taking place in just helmets and shoulder pads for the players, the day was highlighted by skill position players.
Here were the standouts on defense from both teams on the first day of practice for the East-West Shrine game.
EAST TEAM DT Chris Slayton – Syracuse The first standout from the East squad was defensive tackle Chris Slayton, out of Syracuse. Slayton finished the 2018 season with 18 tackles, with seven for loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He was also named as an All-ACC honorable mention.
Slayton is a true 3-tech defensive lineman that self-admittedly plays better in the run game and repeatedly got a good jump off of the snap and disrupted the backfield on Monday.
On the very next play #95 Chris Slayton (DT, Syracuse) uses the same push and pull move to get penetration again. pic.twitter.com/8V2AzG6pAy
CB Michael Jackson Sr. – Miami The other standout from the East squad on Monday was defensive back Michael Jackson Sr. out of Miami. Jackson was named an All-ACC defensive back in 2018 behind 42 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks and six passes defended.
Jackson had multiple passes broken up in coverage on Monday including multiple instances of successful coverage and passes broken up when lined up across wide receiver Terry Godwin II out of Georgia, another guy who had an otherwise great first day of practice.
WEST TEAM DT Daniel Wise – Kansas Again, the first guy that has to be mentioned as a standout from the West squad came from the trenches, and he might have had the strongest day of anyone. Daniel Wise, a defensive lineman out of Kansas, excelled in both the run game and pass game for the entire practice.
Wise was named to the 2018 Preseason All-Big 12 First Team following a 2017 campaign that landed him on the All-Big 12 First Team.
S D’Cota Dixon – Wisconsin D’Cota Dixon was another one of the many big-school guys that landed on the West team’s roster and he showed out on Monday. Dixon only played in nine games for the Badgers in 2018 but racked up 43 total tackles with 2.5 of them going for a loss.
In addition to numerous pass breakups on Monday, he topped his day off with an interception down the left sideline off of Boise State quarterback, Brett Rypien, in a team scrimmage.