Practice was held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg inside the dome on field turf. This year’s rosters are loaded with talent and speed. East-West Shrine Game executive director Harold Richardson stated that he believes this year’s event includes the best rosters that they’ve ever had and it would be hard to disagree. Here are some standouts from today’s practice sessions:
Purdue QB David Blough (6038/205) had an outstanding take charge attitude, demonstrating fantastic leadership characteristics, calling out pre-snap reads and making sure teammates are lined up in proper spots. His command of the two-minute drill during practice was impressive. Also, with his hard cadence, look for him to draw some defensive offside penalties during the game on Saturday.
Virginia RB Jordan Ellis (5096/224) is an explosive runner with great burst and change of direction. He also showcased the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and you can sense that the coaching staff here has really taken a liking to his speed and hustle. He has met with about a dozen teams thus far, according to his count.
Georgia WR Terry Godwin (5113/174) looks to be a 4.3-speed type of receiver. Quick and athletic, the slot wide out has an impressive vertical and made a dazzling one-handed grab that was the play of the day. An excellent route runner with great hands and a very willing blocker, Godwin has made himself some money this week.
Kentucky TE C.J. Conrad (6043/252) presents a tall, wide target for his quarterback. While he lacks speed, his route running is sound and he is one of the better blockers in this year’s draft. A four-year starter for the Wildcats, he has struggled with drops but his versatility is paramount. Conrad can be used inline, in the slot, or in the backfield, much like how Rhett Ellison is utilized for the Giants.
North Carolina OLB Cole Holcomb (6012/233) possesses natural ball instincts and takes great angles. His hands are active and he created a forced fumble today. His coverage skills have stood out and he should be amongst one of the top 4-3 OLB prospects in this year’s draft class. His outstanding week of practice has been recognized by NFL scouts, as he has met with 28 teams already.
Boise State QB Brett Rypien (6016/204) is running the Dirk Koetter Buccaneers offense implemented in Tampa Bay. Koetter, the Boise State head coach from 1998-2000, uses a lot of similar terminologies, so Rypien has had no problem with the terminology and communicating plays in the huddle. A four-year starter, Rypien has shown sharp accuracy and has met with over 20 teams.
LSU RB Nick Brossette (5111/217) possesses a compact frame, runs low to the ground and has been utilized out of the slot during red zone drills here in practice. A jack-of-all-trades, master of none, Brossette can carve out a nice role out for himself as a valuable backup at the next level. His timed speed remains the one glaring knock and could ultimately determine where he lands in the draft.
Sioux Falls OT Trey Pipkins (6056/304) started the week playing tackle and was kicked inside to guard due to an accumulation of injuries. He stated that the step up of level of play really hasn’t phased him much, as he has relied on technique and beating opponents to the spot. Pipkins possesses solid feet but needs to bulk up and gain some upper body strength as he transitions to the next level.
Kansas DT Daniel Wise (6024/283) has created a buzz for himself in St. Petersburg and is the one name constantly popping up when speaking with scouts and players. The feisty Wise has been un-blockable all week and plays with laser-focused concentration. He was involved in a dust-up involving Indiana C Nick Linder (6025/306), which was the liveliest moment of the day.
Wyoming SS Andrew Wingard (6000/205) has shown off his versatility playing free safety, strong safety and did a fine job in man coverage today. The self-proclaimed “psycho” on the field, Wingard plays with a reckless demeanor and projects as an in the box strong safety at the next level. He has met with 28 teams thus far ad projects as a solid mid-round pick.
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