2019 NFL Draft: Top prospects in the East West Shrine Game


The Reese’s Senior Bowl headlines all college all-star games with the majority of the top-notch talent performing in Mobile. Though the Senior Bowl still boasts the higher coveted prospects this time around, the East West Shrine Game has its best group of talent it’s had in a long time.

This year’s group features plenty of all-conference players with a handful of top 50 prospects. The offensive side of the ball is highlighted by SEC players with a sprinkle of other talented players that yearn for attention. Here’s a look at the top offensive prospects by position in the East West Shrine Game.

QB: Brett Rypien, Boise State (6-2, 202)

Boise State Athletics

Rypien has the mental and physical makeup to quickly adjust to the next level. From a physical standpoint, Rypien is a rhythm passer with promising touch and velocity control. His release point and symmetrical mechanics pave way for consistent accuracy and excellent anticipation. Rypien plays well when facing pressure as he doesn’t resort to happy feet but stays the course of the play.

Though his arm talent and mechanics are impressive, Rypien’s ability to manipulate defenses and adjust to certain packages make him an even more attractive quarterback prospect. A cerebral player under center, Rypien’s pre-snap reads prove to be the best in the entire 2019 draft class. Having the freedom and trust from the Boise State coaching staff, Rypien will change things up when he senses the defensive play. His defensive manipulation skills come into play when controlling the safety with his eyes and movements. Rypien has a quick trigger and when he feels comfortable where he moved the defensive back, he will deliver a fast ball with impeccable placement and accuracy.

The Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year threw for 3,705 yards with 30 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Rypien’s poise, arm talent and football intelligence kick start him into being one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

 Next in line: Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss (6-2, 210)


 RB: Qadree Ollison, Pittsburgh (6-2, 225)

Pittsburgh Athletics

The clichés of a tall and heavy running back ring true with Ollison but he uses his size to an advantage. His 225-pound creates an easy journey for him through the line of scrimmage having the mass to fight through arm tackles and the lower body strength to power through solo tackles. Ollison doesn’t always run with appropriate pad level but still finds ways to exert his power and lean forward on every carry.

Despite his power, Ollison wins the majority of his runs with subtle quickness in the backfield with a cutback that creates space. He boasts enough vision to quickly recognize the flow of the play and adjusts when needed. Though not listed with the elites when it comes to change of direction, Ollison still has enough wiggle and fluidity in his lower body to avoid contact and then shows enough burst to run downhill at the second level.

Though Ollison may look like a robot when it comes to movement skills, he still shows the ability to make defenders miss initially and then creates space for himself in the open field due to excellent vision. On paper his physical stature will quickly typecast him into a certain category, but his vision and deceptive speed will raise some eyebrows.

 Next in line: Nick Brosette, LSU (6-0, 221)


WR: DaMarkus Lodge, Ole Miss (6-2, 204)

Ole Miss Athletics

Somewhat surprised that Lodge did not receive a Senior Bowl invite, he still finds himself in an all-star game setting in which he can definitely skyrocket his draft value. Lodge proves to have a next-level release off the snap and then he strings that together with long speed and acceleration. Though the Rebel offense didn’t call for him to be much of a diverse route runner, he shows potential in that area by finding ways to gain separation with quick breaks and crisp cuts to open a throwing window. Lodge prides his game on physicality. He shows the constant ability to out-muscle receivers with a strong frame to shield off defenders. Despite his inconsistent hands, he has gymnastic-like ball skills creating an impressive catch radius.

Lodge gets lost in the mix with his teammates AJ Brown and DK Metcalf receiving the majority of the NFL praise. However, Lodge has a case in his own with his athletic ability, excellent release and physical catches accentuating his next-level skill set.

Next in line: KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State (6-1, 199)


TE: CJ Conrad, Kentucky (6-4, 252)

Andy Lyons, Getty Images

Entering the season, Conrad’s biggest task was to sharpen his blocking skills and technique. Conrad excelled as a primary run blocker this season for Benny Snell Jr. while also being a featured target in the passing game. Conrad uses his length and movement skills to formulate well executed blocks in the trenches or in open space. He showed improvements in blocking this season with hand placement and body technique having more torque to play with.

As a receiver, Conrad won’t overly impress with any elite athletic traits but is a cerebral route runner. He does a great job of finding breaches in coverage serving as a reliable target for the quarterback with consistent soft hands. Conrad is not a dynamic athlete but has enough short area quickness and can eat up turf with long strides.

His length and release off the line creates mismatches in the seam though he may not offer too much after the catch due to his athletic limitations. Conrad’s reliability as a blocker and pass catcher create plenty of intrigue on Day 3 for a consistent offensive piece.

Next in line: Daniel Helm, Duke (6-4, 255)


 C: Lamont Gaillard, Georgia (6-2, 308)

Steven Colquitt, Georgia Athletics

Gaillard has yet to miss a game in the past three years and received All-SEC praise this season. Gaillard anchors a strong Georgia offensive line unit with consistency in both facets of the game. He goes to work quickly with an effective initial punch with power packed behind it. Playing with appropriate hand placement and body leverage, Gaillard hits his target quickly and then, highlighted by his pad level and leg drive, powers through the opposition and finishes with an exclamation point.

Gaillard can occasionally get overwhelmed by bullies in the trenches but still shows enough lower body strength and traction to keep his feet and absorb the contact. He is thickly built throughout with tree trunk legs. Though the heavy frame, he is controlled and effective at the second level with good acceleration.

 Next in line: Jesse Burkett, Stanford (6-3, 300)


 OG: Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky (6-3, 305)

Kentucky Athletics

A smash mouth powerful blocker, Stallings took the SEC by storm this season. The first team All-SEC performer dominates in the trenches with plus power and hand technique to deliver devastating blocks. Stallings plays with proper hand placement quickly striking his opponent at the snap with a powerful punch. His movement skills are ideal as he shows little hitch when changing directions. He is a comfortable blocker in open space playing with a head of steam and striking with an accurate target.

Stallings is still a work in progress in pass protection but should not be categorized as a liability. He plays with nimble enough feet to cater to an average kick slide. He shoots his hands out and keeps them active with average extension to keep his chest clean.

Next in line: Olisaemeka Udoh, Elon (6-5, 336)


OT: Tyree St. Louis, Miami (6-5, 315)

University of Miami Athletics

St. Louis’ versatility (21 career starts at right tackle; 12 at left tackle in 2018) is already a plus before even diving into his game tape. St. Louis shows plenty of promise as a bookend tackle with a flexible lower body and an active motor. He has a controlled kick slide and moves well to hit any quick hitterrs on the exterior. The 6-foot-5 tackle plays with attractive quickness starting with his feet but carrying through his upper body. He can redirect his hands with ease being able to quickly match and counter that of his matchup.

In the run game, St. Louis shows the acceleration to attack upfield and plays with an accurate target. Whether in run or pass sets, the senior plays with impeccable power. He showcases this trait with finishing ability and devastating blocks in both facets of the game. He has the anchor to absorb contact and has the capability of throwing back the power to his opposition.

Matching up against quality pass rushers in the Shrine Game, St. Louis’ inconsistent pass set angles will be put to test as that is currently his biggest weakness heading into draft season.

Next in line: Paul Adams, Missouri (6-5, 315)


DE: Wyatt Ray, Boston College (6-3, 255)


Earning third team all-conference praise, Ray strung together 11.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks in 2018. He wins in both areas of the game with attractive lower body agility showing the ability to quickly change directions and explode to the ball carrier.

Showing elite usage with his upper body, Ray constantly overwhelms opponents with active and violent hands. He has creativity as a pass rusher consistently winning with an up and under club move and with his go-to stab and grab move.

Next in line: Derick Roberson, Sam Houston State (6-4, 250)


DT: Terry Beckner Jr., Missouri (6-4,295)

Denny Medley, USA TODAY

Beckner has had an up and down career struggling to stay healthy undergoing two ACL surgeries. He has bounced back nicely still showing attractive burst and acceleration in the interior. He likes to work more as a finesse player than a bully in the interior which can call for some mishaps in the run game.

However, Beckner does a great job of using his hands to achieve his initial goal and then partner it with the acceleration to cause penetration on the pocket.

Whether as a pass rusher or run defender, Beckner has a secondary plan. Key to any defensive lineman’s success, the senior finds ways to continue to execute the entirety of the play even if stagnated initially at the snap. His quick initial movements show a theme of overwhelming his matchup as he demonstrates two-arm swipes and up and under moves to fly into the path of the play. He shows promise as an interior pass rusher having nine sacks in the past two seasons and 10 quarterback hurries. Having versatility across the line and having the ability to rush the passer from the interior, if his injuries check out, Beckner has potential to be a value pick on Day 3.

Next in line: Renell Wren, Arizona State (6-7, 297)


 LB: Khalil Hodge, Buffalo (6-1, 235)


Finishing the year with 142 total tackles (57 solo) describes Hodge’s game to the point. Having the instincts to quickly diagnose and finish plays grabbed him back-to-back all conference honors. Hodge shows quickness in the run game being able to play sideline to sideline adjusting to the flow of the play. His reliability as a tackler is notable as he consistently brings the ball carrier down when contact is made.

Hodge boasts the vision of an All-Pro linebacker with the athletic feet and savvy to dodge blockers on a consistent basis. He plays with the contact balance to fight through trash at the line of scrimmage and, though not on an elite level, he has the fluidity to change directions to stay on par with the play.

He has average coverage skills though somewhat limited on the athletic end. He shows the range to fulfill zone responsibilities.

 Next in line: Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin (6-3, 237)


 SAF: Lukas Denis, Boston College (5-11, 185)


Denis’ game can simply be described by range. He has the overall quickness and acceleration to consistently hit the target when the ball is delivered. In 2017, he would come away with the ball having seven picks on the year but was only able to snag one in 2018. His smooth footwork creates for easy transitions in coverage, as he is a reliable zone defender.

Denis has the range and coverage reliability in both defensive schemes. His athleticism sits atop of this safety class accentuated by a slick lower body and attractive long speed. Denis is equally as reliable in his tackling ability. He finds ways to bend around contact, though not overly physical at the point of attack, to get his hands on the ball carrier. He shows the consistency to wrap up and finish with appropriate technique even if stemming from an awkward angle.

Next in line: Chris Johnson, North Alabama (6-2, 200)


 CB: Michael Jackson Sr., Miami (6-1, 205)

Not only is Jackson the best corner in this game but he also has a case to be one of the top corners drafted come April 2019. Jackson is a polished press corner with appropriate technique and physicality to go with it. Jackson thrives off the snap using a quick jab to stagnate receivers at the line. He has A-plus mirroring ability with a loose lower body and nimble feet to stay on par with an entire receiving cast.

Jackson has attractive ball skills with solid awareness to turn his head when the receiver tips off the arrival of the ball. Jackson can be pigeon-holed as strictly a boundary corner with press capabilities as his coverage skills dwindle when playing further away from the line of scrimmage.

Despite not being a determined tackler, Jackson’s physical makeup and demeanor in coverage should pave way for him to be a better overall defender.

Next in line: Jamal Peters, Mississippi State (6-1, 220)

Christian Page is a scout and writer for Cover1.net. His scouting experience dates back to 2015. Christian has a background of radio along with collegiate athletic department experience and corporate marketing.