The East-West Shrine Game is now complete, as the West defeated the East by a score of 29-9. The game, thought of as the second most prestigious of the collegiate all-star games, was much more exciting than last year’s contest which didn’t produce a touchdown until the game’s last minute.
This year’s game was headlined by Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr, who threw for three touchdowns and exhibited the ability to effectively throw from in the pocket, something many draftniks believed he didn’t have the ability to do against superior competition. However, this article isn’t meant to be a game summary, rather to recognize some players that Ozzie Newsome may be targeting in the upcoming draft, where the Ravens select sixth.
Typically the Shrine Game doesn’t host many “elite” prospects, who are normally at the Senior Bowl or declare early. The Shrine Game, along with the NFLPA game are usually filled with day three prospects, where teams are “built”.
Players from the East roster:
Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois, 5’10” 198
Ferguson was a victim of a poor offensive display on Saturday, but he has the “juice” you look for in a runner. The former Illini is a poor man’s Ameer Abdullah, as much of a threat out of the backfield as he is receiving a hand off. With Buck Allen and Terrence West returning from last season as well as Justin Forsett returning from a season ending injury, don’t be surprised if Ozzie decides to add some speed and talent to the backfield.
Keith Lumpkin, OT, Rutgers, 6’8″ 325
The former Wisconsin commit and basketball player is a mammoth player who could provide some value for Baltimore in the later rounds. Lumpkin is a very long and intriguing prospect who despite some stiffness in his movement, has shut out some very impressive pass rushers during his time in Piscataway. It’s to be seen if he can play left tackle, but he can at least play right tackle, and be pretty decent at it right away.
Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss, 6’3″ 205
Oftentimes forgotten due to playing across from LaQuon Treadwell, Core is a phyiscal specimen on the outside, and with some refinement could be a nice secondary or even tertiary option for Joe Flacco. Being a taller receiver he doesn’t always run the cleanest routes, but he excels going up for the football and uses his frame well to box defenders out from the football.
Victor Ochi, OLB/Pass Rusher, Stony Brook, 6’2″ 255
The small school pass rusher dominated the line of scrimmage against the West offense, and displayed his impressive ball get off, consistently beating the offensive tackle off of the ball and harassing quarterbacks all day. He doesn’t have a definitive scheme fit or position as of yet, but the Ravens love having pass rushers, and after a pathetic display in the secondary this past season, can assist the secondary by getting after the passer.
Deon Bush, S, Miami (FL), 6’1″ 205
A hard hitting safety from Miami to the Ravens, you say? Deon Bush showed some real ability during the week, the second year in a row a Miami player has performed better under a different coaching staff than under the Hurricane staff (Anthony Chickillo). Bush is a tone setter in the secondary, although that type of player is currently being forced out of the league by fearless leader Roger Goodell’s rule changes. Bush has Raven written all over him.
Here are some players from the West roster:
Vernon Adams Jr, QB, Oregon, 5’11” 201
Adams claimed after the game that he was 5’11”, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Easily the most impressive performance during the game, Adams thrived in the spotlight. He’ll have to answer questions concerning his size, but he certainly showed next level ability. The Ravens have had success in the past developing undersized, athletic quarterbacks. Look in Buffalo if you don’t believe me.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Illinois, 6’3″ 196
Geronimo Allison, the former juco product, caught two touchdowns during the game and was easily the most impressive receiver in the contest. A lot of what I wrote about Cody Core could also be said about Allison, as the Ravens can’t put enough big targets on the field to help their quarterback, especially at a position where Steve Smith will be 37 and coming off an Achilles injury, and their first round pick didn’t play a down all season.
V’Angelo Bentley, CB, Illinois, 5’10” 190
Bentley is listed at 5’10”, which means he’s probably really around 5’9″ or so. Valuable as both a nickel corner as well as a return specialist, Bentley is an electric athlete, and for a Ravens secondary that will need some work, Bentley could be a nice late round value. He’ll be off of some teams’ boards entirely due to his lack of size. I think he can succeed at the next level.
Gionni Paul, LB, Utah, 5’10” 225
Paul could certainly stand to gain some bulk, but his playing style screams Ravens. He’s a run and hit linebacker who you can always count on to pop some pads. Paul would likely be an inside linebacker for Baltimore, but his true value will be on special teams. The Ravens had a player like this when they won the Super Bowl when Brendan Ayanbadejo was on the team, and it’s always good to have guys in that role.
De’vondre Campbell, LB, Minnesota, 6’5″ 239
Campbell is an intriguing prospect from the standpoint that he may end up being a better pro than he was a college player. He’s a very twitched up athlete, as you want him walking off of the bus first. However, the better coaching he receives, I believe that he’ll start to play faster, and in turn, be more effective. He’s easily athletic enough to cover tight ends, a highly valuable skill in today’s NFL.