The draft season officially begins with the East-West Shrine game which kicks off this Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida. The prestigious all-star game has been a college football postseason tradition since 1925 as this is the 92nd game.
Over 70 prospects in last year’s Shrine Game are currently on NFL rosters, including top 100 picks Justin Simmons (Safety, Denver Broncos), Javon Hargrave (DL, Pittsburgh Steelers), Joe Thuney (OL, New England Patriots) and Graham Glasgow (OL, Detroit Lions).
The Shrine Game this year has big shoes to fill, but the roster is stacked and it will surely produce a plethora of NFL talent. There are at least four prospects who can potentially go in the top 100 in the upcoming NFL draft. Below are some players to pay attention to as they will make an impact in the all-star game and in the League.
Drew Morgan, WR (Arkansas)
Drew Morgan possesses the shake-and-bake to make defenders miss and pick up yards after the catch. He nabs the ball with soft hands and away from his frame. He is a pristine route runner and one of the best in the 2017 draft. His ability to break off the top of his route on a dime as he races back to the ball is outstanding. As a technician at his position, he manipulates defenders by utilizing the head fake and pumping his arms. Morgan plays with high energy and does not stop until the whistle blows.
Eli McGuire, Athlete (Louisiana-Lafayette)
The Ragin’ Cajuns offense ran through, McGuire. He carried the rock, caught the ball out wide as a flanker and returned punts. In four years, he recorded 5,695 total yards from scrimmage (6.2 yards per play) and 52 touchdowns on 840 plays. He is one of the most dynamic players in the Shrine Game.
Xavier Woods, Safety (Louisiana State)
Xavier Woods is one of the top safeties in the nation. Woods is an instinctive athlete that has a knack for creating turnovers. He is an impact player for the Bulldogs in both pass coverage and run defense. As a four-year starter at Louisiana Tech, Woods recorded 272 tackles (20.5 for a loss), four sacks, 14 interceptions to go along with 344 return yards and six fumbles.
Nick Mullens, QB, (Southern Mississippi)
Looking at the overall body of work, Nick Mullens had just as a productive of a career as any other player on the all-star roster. His impact was felt right off the bat as a freshman but his breakout season came during his junior year. Mullens passed for 4,476 yards, 38 touchdowns with a completion percentage over 63% and a passer rating of 155 as a junior. He has passed for 11,994 yards and 87 touchdowns in his collegiate career.