Another day in the books, and make sure you check out our practice notes for the day for how things went on the field and during practices.
As usual though, I’ll take a look at a few of the side-notes and non-obvious insight from the Shrine Game, so take a look here for what you can only get from being live at the Game in St. Petersburg.
NFLPA Game Has Agents Aggravated
It’s becoming an unfortunate trend this year, but with so many college all-star games, it’s tough for prospects, agents, and NFL scouts to know which ones are legitimate. You’d think that with the NFLPA game (in Los Angeles) is sponsored by the players association, they’d look out for the best interest in the players.
But, by inviting juniors, actually just ONE junior in Miami OG Brandon Washington, NFL Scouts could not attend the practices. So the 100 or so prospects that paid to go out there basically wasted their time in front of some scattered media and some NFL Draft analysts, most notably Rob Rang of CBSSports.com.
It’s not just that event, however. While I won’t say which ones aren’t run very well and aren’t always in the best interest of the kids, I will say that outside of the Senior Bowl and Shrine Game, I count only three others that agents and prospects likely should have considered going to this draft season, compared to the 10 or so I know of that have gone on.
An agent I spoke to was very angry and disappointed in the NFLPA’s decision, and he had three or four clients there, basically getting zero NFL exposure, all of them fringe draft guys to begin with.
I will say that of those three that I named that I like, I am a bit partial to the Beyond Sports Network Collegiate Showcase this year, as Optimum Scouting (along with Matt Elder of BuffaloBillsDraft.com) are scouting for the event. It’s in year one, and focused only on non-FBS prospects. While some NFL Draft followers and media don’t know about these small school prospects, NFL teams surely do and I feel that of the list of confirmed invites so far, 4-5 have a solid chance of getting drafted, and we still have over half of our roster to fill out.
So NFL Draft followers, agents, and travelling NFL media, buyer beware on some of these events, as my gut feelings says the NFL is going to crack down on these events soon and leave only the ones that are actually focused on the players to thrive.
A Few General Notes From The Day
-There’s ALOT of CFL teams in attendance here, likely thanks to the Canadian guys at the game. The Hamilton Ti-Cats may have had more of their personnel here than any other NFL teams. They and other CFL teams are likely looking at more than just the three Canadian guys. Shows that these other leagues are prevalent in the scouting community.
-Talked with Tennessee Tech receiver Tim Benford off the field today, and he said he’s still hoping he can get an NFL Combine invite. Based on how he’s played this week (may be the best East receiver at times), he surely deserves one.
-Always interesting to note which guys have some inflated egos, one of the first things I ask when a person/scout is close to a prospect. I won’t name any guys right now, but guys that have those egos that aren’t first round talents are worrisome. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s definitely something to note.
-I’ve been able to glean who some of the position coaches here are, and so far, the West has the much bigger names as a whole. For the West, Brad Childress is the head coach and offensive position coach (quarterbacks I think), former Eagles stud RB Deuce Staley is the running back coach, former Oklahoma offensive line coach and former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino is the OL coach, former Syracuse head coach and Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson is coaching the defensive line. That’s a heck of an impressive staff from what I know so far. The East coaches I don’t know yet outside of a former Colts receivers coach working with the tight ends and former Jaguars stud DE Paul Spicer working with the defensive linemen.
Team Interest Notes
Minnesota Vikings - Lamar Holmes (Southern Miss OT)
Baltimore Ravens - John Brantley (Florida QB, for a while)
Buffalo Bills - AJ Jenkins (Illinois WR)
New York Jets - LaRon Byd (Miami WR)
Indianpolis Colts - Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina CB), Alfred Morris (Florida Atlantic RB), Trevin Wade (Arizona CB)
Philadelphia Eagles - Thomas Mayo (California PA WR)
Buffalo Bills - AJ Jenkins (Illinois WR), Davin Meggett (Maryland RB), Devon Wylie (Fresno State WR, for a while), Arnaud Nadon (Canadian DE)
Jacksonville Jaguars - Emil Igwenagu (UMass TE), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina CB), Josh LeRibues (SMU OG),
Kansas City Chiefs - Desmond Wynn (Rutgers OG), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina CB), Rodney McLeod (Virginia CB)
San Diego Chargers - Evan Rodriguez (Temple TE), (Coastal Carolina CB), Darius Hanks (Alabama WR), Devon Wylie (Fresno State WR)
Houston Texans - Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina CB)
Philadelphia Eagles – Trevin Wade (Arizona CB), Duke Ihenacho (San Jose State S)
New Orleans Saints - Shaun Prater (Iowa CB)
Carolina Panthers - Desmond Wynn (Rutgers OG, for a while)
Detroit Lions - Justin Francis (Rutgers DE, for a while)