2013 Shrine Game Preview: West Offense

Matt ScottThe west offense maybe doesn’t have the same flash at running back or receiver, but they certainly are worth following this week with some high upside talents at every level.

Matt Scott could be viewed as a dual threat quarterback teams want to develop, two power running backs and a homerun threat, the best tight end in the game, and a former BCS left tackle with elite right tackle upside.



1. Matt Scott, Arizona
-With a loaded upside and the natural talent to be both an impressive runner and passer, Scott has the foot speed, fluid athleticism, and a big arm. His footwork (slow in dropback), release (can get quicker), and vision (struggles reading coverages downfield) are issues, but his high velocity, confidence, and athleticism should make him an awfully intriguing prospect this week.

2. Alex Carder, Western Michigan
-In the pocket, Carder works very well on driving with short and intermediate routes, where he adjusts his feet well, utilizes impressive pre-snap reads/keys, and spins a clean, tight ball on the interior. He does have some poor decision making, his ball placement vertically isn’t ideal, and his release forces some longer passes to sail, thanks to a bend-and-rise type release. We’ll see if that’s a problem this week.

3. Seth Doege, Texas Tech
-Running the Texas Tech, fast paced and quick offense, Doege has developed impressive short and intermediate accuracy out of the shotgun, and we’ll see if dropping back makes any difference to his foot positioning and velocity. His arm is adequate, not great, and he can make vertical throws, but may struggle against long cornerbacks. Doege has to prove a lot this week if he hopes to be an NFL development quarterback.

Running Backs
1. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
-Michael plans and drives downfield on the interior very well, and adjusts his body well to get upfield and shed tackles. He’s a patient zone blocking runner, with very good second level vision and reacting well to his blocks. He is a bit slow laterally and doesn’t have great top end speed, but his stiff arm, explosive steps, and decisiveness as a runner is what makes him NFL intriguing.

2. Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
-A big play threat who gets to his top speed quickly and is an explosive open field runner, Williams can get upfield in a hurry. However, he does have some tightness in his running style and lacks the decisiveness in the hole, especially when setting himself up to break tackles. He lacks the drive and intensity in his running style, and his vision is just okay. But his great top speed and explosion as an open field runner likely will lure teams.

3. Zach Line, RB, SMU
-Line lacks the big play speed, open field rushing ability, and lateral agility to be an effective runner at the next level. But his willingness and development  as a pass blocking and his ability to pick up blocks on the inside allows him to be a 3rd down NFL back with some running ability thanks to his vision and power as a runner.

Wide Receivers
1. Keenan Davis, Iowa
-With ideal size and length, Davis works very well in the mid field, with route definition and the ability to adjust in traffic well. While he doesn’t work well on the outside downfield, doesn’t use his body in short routes, and lacks great open field running moves, his ability to adjust in traffic, extension away from his body, and mid-field work could make him an intriguing west coast receiver.

2. Dan Buckner, Arizona
-With a wide catch radius, short area lateral quickness, and his ability to shoulder off defensive backs in the short area makes Dan Buckner an awfully intriguing west coast offense receiver at the NFL level. He doesn’t have great hand strength to both separate at times as well as to pluck the ball out of the air consistently. His lack of vertical speed may also make him struggle this week, but in shorter routes and in the red-zone, he should (and needs to thrive).

3. Jasper Collins, Mount Union
-Trying to follow Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts in the Mount Union-to-the-NFL pathway, Collins doesn’t quite have the same natural athleticism as the first two. Collins is a smooth athlete, and gets upfield quickly after his catch. But his separation in the short area is an issue as well as his ability to be physical off the line, and is likely a work in progress as a receiver prospect.

4. Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
5. Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
6. Tyrone Goard, Eastern Kentucky
7. Anthony Amos, Middle Tennessee State

Tight Ends
1. Joseph Fauria, UCLA
-As a receiver, Fauria is a really exciting prospect, showing the ability to control the seam, work well vs. two high safeties, adjust his body to make catches downfield, and high point the ball in the short area. However, he isn’t consistently physical to get separation off the line and against linebackers. And, as a blocker, let’s just say there is MUCH to be desired both inline and on the move. Still, he’s the most naturally talented tight end at the Shrine Game

2. Zach Sudfeld, Nevada
3. Nick Kasa, Colorado

Offensive Line
1. Manase Foketi, West Texas A&M
-The former Kansas State offensive tackle, Foketi has overwhelming size and hand power, along with a powerful anchor to set and drive on the outside. In the run game, he readjusts his hands well, has a strong punch, and pivots and redirects well. The focus on him will be his kick slide and ability as a pass blocker. He controls rushers coming across his face and adjusting his hands, but in college, he was bellied out pretty wide, making his kick slide not have to get as much depth. We’ll see if he can adjust closer to the line against these speed rushers.

2. Dann O’Neil, Western Michigan
-The massive right tackle prospect (6’8, 310+) doesn’t have elite bend or ability to control on the inside, but he extends away from his body very well, and has the ability to lock on, extend, and direct rushes well on the outside. He can also engulf defenders upfield in the run game, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can do that against the active linebackers at the Shrine Game this week.

3. Blaize Foltz, TCU
-Foltz does a great job of working on the interior with good hand usuage and a tight grip, locking on and controlling his defender. He punches and drives to his upfield combo block, and can adjust himself well to pick up 2nd defenders. He doesn’t utilize great leverage and he could keep his hands more inside at the point of attack, two things to follow this week.

4. Braden Brown, BYU
5. Jeff Baca, UCLA

6. Sam Brenner, Utah
7. James Ferentz, Iowa
8. Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas
9. Andrew Robiskie, Western Illinois
10. Ryan Turnley, Pittsburgh
**. Kirby Fabien, Calgary