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East-West Shrine Game Prospects: Defense

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Who are the prospects to watch on defense?

Sam Carter TCU
Sam Carter TCU
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

EAST

1. Za'Darius Smith DL 6'5 265 Kentucky

- Smith is a huge defensive end prospect that had a great career for the Wildcats. He really blossomed under the tutelage of defensive mastermind and HC Mark Stoops. Mr. Smith has a real chance to be drafted within the first four rounds if he continues on the path that he is on.

2. Cam Thomas CB 6'1 200 Western Kentucky

- Thomas is likely the best corner from the "Group of Five" conferences (the lesser known conferences). He's a big corner who can lay the lumber but also cover just as well.

3. Jermauria Rasco DL 6'3 252 LSU

- Rasco was the anchor of a young Tigers defense and had a pretty solid senior campaign. He's come a long way after taking a little time to develop the potential of a five star recruit.

4. Anthony Chickillo DL 6'4 275 Miami

- Chickillo was a former five star recruit that has failed to live up the to hype on a struggling Hurricanes team. AC is a bigger body defensive end that the 3-4 defense usually looks for. He started as a freshman and hasn't looked back. Possesses a high motor, a strong base, good run defense instincts, and some pass rush moves. The concern is that his sack totals never improved after his freshman year.

5. Ronald Martin, Jr S 6'1 215 LSU

- The next man up in an always loaded Tigers secondary. He provided the veteran leadership for a retooling Bayou Bengals back four. Martin has a chance to move up into the middle rounds with a good draft process.

WEST

1. Taiwan Jones LB 6'3 250 Michigan State

- Jones was the next man up to become the Spartans' defensive general in the middle. He was converted to middle linebacker after playing outside for most of his career. The stout MSU defense didn't miss a beat. A solid form tackler with good instincts.

2. Sam Carter S 6'1 213 TCU

- Word out of Shrine practices was that Carter stood out as the best safety there. He was teaching the other guys on how to play the position as well. Carter was a standout for the Horned Frogs defense.

3. Josh Shaw CB 6'1 200 USC

- Shaw had an interesting start to the 2014 season when he jumped from a second story balcony and subsequently injured his legs in the process. The original story was that he jumped to rescue a drowning relative but it turns out the story was false. USC even put out a press release lauding Shaw before the story was proven false. There was never any clarification on what actually happened that night.

4. Bryan Callahan CB 5'10 180 Rice

- Phillip Gaines who? Callahan isn't near the athlete that Gaines was but has more toughness and will fight receivers for the ball. Fundamentally sound tackler. He could make a jump once the offseason draft process starts.

5. Tony Oregon (Washington) LB 6'3 250 Oregon

- Washington was a pass rushing force of nature for the Ducks. While not the athlete Dion Jordan was, he's a much more fundamentally sound linebacker in all facets of the game. He dominated the Noles' OL all day in the Rose Bowl semifinal. I would project him in the middle rounds, maybe as high as the third round.