The first big event of the offseason draft process is upon us this week with the East-West Shrine Game. It will be a mixed unit of coaches from various teams throughout the NFL unlike the Senior Bowl with two complete staffs. The Titans won’t have anyone on staff but will likely have some personnel there. I will break down the defensive prospects in a later post this afternoon. Without further ado, here are the offensive prospects from both teams to watch for.
1. Riley Ferguson 6’4 210 QB Senior Memphis
- Ferguson was a transfer from Tennessee. He fit in perfectly with the high octance Tigers offense but will have severe limitations at the next level. Frame is not ideal as he looks like a shorter Mike Glennon. From the games that I watched of him, he has improved his pocket awareness and general football IQ in 2017 but still needs massive development time. RF has a habit of locking onto the first read and never really sees anything else beyond that. Has enough arm talent to get by but tends to trust it too much. Put up an absurd 7,955 yards in two years along with 70 touchdowns to 19 picks. Projects as a late round developmental prospect that could eventually take as a backup QB. More athletic than given credit for.
2. Quinton Flowers 6’0 210 ATH Senior South Florida
- For this exercise, I’ve labeled Flowers as an athlete but he played QB at USF. He’s been my favorite QB to watch this year (outside of the big 3? 4?). A dual threat athlete that can make things happen. The knock on Flowers is his ability in the pocket and accuracy, which isn’t the best in the world at a 58%. Questions about his size will linger in scouts’ minds. Scheme versatile as he underwent development with two vastly different offensive schemes. He thrived under Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast Offense (kind of a power spread) and suffered a bit under former Texas OC Sterlin Gilbert’s convoluted multiple spread? offense. He projects as a late round trick play specialist ala Mohammed Sanu of the Falcons.
3. J.T. Barrett 6’2 222 QB RS Senior Ohio State
- It seems like a generation ago that Barrett burst onto the scene as a freshman leading the Buckeyes on a national title run before getting hurt. He’s been through multiple QB competitions since then and has won every single one. An above average athlete with limited improvement as a passer. Inconsistent as they come. Can dominate one game and no show the next. I have him graded out as an UDFA because of his massive issues as a passer i.e. can’t function in the pocket and inconsistency in accuracy. He can get results but its brutal to watch getting it. Buckeyes offense will be a much better aerial threat that teams actually have to respect in 2018 under Dwayne Haskins.
4. K.C McDermott 6’6 300 OT Senior Miami
- A long time stalwart of the Hurricanes offensive line. Position versatile as he has played guard and tackle. He has issues in pass protection as he gets too heavy footed and cannot accelerate his backpedal against pass rushers. Much better run blocker. A late round lottery ticket type of pick. Needs a ton of work in the weight room and film room. Ability to play both G and T will help him some.
5. DaeShon Hamilton 6’1 206 WR RS Senior Penn State
- Hamilton had a standout Fiesta Bowl against Washington. He was the go to receiving weapon for Trace McSorely throughout 2017. Based on the PSU games that I watched, he has just enough athleticism to get by. A solid jack of all trades possession type of receiver. Route running is a plus. Solid hands. A guy that knows how to get open regardless of situation. He was all over the place in the Fiesta Bowl, tormenting Washington’s talented defense.
1. Nic Shimonek 6’3 225 QB RS Senior Texas Tech
- Shimonek has had a winding journey throughout his career. He transferred from Iowa as a true freshman, redshirted, and sat behind current Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes for a number of years. He was even benched this year as well. Shimonek’s biggest issue is that he’s very turnover prone and takes unnecessary gambles at times. There’s also the stigma of Air Raid passers not faring as well at the next level. He’s simply too inconsistent to merit a draftable grade. Will need to show immense improvement this week to get a look in UDFA.
2. Phillip Lindsay 5’8 190 RB Senior Colorado
- A dynamic athlete that’s could be used as a slot weapon at the next level. Lindsay was the Buffs best offensive weapon (as expected) during the 2017 season. He’s shown a lot of toughness running in the middle that belies his size. Expected to be a late round pick or high priority UDFA. Has size questions but can answer that in 1 on 1 pass pro drills. He’s good.
3. Justin Jackson 5’11 200 RB Senior Northwestern
- Jackson could be the best back that literally no one talks about due to the sheer amount of talent at his position. He’s very shifty despite a guy his size. Vision and instincts are pluses. Was the only weapon the opponent had to focus on most games but he was very productive. A four year starter that had a ton of work to the tune of 1,142 carries for 5,440 yards and 41 touchdowns. I do worry about his huge workload. Great receiver out of the backfield. Pass blocking is well, at least he tries. Let’s just leave it at that.
4. Zachary Crabtree 6’6 310 OT RS Senior Oklahoma State
- Crabtree is a road grader at right tackle. Punishing run blocker that looks for secondary targets after the initial block. Footwork is a plus. Pass block can be a question at times as he can be out leveraged by smaller and quicker pass rushers. Cowboys starting right tackle throughout 34 starts. Medical checks will be key for him as he’s missed time with leg issues. It can be argued that he’s the best tackle prospect in St. Pete.
Bonus prospects to watch
1. Jake Wieneke 6’4 215 WR South Dakota State (WEST)
2. Bryce Bobo 6’2 205 WR Colorado (WEST)
3. Ralph Webb 5’10 202 RB Vanderbilt (EAST)
4. Brian Allen 6’2 302 C Michigan State (EAST)
5. Austin Golson 6’5 314 OL Auburn (EAST)