Commentary

San Diego QB Johnson, Georgia RB Brown shine during Shrine week

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay takes a look back at the East-West Shrine game and highlights five prospects who impressed and five who faltered.

Originally Published: January 14, 2008
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
The overall talent level at the 83rd East-West Shrine Game was in the same ballpark as the improved groups the Shrine game has had in recent years, but there was a noticeable lack of star-power once LSU QB Matt Flynn, Virginia Tech ILB Vince Hall and UCLA DE Bruce Davis opted out for a variety of reasons. While NFL teams couldn't care less about name recognition, that kind of player is important for the game itself in terms of hyping the brand name for future years, selling tickets and attracting a television audience. It also didn't help when the Senior Bowl stole the draft's premier small-school prospect, Delaware QB Joe Flacco, to fill a void in that game.

Regardless, dozens of prospects took advantage of the opportunity to improve their draft stock in front of hundreds of NFL talent evaluators. Some players stood out during the week of practices but for one reason or another were unable to shine in Saturday night's game, including Appalachian State WR/RS Dexter Jackson, Coastal Carolina WR Jerome Simpson, and Oklahoma teammates TE Joe Jon Finley and RB Allen Patrick. On the flip side, players such as Tulsa QB Paul Smith, Arizona MLB Spencer Larsen and Hampton DE Kendall Langford struggled during practice sessions but were able to make up for it with strong showings in the game.

For the most part, though, practice performances translated to game production. Here's a look at the five prospects who cashed in the most, followed by five who failed to profit:

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