Shrine Buzz: Unknowns stepping up
Coaches and scouts like the all-star setting because it gives them a chance to see prospects in a different light. Everyone is adjusting to a new supporting cast and often a different scheme, and the various drills and one-on-one matchups create a more level playing field for judging players.
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Shrine Game Stock Up
Michigan TE Kevin Koger
With his size (6-4¼, 262) and strength, Koger is the kind of prospect teams draft looking to develop into a solid No. 2 or 3 blocking tight end, and he looked the part on Day 2. Koger got after it as a drive blocker during the team period, staying low and creating good initial surge, then sustaining for the most part. And Koger also showed he can contribute as a short-to-intermediate receiver. He flashed enough speed to get down the seam, and even when Southern Miss LB Ronnie Thornton didn't allow him to separate Koger was able to fight Thornton off with his hands at the line, turn and box out, and make the catch. That's what Koger needs to do at the next level, and showing that ability could solidify him as a late-round prospect.
-- Steve Muench
Illinois WR A.J. Jenkins
I liked the smoothness of Jenkins' routes, and he had good pop when transitioning out of breaks. He showed the versatility to work outside and in the slot, and Jenkins knows how to gain initial leverage before setting up routes and creating separation from defensive backs. While I would like to see him get a little stronger, Jenkins caught the ball more naturally and was good finding open areas. He turned some heads as he attempts to raise his grade out of the middle rounds.
-- Kevin Weidl
Shrine Game Stock Down
It was a struggle from the jump for Carder on Day 2. He was beaten by Western Kentucky RB Bobby Rainey after guessing and trying to jump a route out of the backfield, and Carder even failed when he tried to grab Rainey and prevent him from getting downfield. Carder also failed to stack and shed blocks effectively, at one point choosing instead to lower his shoulder, bounce off the blocker and run around him to get to the ball carrier. He has to learn that it's better for the defense as a whole if he takes on the block, then either discards it and makes the play or allows teammates to flow to the ball. He also failed to show urgency when finishing drills and plays, and while it's easy to fall in love with Carder because of how well he runs, there are little things that must be cleaned up if he wants to move into the late-third-round area.
-- Steve Muench
Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish
The day started with Harnish missing the mark in drills against air, and he seemed to lack juice behind his passes all afternoon. He pushed the ball when trying to drive it downfield, and the throw he made on Trevin Wade's interception was a perfect example. Harnish was also late getting the ball out during the team period, and struggled to see the entire field and get through his progressions during 7-on-7 drills. Harnish might have the best overall tools of all the West team quarterbacks, but he'll need to pick it up if he hopes to get off the fringe of the seventh round.
-- Kevin Weidl