Shrine Buzz: Early-rounders emerging
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Shrine Game Stock Up
Virginia DL Matt Conrath
Conrath showed his versatility Thursday, lining up at both tackle and end, and he helped set the tone with his aggressiveness. He used his hands well, and used his long arms to affect passing lanes and bat down three passes. He even tipped one of those passes to himself and came down with it. During film study, we've seen Conrath get rag-dolled by offensive linemen when he fails to stay low, but even at 6-7, he has the flexibility to bend his knees and get under the pads of the offensive linemen. That's especially helpful when he lines up at end -- we project him at a 3-4 end in the NFL -- where he'll face taller offensive tackles. Overall, Conrath did as much as he could to help himself Thursday and all week, and he appears to have gotten squarely into the late rounds.
-- Steve Muench
Temple TE Evan Rodriguez
Rodriguez is an H-back type who showed natural hands and a good feel for the deep seams. He knows how to find open spots in zone coverages and can separate from man-to-man coverage, and he did a good job opening his hips to snag a ball thrown behind him. He also looked smooth when transitioning upfield after catches. And while he's not an overpowering blocker, Rodriguez competes well, has some toughness and thickness in the lower half, and works hard to cover up defenders. He also has the versatility to play some fullback, and some intriguing film combined with his showing during Shrine week has helped him get into the mid to late rounds.
-- Kevin Weidl
Shrine Game Stock Down
Mississippi DE Kentrell Lockett
Lockett is a tall, lean (6-5, 243) end who struggled to anchor when teams ran at him, and his tendency to play high makes that even tougher. His inability to stay low also affects him as a pass-rusher, because Lockett has trouble dipping his shoulder, bending his knees and shaving the corner. He showed a lack of explosiveness and athleticism, at one point falling to the ground when trying to execute a spin move, and at his size, he needs to have those qualities. It was a tough week overall for Lockett, who could come off the board very late if he has a strong combine and/or pro day, but no matter what, he'll likely have to fight hard to make an NFL roster.
-- Steve Muench
NC State TE George Bryan
Bryan didn't show much pop in his routes, lacking the suddenness to separate from defenders, and he appears to have heavy legs when running. He also was very inconsistent with his hands, dropping passes he should have caught, but did make a nice one-handed grab in the back of the end zone during red zone work. In the end, Bryan's lack of athleticism and burst are too much to ignore, and likely will limit him to being a No. 2 or 3 tight end in the NFL. He looks like a late-rounder at this point.
-- Kevin Weidl