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East-West Shrine Game

As Free Agency and the Draft gets closer, we’ll be rolling out plenty to get prepared for it. For all you draft nuts, the East-West Shrine game will be played this weekend. The game will showcase some of the players entering the draft in April. The Shrine game has featured 62 Hall of Fame players including John Elway, Brett Favre and Tom Brady. The league currently has 50+ players in it that have participated in the game.

If there’s one thing for certain, we have a lot of holes we need to fill and Spielman will need to work some magic this draft to pull out some talent out of the later rounds. The Shrine game will be a good start to look at some later round guys for this upcoming draft.

I asked Eric Galko from Optimum Scouting if he could give us a few names for us Vikings fans to look at in this weekends game. Make sure you also check out his site for more in depth analysis and draft information at Optimum Scouting

East-West Shrine Game
When: Saturday January 21, 2012
Where:.Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, FL
Time: 3 PM-Central
Channel: NFL Network

5 players to keep an eye on with some quick notes from this weeks practices from Optimum Scouting:

CB -Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina – He has great length, seemed fluid enough to transition with multiple receivers, and showed great ball skills. Positions his body well and making plays on the ball. He seemed patient in coverage as well.

WR – Devon Wylie, Fresno State – He’s got a powerful, developed lower half, he’s explosive with the ball in his hands, but maybe most impressive that I didn’t always see on film was how well he tracked the ball and saw it to his hands.

WR – Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech – He’s very sudden, explodes very well in his cuts, and was able to plant, flip and comeback to the ball very well. If he can show some shake in the open field too, he might get himself firmly in the draft-mix.

ILB – Shawn Loiseau, Merrimack – The lone Division II non-kicker at the event, Loiseau should not be overlooked as a linebacker at this event: He’s the clear leader in my eyes. He’s an instictive, physical inside blitzer, takes on blockers and drives back downhill in a hurry, and stays low in tackles and in his scrapes across the line. He can be a bit overaggressive at times and doesn’t have much pass coverage fluidity, but he certainly belongs here.

RB – Tauren Poole, Tenn – A runner who does everything well but nothing great, Poole is the featured back in an entire Shrine game that doesn’t feature many intriguing Top 5 rounders. His ability out of the backfield will be tested this week, but if he can show his versatility in a draft that lacks it at the running back position, he could secure himself a draft selection.


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4 Responses to “East-West Shrine Game”

  1. Lost Viking says:

    There’s another important game being played this weekend and Handle is here to provide the detail:

    N.Y. GIANT over San Francisco (-2.5)

    Good for the Niner. They rewarded their faithful fans with a win in their first playoff appearance in nine years after upsetting the high-flying Saint. It’s been an outstanding season for this surprising 49er club and the future certainly seems bright. However, we’re not sure if they’re ready for this assignment and the responsibility attached to it.

    Giant are hot. Smokin’ hot. So hot in fact, that it makes you wonder how they could have been a .500 club just a month ago. From where we sit, they are the most complete team of the dozen that qualified for this post-season. New York defence has been lights out. In their last four games, all of which were sudden-death, the G-men defeated the Jet, Cowboy, Falcon and mighty Packer by a combined 121-50. Of course, the latter two were playoff games where the Giant basically shut out the Falcon while making Green Bay appear like the Brown or Jaguar. It is no coincidence that when the Giant’ front four became healthy, the team got noticeably better. They are a nasty quartet that can wreak havoc on almost any opposition and quarterback. If Aaron Rodgers and the Packer didn’t faze them, we’re guessing that Alex Smith won’t either.

    One drive does not a quarterback make. Yes, Alex Smith led his team on an impressive game-winning drive last week but let’s not get carried away. He’s Alex Smith. He’s been in this league since 2005. He’s had starting jobs, been a backup and then found his way back to the starter’s role simply by attrition. Granted, he’s been decent this year. Maybe serviceable is a better word. While Smith only threw five interceptions on the season, he did not have a 300-yard passing day. Niner ranked 29th in yards passing per game, averaging 183 per and finishing only ahead of the aerial inept Ram, Bronco and Jaguar. San Fran’s red zone play left much to be desired also. In 54 trips to the red zone, Smith and the Niner managed just 22 touchdowns, which had them 30th in the league.

    Conversely, Eli Manning has never looked better. His offensive line gives him plenty of time to pass and he’s taken full advantage. No more Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith or Kevin Boss. No problem. Meet Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz. New York receivers caught an impressive 4,933 yards of Manning’s passes, which is complimented by the solid running tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Much is made of the 49er stellar defence. While it is certainly a capable unit, we can’t ignore San Fran’s soft schedule, its wussy division or the yardage relinquished against decent passing teams.

    Last week, the Saint had five turnovers. In most cases, that would that would lead to a blowout win but Niner needed a touchdown with nine seconds remaining to secure that victory. Against a team that relishes this role with seven straight road playoff covers, a team with stronger offensive weapons and most importantly, is clicking on all cylinders, it is doubtful that the same good fortune awaits this host.

    Play: N.Y. Giant + 2.5

  2. Andy de la Fuente says:

    Why are there no plurals here?

  3. Lost Viking says:

    Pluralism very over-rated

  4. 4eversteve says:

    How about updating what is going with the Senior Bowl practices, the East West Shrine bowl is long over. The Vikings coaching staff is coaching the North squad. Hope someone can find out whats going on, how practices are going , what players are impressing, whom might the Vikings be looking at in the draft. Man this is a really good opportunity for this staff to evaluate talent and get a feel for how someone that they are considering drafting practices, their personalities, what makes them tick. Huge advantage going into the draft having seen these guys practice and play in a game under their own system.

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