The West team defeated the East squad 21-17 in the 2019 Shrine Game, but let's face it, the winner of the game isn't what's important. The Shrine Game is an important scouting component of NFL Draft prospect evaluation process and the players that perform well are the true winners.
Let's examine my top five standouts from the 2019 Shrine Game.
Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia
A former 5-star recruit, Godwin had a modest career at Georgia, largely because of the amount of talented playmakers the Bulldogs have offensively. After a dominant week of practice, Godwin carried his momentum to the game, hauling in 4 receptions (4 targets), for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.
A big play threat, Godwin illustrated the ability to both uncover quickly and provide an available target to his quarterback but also get down the field. While the ball was ultimately stripped as he was tackled, Godwin elevated beautifully for a 26-yard completion, making an tremendous late adjustment to the football and extending his arms to haul in the throw. He followed that up with the two touchdown receptions, showcasing good timing and pace in his routes, hands and decisive running after the reception. He was voted as the Offensive MVP for the game.
For a team looking for a slot receiver, Godwin would be a target to consider on Day Three.
Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon
There is a lot of untapped potential with Hollins and it showed in the game. Checking in at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds with 33" arms and 10 1/4" hands, Hollins is blessed with exciting physical traits. He flashed consistently in practice, primarily in the 1v1 drills and he then made his share of splash plays during the game en route to Defensive MVP honors.
Registering an impressive 10 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 QB hurries and a fumble recovery, Hollins was all over the field. His bend and burst around the edge was obvious, while he also racked up a sack by winning with an inside move. He consistently cleared himself from blocks, found the football and finished.
Hollins had reps and both off-ball linebacker and on the edge, offering some exciting versatility. There is a package of physical tools and playmaking ability that makes Hollins and appealing prospect and he proved why in the Shrine Game.
BJ Blunt, LB, McNeese State
Blunt was such a delight to watch this week. Everything he does in practice and the game is at full-speed and exploding with energy. While he is undersized for the linebacker position and a transition to safety is inevitable, there is no denying his nose for the football.
Racking up six tackles, Blunt showed off his range and processing skills while he also made a diving interception. He may be from the small-school ranks and have tweener traits, but I am not betting against Blunt finding a role in sub-packages in the NFL while also being a dominant special teams performer. He has an infectious personality and love for the game that was obvious observing him throughout week.
Lamont Gaillard, IOL, Georgia
A three-year starter at Georgia and a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior, Gaillard is accustomed to blocking the best defensive lineman in college football and it showed during the Shrine Game. Illustrating good awareness in pass protection, Gallard was smooth and reliable setting the depth of the pocket. In the run game, Gallard did well to block on the move and create space for his running backs.
With the upside to play both guard and center, Gaillard's versatility and experience will be attractive for NFL teams. That, combined with how he fared at the Shrine Game, make him worth a draft pick in April.
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
Rypien got the scoring started on the opening drive of the game, engineering a touchdown drive that culminated with a perfectly placed touch pass on a wheel route to LSU running back Nick Brossette for a 22-yard strike. While he wasn't perfect, Rypien's command of the offense was impressive while his ability to hit throws with anticipation between zones truly stood out.
For the game, Rypien completed 10-of-14 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown pass for a quarterback rating of 125.3. His processing skills and ability to hit throws with touch will give him a chance to stick in the NFL. While Purdue's David Blough had some positive moments, Rypien was the Shrine Game's best quarterback.