My first ever Shrine Game experience was even more enjoyable than I hoped it would be, thanks to a close, competitive football game with plenty of splash plays. While many talented prospects stood out as the action became more real, several also disappointed.
Here are the five prospects whose performances failed to move the needle during Saturday's 2019 Shrine Game:
1. Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State
2 interceptions, one sack, a third dropped interception and a fumbled snap in an All-Star game? That's not a line you see very often. Cornelius has been one of the worst two quarterbacks in St, Pete this week, but the actual game was still a low point. Cornelius just doesn't throw with consistent velocity, nor is he particularly accurate down the field. A couple of the Shrine quarterbacks can absolutely play in the NFL, but I don't think Cornelius has proven he's one of them this week.
2. Ryan Pope, OT, San Diego State
Pope recovered a bit as the game went on, but he could not get his feet under him early, largely thanks to the effort of Oklahoma State defensive end Jordan Brailford. Speed rushes consistently forced Pope out of position in his sets, as his footwork could not match that of Brailford's. The edge defender hit an outside spin on Pope in the first half that resulted in a sack as well. Pope has size and length, but his rough week here won't help his draft stock.
3. Blace Brown, CB, Troy
Rough second half from Brown, who was beaten vertically by Jesper Horsted (maybe the slowest WR here) for a big play, before giving up a big catch-and-run to Jamal Custis after missing a tackle. Then on the next drive, Brown failed to see Godwin breaking into his zone and couldn't recover to prevent the touchdown. It was a big stage for Brown to prove he's draftable after a decent week of practice, but things didn't go as smoothly as he hoped.
4. Lukas Denis, S, Boston College
From missed tackles to just not wanting to tackle, it is tough to know what to make of Denis. Without the great production of his junior year, Denis really needed to show an improved all-around game this season, and instead he was atrocious as a tackler. Nothing in Saturday's game really changed that perception either, as Denis showed the same lack of physicality that has his stock trending later and later each time he takes the field.
5. Alec Eberle, IOL, Florida State
With the East driving for a game-tying score, Eberle couldn't reach Texas defensive tackle Chris Nelson, resulting in a big tackle-for-loss to bring up 3rd-and-9. On the ensuing play, Eberle was clubbed aside immediately by Arkansas defensive tackle Armon Watts, resulting in a sack of Jordan Ta'amu that killed the drive. Considering how rough Eberle's tape was during his Florida State career, this game wasn't the cure-all he hoped it would be, as he struggled all week long.