2019 Shrine Game: Day 1 East Practice Notes

Photo: Kyle Crabbs

With hundreds of NFL coaches, scouts and executives in attendance, the East-West Shrine Game practices got underway on Monday afternoon. Roaming the sidelines, I took in the practice under the lights of Tropicana Field. Let's examine my top takeaways from the East Team's Day One practice.

  • Virginia RB Jordan Ellis is built to bang between the tackles but he impressed with his ability to find daylight in team drills while showcasing more elusive ability than I was expecting. The UVA coaches rave about him and I'm excited to take a deeper look.
  • Georgia WR Terry Godwin impressed. He did extremely well to sell his route breaks and separate from coverage. He hooked up with Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta'amu for a long gain in team drills and was arguably the best receiver on the field. He looks very natural.

  • Speaking of Ta'amu, he had a good day. He illustrated the most consistent ball placement and mechanics of any QB on the east roster and looked the most comfortable overall.
  • Syracuse WR Jamal Custis has a lot of length and terrific size to complement his outstanding production for the Orange this season. While he didn't necessarily make a strong impact in practice, his frame caught my attention.
  • North Carolina State OL Tyler Jones was arguably the best player on the field today. A college left tackle, Jones kicked inside and dominated on the interior. His lateral mobility, body composition, length and ability to stay square led to a standout performance, particularly in 1v1 drills.

  • Kentucky OL Bunchie Stallings had a forgettable day. His frame is sloppy and he struggled to slide his feet to stay square to his opponents.
  • I was hoping for more from Miami OT Tyree St. Louis. He didn't quite have the build I was hoping for while his pass sets revealed some tightness in the lower half.
  • Kentucky TE CJ Conrad has a long and athletic build, especially compared to the other tight ends on the East roster. He had some positive reps in team drills as both a receiver and blocker.
  • Ole Miss WR DaMarkus Lodge had the day I was hoping for. His quick feet, route running and length led to a dominant performance in 1v1s while his traits shined in drills.

  • Elon OT Olisaemeka Udoh had an incredible day. He had some buzz entering the week and he certainly passed the first test coming from the small-school ranks. His body composition is what the NFL is looking for. His long arms, mobility and power were on full display during 1v1s.
  • Mayland LB Tre Watson's frame and movement skills were really impressive. In an NFL where offenses and predicated on pace and space, he has the makeup of a guy that would excel on the second level.
  • Syracuse DT Chris Slayton was a long-term fixture on the Orange's defensive line and he had a strong first day. He has a stocky frame and his play strength really popped. I was surprised to see such quickness out of him as well. He drew good reviews from scouts I spoke with in attendance.
  • North Carolina DE Malik Carney showcased incredible variety with his pass rush in 1v1 drills. I was impressed by the amount of different ways he was able to get around offensive tackles.
  • Buffalo LB Khalil Hodge forced me to turn my head on a few occasions. I was nervous that he was undersized but he was more bulky than I was anticipating. The same explosive movement skills we saw from him at UB stood out today in practice.
  • Rutgers DT Kevin Wilkins had a dominant day. His quickness really shined right off the bat in individual drills and then he could not be blocked in 1v1 reps. He may have been the biggest winner on the defensive side of the ball.

Written By:

Joe Marino

Director of Administration

Director of Administration & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Member of the FWAA.