With both the East and West teams finishing up their final practices today, the teams will prepare to battle this Saturday evening at 3 o’clock eastern time. There have been players that stood out all week, improved during the week, and some that did not reel in the opportunity to impress teams. I will only give you three players per each team that have stood out to me during Shrine week. Also, I will give you my very own in-game predictions on the 92nd Shrine Game.
Now, the first player to standout to me from the West team has been Paul Magloire Jr from the University of Arizona. The versatile player has impressed many teams and I from the first practice. He played safety in college, but is moving to the linebacker position for his NFL career. This kid got a late call to participate in this game and has taken full advantage of the opportunity, which has led to a good amount of teams interviewing him. Expect the young Wildcat product to roam around the gridiron on Saturday, which could land the Defensive MVP Award in his hands and a nice grade from scouts.
Furthermore, on the East team, I really have enjoyed watching the sneaky Alex Torgersen. I came into Shrine Week wondering who is this kid? Well, he is a smart quarterback (Ivy League) that has extra zip on his throws due to his arm strength and size. Also, he is a slick and good runner when he has to evade the pocket. His stock is going up and I expect a team like the Giants or Steelers to nab him in the draft. Watch this smaller school (Penn) talent excel this Saturday.
Next, I think De’Veon Smith from Michigan had a good week. He improved each day and seems loved by East team and Eagles running back coach Duce Staley, as they were next to each other talking about football the whole time. Smith is a future bell cow that can do it all. He is a nice, powerful sized back with a good burst to break away and the agility to shift making defenders miss. One thing he is highly praised on is the ability to catch the football. I expect him to run the ball at least 20 times and catch the football five times in this All-Star game. The East team will rely heavily on this Wolverine.
However, it is all up to the offensive line on the East team to help both Torgersen and Smith to have a field day. That is why it is important to see how Michigan’s offensive tackle Erik Magnuson performs. He will line up on the outside, but he can play the guard position too. This versatile lineman is the main man on the line and if he has a good day protect the quarterback and opening holes for the running backs, his draft stock will improve.
Back to the West team. I see Wahington State’s Gabe Marks improving his stock after the week he had and he can solidify his draft placement if he has a productive game. Marks was beating his teammates in one-on-one drills and in seven-on-seven like drills. He possesses a nice pair of hands and a quick edge to his game. His quickness is a plus when it comes to his crisp route running. So far, he is the best route runner in the Shrine Game. Teams looking for a slot receiver should keep all eyes on him.
The last West player to lookout for is Fabian Moreau from UCLA. He is a well sized corner with an athletic edge to him. This Bruin product was very solid in pass coverage drills and very alert when the defense ran zone plays. I expect him to get an interception and force fumble in the oldest college All-Star game out there in the states.
Finally, my prediction is that the West team will win by a touchdown for a final score of 31-24. The West defense stands out to me and I was told growing up watch this game by my dad that “defense wins championships.” The West defense will take one to the house and get another interception to put the offense in great field position. The Defensive MVP will be Paul Magloire Jr from the West team, and the Offensive MVP will be De’Veon Smith from the East team.