Shrine Game Defensive Players To Watch: West Team

Photo credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

With shrine week underway, here are some defensive players from the west team that should standout and catch your eyes. Also, these draft prospects could potentially get their names called on draft day in a few months and maybe on the team you support.

Ben Burr-Kirven – LB – Washington

2018 Stats: 176 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 6 pass deflections

Collegiate Career Stats: 338 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, 10 pass deflections

Coaches will be impressed by his physicality, smarts, feel in zone coverage and willingness to hunt as a tackler. He can cover distance quickly and typically takes good angles downhill to the football. Only thing that could hurt Burr-Kirven’s draft stock is his size.
Cody Barton – LB – Utah

2018 Stats: 117 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks

Collegiate Career Stats: 235 total tackles, 24.5 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks

Barton’s surprising coverage ability will keep him on the field for late downs, and his physical and angle-conscious style of the play makes him a sound member of a cohesive front seven. He can play all three linebacker spots. Needs to clear some benchmarks at the NFL Combine, but if he does then he will have a chance to play in the NFL.
Andrew Wingard – SS – Wyoming

2018 Stats: 87 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, 1 sack

Collegiate Career Stats: 454 total tackles, 25 tackles for a loss, 10 interceptions, 4 sacks

Excellent box safety that comes downhill like a wrecking ball. Downhill mentality, burst, and utilization of space also show up as a pursuit player, though ability to cover longer distances is a weakness. Disciplined zone defender who does well to recognize play action and remain at an advantageous leverage. Also, he has a large tackle radius with long arms and good grip strength to ride ball carriers down.


Jojo McIntosh – SS – Washington

2018 Stats: 57 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions

Collegiate Career Stats: 212 total tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions

Displays excellent length and delivers a punching blow to ball carriers with that impressive hit stick. He plays with great vision and arrives on time with good leverage. Smart kid that can scan the play and receiver’s routes. Will adjust centerfield orientation to fit scrambling Quarterback’s and flood concepts. Needs to work more on the coverage department.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Troy
Photo courtesy of Browns Wire – USA Today

Blace Brown – CB – Troy

2018 Stats: 44 total tackles, 6 pass deflections, 1 interception

Collegiate Career Stats: 111 total tackles, 16 pass deflections 12 interceptions

A ball hawk that displays excellent ball skills. He has a nice frame. Brown does not shy away from tackling. During his backpedal, his hips quickly flip, allowing for a smooth transition. Shows a power step when approaching an opportunity to make a tackle.
Jamal Peters – CB – Mississippi State

2018 Stats: 33 total tackles, 4 pass deflections, 0 interceptions

Collegiate Career Stats: 99 total tackles, 10 pass deflections, 3 interceptions

Nice length and size for a corner. Good at slowing down receivers at the line. Loves to play with a physical edge. Needs to show more ball skills. Only started seven games out of 36 in college. Mississippi State used a heavy rotation at the corner position.


Terry Beckner Jr – DT – Missouri

2018 Stats: 34 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks

Collegiate Career Stats: 120 total tackles, 32 tackles for a loss, 13.5 sacks

Pretty good weight on his frame. He flashes the power to take control of blockers with higher pad levels than him. Tough frame to move when he fires off low. Displays a nasty swim move and awareness as a pass rusher. Teams love how he plays hard and physical. Improve pad level to not get stumped on double teams. Injury history could raise a concern.
Daniel Wise – DT – Kansas

2018 Stats: 34 total tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks

Collegiate Career Stats: 152 total tackles, 43 tackles for a loss, 17 sacks

Displays a strong, sturdy lower body that allows him to hold his ground at the line of scrimmage against the run. Assists in the pass rush. He has a nice get off and has nice hand placements to keep blockers at bay. Needs to work on power moves.


Landis Durham – DE – Texas A&M

2018 Stats: 55 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks

Collegiate Career Stats: 111 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks

Productive pass rusher. Needs to translate his collegiate success to the next level. Has tons of impressive array of rush moves and a nice pass rush technique. Durham lacks size, athleticism, burst and bend, which will hold him back significantly against more talented competition. Needs to work on becoming a decent run defender. Finding the right scheme could be tough for Durham, but his best-case scenario is landing with a team as a rotational pass rusher on third downs.

Photo courtesy of FCS Football

Derick Roberson – DE – Sam Houston State

2018 Stats: 68 total tackles, 15 sacks, 5 forced fumbles

Collegiate Career Stats (combined from Texas and Sam Houston State): 129 total tackles, 25 sacks, 8 forced fumbles

Productive pass rusher that could not stick at Texas and found a home at Sam Houston State. Probably his best decision was to leave Texas. Has nice moves to get to the quarterback. Will be a day two pick if he plays well this week at the Shrine Game and at the NFL combine in a few months.


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