East-West Shrine Bowl Risers: Brandon Sebastian, Chigoziem Okonkwo, and Samori Toure impress all week long

The final list of prospects who took a big step forward in their NFL careers as our 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl Risers.

The 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl completed an incredible week of action with the 97th annual game taking place at Allegiant Stadium on Thursday night. After a week of practices, media availability, interviews with teams, and ultimately the game itself, some athletes were head and shoulders above the rest. As such, our Shrine Bowl Risers showcase those who impressed both on and off the field and improved their NFL Draft stock.

Final 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl Risers | East Team

Here are our final risers from the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl Risers. These players really impressed both on and off the field from the East Team.

Leddie Brown, RB, West Virginia

It wasn’t easy to miss Leddie Brown at the Shrine Bowl. He was the first to hit the holes and the first to find the end zone on multiple occasions during practices. Brown’s vision was apparent, as was his short-area burst and shiftiness. He made people miss and even chipped in during pass protection drills with great success.

Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami (FL)

Making the highlight-reel catch of the practice circuit, Charleston Rambo caught everything that came his way. It was a dominant set of practices for Rambo, who more than lived up to his name. Despite some sluggish quarterback play to start the week, Rambo made up for it with impressive body control and skills at the catch point.

Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska

Samori Toure certainly made the most of the weekend. The former Montana wide receiver, who had a great year at Nebraska, saw more of the same in Vegas: slow quarterback play. Yet, he and Brown QB EJ Perry developed quite a rapport. The duo capped a great week of practice by dominating the second half of the game. Toure went off for 2 touchdowns, including a double-move that sent shivers down defensive backs’ spines.

Bamidele Olaseni, OT, Utah

The biggest winner from the offensive line had to be Bamidele Olaseni. Not only did Bam win on the field, but he also won off the field with his demeanor and can-do attitude. Olaseni had a great week of practices that saw him work at multiple different spots on the offensive line. He had success in both pass protection and the run game. For Olaseni, the biggest win was showcasing he’s more polished as a player who is ready to go now than the project some thought he may be.

Ryan Van Demark, OT, UConn

UConn players who get selected for all-star games certainly must have had some skill before getting here. In Ryan Van Demark’s case, that was apparent all throughout his career with the Huskies. And he showcased that at will during the week of practices.

Not only did Van Demark have a great week with his natural ability, but you could also watch the coaching he was receiving sink in. He got better with every rep, set, and practice.

Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

It could be said that Zach Tom made himself a lot of money out in Vegas. At the Shrine Bowl practices, Tom looked incredibly comfortable at a variety of interior line positions, but he was especially great at center. He had terrific command over his sets in pass protection and fired off the ball in the run game. It was a great week for Tom, who climbed up the center boards in the process.

Thomas Booker, DL, Stanford

It’s one thing to win with your success on the field. It’s another to dominate the interview circuit as Thomas Booker did. Clearly one of the smartest people in the room wherever he is, Booker earned rave reviews for his interview prowess. And then he backed it up with impressive pass-rush sets and caused havoc in the backfield during practice and the game.

Ali Fayad, EDGE, Western Michigan

The Shrine Bowl’s top edge rusher was absolutely Ali Fayad. In fact, Fayad may have one of the draft class’ best spin moves in his arsenal. What made his week that much more special was that he was able to showcase that spin move and a few other pass-rush moves that allowed him to win quickly with his speed.

Dallis Flowers, CB, Pittsburg State

Proving to be able to hang with the talented receivers at the Shrine Bowl, Dallis Flowers had some impressive reps during the 1-on-1 drills. He got a bit handsy at times, but he rebounded and made amends for his penalties. Flowers showcased he can hang with the big dogs, so to speak, as he blanketed in coverage.

Brandon Sebastian, CB, Boston College

More than just a fast cornerback, Brandon Sebastian lived up to the hype. He surpassed it as he looked to be even better than his final year at Boston College showed. He had a great series of reps during 1-on-1s and followed that up by winning over the interview rooms all the same. Sebastian lived up to the name “The Interceptor” on the field and was a delight to all who talked to him off the field.

EJ Perry, QB, Brown

Easily the biggest riser and best performer from the QB room on either team was Brown’s EJ Perry. He had great command over his passes during the game but also was able to get better with every rep at practice. Perry looked terrific in the second half of the game, tossing 3 touchdowns. He also hit multiple receivers over the middle of the field as he carved up the West defense with ease.

Tommy Heatherly, P, Florida International

Booting some absolute bombs during practice, Tommy Heatherly put on a show with his leg. He was terrific in practice sets, outkicking the returners when necessary and coffin-cornering punts during others. Heatherly has a great leg and was able to wow all those in attendance.

Other standout athletes on the East Team: Myron Cunningham, OT, Arkansas; Diego Fagot, LB, Navy; Jeff Gunter, EDGE, Coastal Carolina; Brock Hoffman, OL, Virginia Tech; Josh Johnson, WR, Tulsa; Lucas Krull, TE, Pittsburgh; George Moore, OL, Oregon; Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers; Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA; Ronnie Rivers, RB, Fresno State; Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State; Tre Walker, LB, Idaho; Carson Wells, EDGE, Colorado

Final 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl Risers | West Team

Equally, these players from the West Team also impressed all week long.

Stanley Berryhill III, WR, Arizona

A quick-moving, twitchy receiver, Stanley Berryhill III made the most of his reps in Vegas. Berryhill had lackluster quarterback play this last season at Arizona but looked good with the accurate targets he saw at the Shrine Bowl. He’s quick and has great control over his body through his routes. Berryhill really stood out at times.

Jerreth Sterns, WR, Western Kentucky

Proving to be more than just a product of the system, Jerreth Sterns had arguably the best practice of any wide receiver on the West Team. Sterns routinely made defenders miss and blew by others with shifty moves. He was terrific at the catch point, playing much bigger than he measured. Sterns is quick and has great balance with a low center of gravity. He’s a tough dude to cover.

Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland

One of the highlight-reel moments of the first day of practice inside Allegiant Stadium belonged to Chigoziem Okonkwo. It was the first 1-on-1 rep of the session and the first time the practices moved to the red zone at Allegiant. Chigo nabbed a one-hander that also saw him plant his feet inbounds for 6 points. He made catches that really turned heads all week long.

Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia

A big man at 6’6″ (closer to 6’7″), Jelani Woods moved incredibly well without the ball in his hands. He lost defenders at the line of scrimmage and at the top of his routes, proving to be a much more agile route-runner than a man his size has seemingly ever been. Woods won big and often. It was a great week for the UVA tight end on the receiving end of passes.

Xavier Newman-Johnson, OL, Baylor

With a stout base and great strength, Xavier Newman-Johnson needed to show one thing at the Shrine Bowl: balance through contact. He did that and then some, as he routinely pancaked guys during team drills. Newman-Johnson also won the majority of his 1-on-1 reps with an impressive set of anchors. It was a great showing for the Baylor offensive lineman.

Cordell Volson, OL, North Dakota State

With the ability to push just about anyone else around the field, Cordell Volson played as he did on tape at North Dakota State: mean. Volson was able to be the first to initiate contact in the run game and also showed that he has what it takes to play inside at the NFL level with some great pass-protection reps.

Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DL, Notre Dame

Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa was a dominant pass rusher during Shrine practices. He hit a couple of linemen with a club rip or a push-pull to win, but his spin-to-club move was a hit — literally. Tagovailoa-Amosa won with his spin-to-club on multiple occasions despite playing out of position on the inside. He’s a bit of a tweener with his size, but he can win on the outside.

David Anenih, EDGE, Houston

Speaking of winning on the outside, David Anenih moves effortlessly. Yet, the big man from Houston also possesses great strength. Anenih was at his best when rushing the passer during Shrine practices, but he was also no slouch against the run. Coming up and down the line with ease, Anenih can play all three downs with his NFL team.

Darien Butler, LB, Arizona State

It’s rare to have a linebacker in today’s NFL wow you with their run-defense skills. However, that’s exactly what Darien Butler did. He was the first to read and react every time he was on the field. Butler came downhill with a vengeance and stopped the opponent’s rushing attack more often than not. He had some good reps in coverage, but Butler shined against the run.

Kyler McMichael, CB, North Carolina

Making the best few plays of the practice circuit, it was hard to miss Kyler McMichael. He ripped off the best pass breakup of the first practice and intercepted another during the second practice. McMichael made his presence known with his size during measurements, and he made his draft stock fly even higher with his performance on the field.

Other standout athletes on the West Team: Matthew Butler, DL, Tennessee; Chance Campbell, LB, Ole Miss; Devin Cochran, OL, Georgia Tech; Jashaun Corbin, RB, Florida State; Trestan Ebner, RB, Baylor; Emeka Emezie, WR, NC State; Ty Fryfogle, WR, Indiana; Deionte Knight, DL, Western (Ca.); Gerrit Prince, TE, UAB; Nephi Sewell, LB, Utah; Baylon Spector, LB, Clemson; Derrick Tangelo, DL, Penn State; Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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