2023 Shrine Bowl: FCS NFL Draft Prospects Led by Tim DeMorat and BJ Thompson

    The 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl isn't just for the Power Five or FBS -- here are the FCS NFL draft prospects competing in this year's All-Star Game.

    FCS NFL draft prospects don’t receive the same amount of attention as their FBS counterparts, but the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl gives them an even playing field. Here are the 11 FCS athletes participating in this year’s Shrine Bowl and why they are names to know.

    FCS NFL Draft Prospects at the 2023 Shrine Bowl

    Tim DeMorat, QB, Fordham

    There are a few non-FBS QBs that put themselves on the map leading up to the draft, and Tim DeMorat could do just that following the conclusion of the Shrine Bowl game.

    A three-time first-team all-conference QB and three-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, DeMorat finished his highly decorated career with the school and conference records for completions (1,032) and passing yards (13,454). His 123 passing touchdowns against just 39 interceptions highlight his ability to take care of the football while methodically moving the ball downfield.

    Shrine Bowl Director Eric Galko also shared his praise for the Fordham QB during the season. Now, it’s important to temper expectations with DeMorat. He doesn’t have the arm to take the top off defenses or zip passes into tight windows. Showcasing his touch, awareness, and pocket poise against top competition will go a long way in his NFL evaluation.

    BJ Thompson, EDGE, Stephen F. Austin

    A member of the prestigious Bruce Feldman Freaks List, BJ Thompson has no shortage of physical gifts. He stands 6’5″ and 238 pounds, per the official Shrine Bowl measurements, and recorded a 4.56 40-yard dash, 11’3″ broad jump, and a 40″ vertical last offseason.

    The flashes have always been there for Thompson, dating back to his time with Baylor from 2017-2018. Yet, since he transferred to Stephen F. Austin, he’s taken his game to new heights, particularly as a pass rusher.

    NFL decision-makers will salivate over his explosiveness off the line and overall tools. However, he’ll need to prove he’s not a liability against the run during the all-star practices.

    Jadakis Bonds, WR, Hampton

    There’s only been one practice, but Jadakis Bonds already has an early frontrunner for the best catch at the Shrine Bowl. He may have checked in shorter than his roster-listed 6’4″ (6’2 3/5″), but the Hampton WR is a bully at the catch point.

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    With plus body control, long speed, and ball tracking, Bonds pairs his red-zone-friendly size with promising downfield potential.

    Shaquan Davis, WR, South Carolina State

    Shaquan Davis announced his presence to the national audience vs. Jackson State in the 2021 Celebration Bowl, hauling in three TDs. At 6’4″, Davis personifies the size/speed threat NFL teams covet on the outside. But he’s more than just eye candy, as the SCSU WR attacks the football with impressive ball skills.

    Dallas Daniels, WR, Jackson State

    Although Dallas Daniels is a vastly different mold of receiver than his two HBCU peers, there’s a reason he caught the Shrine Bowl’s attention. He’s deceptively quick in short areas with effortless acceleration, concocting a dangerous YAC threat in the open field.

    Size (5’10”, 176) will likely limit Daniels to the slot at the next level, but he played the majority of his snaps on the outside for Jackson State, highlighting his versatility.

    Thomas Greaney, TE, Albany

    Tight ends have to be at least solid receivers to earn draft attention from the NFL, and Thomas Greaney blows that standard out of the water. The 6’5″ and 250-pound TE is fluid yet decisive in his movements, displaying an exciting route-running foundation.

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    His strong hands and big frame make for a QB’s best friend over the middle of the field, and Greaney saw significant time in the slot for the Great Danes this season. If he can shake linebackers and safeties at the Shrine Bowl while proving to be a serviceable run blocker, more teams will take notice.

    Colby Sorsdal, OL, William & Mary

    With 46 career starts under his belt, it’s safe to say there isn’t much Colby Sorsdal hasn’t seen on the football field. He didn’t allow a single sack in 2022 and rivaled North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch as one of the best run blockers in the country.

    He has the size (6’5″) and length (32.7″ arms) to stick at tackle, where he almost exclusively played on the right side for William & Mary. One-on-one reps at the Shrine Bowl will be where Sorsdal makes or tanks his draft stock.

    Mark Evans II, OL, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

    After measuring 6’2″ and 293 pounds, a move inside to guard seems destined for Mark Evans. But so does hearing his name called as the first UAPB player drafted since 2013. He’s nimble on his feet with strong hands to deaden rushes in their tracks. But his most enticing trait is his mobility — Evans can work to the second level while also being able to set against speed rushers.

    His physical tools will entice general managers, and with a solid performance on the all-star circuit, Evans could be the first HBCU player selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Devonnsha Maxwell, DL, Chattanooga

    Careers don’t get much more decorated than Devonnsha Maxwell’s at Chattanooga. He’s been named to four straight All-SoCon first teams, owns the school and conference records for career sacks (37.5), and was the 2021 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year.

    Maxwell routinely faced Cole Strange in practice, and the battles were much less lopsided than you’d expect for facing a first-round pick. Maxwell comfortably carries his 6’1″ and nearly 299-pound frame and flashed improved hand fighting during the 2022 season.

    Titus Leo, EDGE, Wagner

    At 6’3″ and 243 pounds, Titus Leo registered a 34″ vertical, 10’5″ broad, and 4.41 shuttle last offseason. Men his size should not be able to move the way he does. Leo parlayed a modest high school career as a WR into being a first-team FCS All-American and two-time Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year on the edge.

    Truman Jones, EDGE, Harvard

    Truman Jones passes the eye test at 6’2″, 250 pounds, with 33.5″ arms. But he also checks multiple off-the-field boxes as a team captain and an academic honoree at one of the premier institutions in the nation. Yet, his performance on the gridiron matches — if not surpasses — his achievements in the classroom.

    MORE: Everything You Need To Know About the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl

    Jones earned All-American recognition following a 13-TFL and six-sack season, even notching three blocked kicks. Acing tests doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for the Harvard graduate, but the Shrine Bowl could prove his most challenging yet.

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