East-West Shrine Game Practice Report: West Team (Day 3)

Day three of East-West Shrine Game practice is always the most fierce of the week. Tony Pauline is here to tell us which players stood out this afternoon when the West team took the field.

The West squad finished off the final day of pads practice and soon they’ll be kicking off the 2020 Shrine Bowl Game. It was another day where the defensive linemen stood out on the West team, but several receivers and a quarterback also turned heads.

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Kelly Bryant had his best day yet

This was hands down the best day of practice of the week for Missouri’s Kelly Bryant. He started to put all the pieces together and had a number of terrific plays and passes. He threw several solid deep passes, his fade throws in the corner of the end zone were on the mark, and Bryant displayed poise in the pocket besides making one sensational throw on the move. He has the tools to play at the next level but it’s just a matter of coaching Bryant to use those tools more consistently.

RBs and TEs maintaining consistency

Tony Jones of Notre Dame was the top running back on the West today. He ripped off several nice runs and showed an excellent burst through the hole. Reggie Corbin had another strong outing as a ball carrier and pass catcher. Parker Houston caught the ball well today and had several nice receptions in goal line formations. He plays big and strong as a blocker and pass catcher. Ben Ellefson also caught the ball well.

West wideouts completed an all-around great day at the position

Several receivers stood out for the West, none more so than Nick Westbrook. He displayed strong, dependable hands, effectively came away with the over the shoulder reception in the deep field and consistently won out for contested grabs. Speed and quickness are still a major concerns. John Hightower caught the ball well and earned the praise of scouts, while  Johnathon Johnson’s route running once again was so precise, opponents could not cover him.

New looks and great play along the offensive line

The West moved their offensive linemen around all day and used them at different positions.
Calvin Throckmorton was pushed out to right tackle and struggled handling speed rushers. Jared Hilbers was kicked into guard and looked rather confined. Cordel Iwuagwu played both guard and center. He was one of the few people who stopped Bravvion Roy this week. Iwuagwu is a terrific technician who must add bulk and strength to his frame but possesses terrific upside. He also moves well on his feet and I could see a zone blocking team selecting him in the middle rounds. Louisiana’s Kevin Dotson continued to impress while Julian Good-Jones of Iowa State had his best practice of the week.

Front seven on defense continued its impressive work

From the defensive line Bravvion Roy was more flashy than steady today as was Khalil Davis.
John Penisini had a number of nice plays and scouts came away very impressed with his entire week of work. They like his intensity, the strength of his base and the way he anchors. The bottom line on Penisini for the scouts I spoke with is that they believe he’s NFL ready but has limited upside and is a get what you see type of prospect.

Bryce Huff continued to show well as a pass rusher and Bryce Sterk of Montana State had his best practice of the week. Dele Harding of Illinois looked very athletic and easily moves about the field. He’s a tough run defender but rail thin and may struggle holding up at the next level. I was again impressed by what I saw from Casey Toohil. He was very forceful up the field and showed a nasty streak in his game.

Defensive backs’ struggles were on-going

Once again the defensive backs from the West played poorly. Luq Barcoo, Keith Washington and Chris Williams were consistently beat. To their credit, David Dowell and Jordan Glasgow played well. Dowell made a terrific interception while Glasgow dropped a sure pick after making a great move to the throw.

Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365.

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