How Are the Shrine Bowl Teams Chosen?

How Are the Shrine Bowl Teams Chosen?

The 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl rosters are set, as we near the day of the main event. But how is each team for the Shrine Bowl chosen, and how is this pool of 2023 NFL Draft prospects formed in the first place?

How Were the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl Teams Chosen?

All the roster work is settled, for the most part. But as we near the Shrine Bowl, it’s important to remember that months of work and planning went into constructing the rosters on the field.

That work ultimately started with pre-season evaluations in the summer and has progressed to the final product.

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Shrine Bowl evaluators first had to solidify the pool of players that would receive invites in the 2023 NFL Draft class. This process went on through over half of the 2022 campaign. Initial invites were then sent out late in 2022, and prospects chose their subsequent all-star destinations.

There’s still a chance that a few late additions could bring some variance to the roster makeup past this point. But for the most part, the talent pool is settled. The Shrine Bowl’s evaluation process is what led to this group of NFL hopefuls being established. There’s one more step, however, before the rosters are finalized.

New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons Have a Say in Roster Formation

In recent years, the East-West Shrine Bowl rosters were divided based on geography. For the most part, prospects from schools east of the Mississippi were placed on the East team, while prospects on the west side of the Mississippi were placed on the West.

The integration of full NFL coaching staffs this year, however, introduced a new wrinkle in the team selection process. The NFL coaching staffs — this year being the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons — were given a degree of preference and autonomy in finalizing their player listings.

Below, Shrine Bowl Director Eric Galko describes the process that both the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons went through in picking their own teams and the unique dynamic that created in the 2023 cycle.

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“Having the two NFL staffs provide their input on players was certainly a fun experience in allocating players to each team. Each team had the opportunity to request players to be on their team, and while there was some overlap, it was great and unsurprising to see which teams valued which players maybe more than the other.

“In the end, a lot went into selecting which players were on which team, but the added wrinkle of a team getting to coach a player they really like is certainly exciting for us, the team, and of course, the players,” Galko explained.

What’s truly exciting about this year’s Shrine Bowl roster selection process is that the Falcons and Patriots will be able to get first-hand looks at prospects who fit their particular schematic preferences. And through the week, those prospects may be better utilized and coached as a result.