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    Saturday 2023 Shrine Bowl East Team Practice Report: Dante Stills and Kobie Turner Draw Praise

    Saturday's Shrine Bowl Practice Report highlights impressive play from East Team prospects, as Dante Stills dominated in the trenches.

    LAS VEGAS — The 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl practices are in full swing, and prospects are putting their skills on display in the hopes of making an impression ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. Let’s break down the East Team highlights from Saturday’s practice.

    Saturday Shrine Bowl Practice Report Headlined by Dante Stills and Kobie Turner

    You always find the most exciting football in the trenches. There were other stars at the East Team practice on Saturday, but the trenches once again provided a must-watch spectacle, particularly among the interior defensive linemen.

    For more from Saturday’s practice at the WR, TE, CB, and QB positions, be sure to check out Tony Pauline’s Risers and Sliders report.

    Defensive Line

    Dante Stills was nearly unblockable all day. He measured in at 6’3 1/2″ and 289 pounds, and yet, his athleticism elicits awe for his size. He showed off high-level agility, flexibility, burst, and leverage acquisition as a pass rusher in both one-on-ones and team drills.

    Stills does lack elite strength at the point of attack, and that was evident at times, as was his lack of length. But his spry lateral agility and flexibility make him a threat to swim around blockers at all times, and they also provide him alignment versatility.

    The former West Virginia DT is the biggest riser from the trench group from the East Team practice, but he’s not the only one who impressed. Moro Ojomo was a constant penetrator with his quick hands and natural leverage, and his length enabled him to decouple from blocks early in reps.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

    Kobie Turner from Wake Forest also impressed, using his leverage, compact frame, and quickness to win multiple one-on-one reps. He also showed he can multitask with his hands while flexing around blocks and reducing his surface area.

    Nebraska’s Ochaun Mathis was another player who drew eyes. He was one of our biggest risers from official measurements at the Shrine Bowl. His length and wingspan are both rare qualities that were on display on Tuesday.

    His length allowed him to snag a deflection at the line in team drills, and his athletic tools and violent disposition both popped in one-on-ones.

    Offensive Line

    It was a stronger day for the defensive line, but the offensive line had its bright spots. It was particularly interesting to watch the prospects who took center reps — Maryland’s Spencer Anderson, Tennessee’s Jerome Carvin, UCLA’s Jon Gaines, and Penn State’s Juice Scruggs.

    Of the center group, Scruggs had one of the better days. His strength was evident against Texas nose tackle Keondre Coburn on one particular one-on-one rep. Coburn is not a small human, but Scruggs’ core strength enabled him to gather him within his frame.

    Anderson, Carvin, and Gaines all had good reps in the middle as well. Carvin and Anderson aren’t the most agile, but Anderson’s synergetic technique and width make him very hard to offset. Carvin’s leg drive and length proved to be suffocating at times.

    Elsewhere on the line, Oregon’s Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and NC State’s Chandler Zavala had bright moments under the morning sun. Aumavae-Laulu occasionally struggled to maintain his anchor, but at 6’5″, 322 pounds, with 34″ arms, he’s a massive competitor. He brought violent hands in one-on-ones and was able to stack blocks in team drills and redirect torque at the line.

    Zavala also displayed combative hands in one-on-ones, and his hand strength was especially stifling for opposing defenders.

    The Small-School Prospects

    The East Team defensive line features a host of small-school prospects, including Ferris State’s Caleb Murphy, Eastern Michigan’s Jose Ramirez, Rice’s Ikenna Enechukwu, Stephen F. Austin’s BJ Thompson, Western Kentucky’s Brodric Martin, and Campbell’s Brevin Allen, who was recently added from the Hula Bowl.

    Plenty of those players flashed during practice. The strongest performer of that group, however, had to be Allen. He was another riser from measurements, with a dense 262-pound frame and long 34 1/2″ arms. His speed-to-power proved to be overwhelming at times, but he also flashed surprising bend and cornering ability as an EDGE in one-on-ones.

    Cornering ability is something that Ramirez has in spades, and he showed it on a super impressive dip-and-rip during team drills, sinking beneath John Ojukwu’s anchor with ease. Ramirez is smaller and struggled to disengage at times because of it, but his speed and bend give him an avenue to success.

    MORE: NFL Mock Draft Simulator

    Murphy, Enechukwu, and Thompson all have the tools, but all will be seeking greater consistency later on in the week. Enechukwu is a violent, high-energy rusher, but his hand placement was streaky. Thompson and Murphy both have lighter frames, which showed up as an issue at times. But both are visibly explosive, and Murphy’s lateral agility is a particularly strong trait of his.

    On the offensive side, Grand Valley State’s Quinton Barrow was the most notable small-school prospect. He clearly has the necessary size, and on some reps in team drills, he proved he can stay square with opponents and use his width to his advantage. His athleticism is still the ultimate question, as his foot speed was underwhelming at times. More work on his weight transfers could be good for him this week.

    Quick Hitters

    Here are more assorted notes from the East Team practice on Day 1 of the Shrine Bowl.

    • A.T. Perry was the star of the East Team’s Saturday practice. He’s as long as advertised, with a 6’3 3/8″ frame and near-34″ arms. But he’s truly exceptional at maximizing that length with his coordination and flexibility as a receiver, and he’s a nimble athlete and separator as well.
    • It was a quieter day for Louisville linebacker Yasir Abdullah. He didn’t make a ton of noise as a pass rusher. But he did show off his versatility in team drills, dropping into coverage to blanket a running back at one point. While he’s best attacking in the box, the 6’1″, 234-pound defender can play in space as well.
    • Kansas’ Earl Bostick Jr. and Indiana’s Luke Haggard had their moments on the East team offensive line. Haggard kept his torso too wide at times, exposing himself to power, but he showed he can latch and drive in the run game. Meanwhile, Bostick was very quick off the line and showed natural mobility getting upfield at almost 6’6″, 311 pounds.
    • Arkansas’ Jadon Haselwood often won with his physicality in college. The Shrine Bowl will be a chance for him to prove he can win in other ways. He wasn’t perfect on Saturday. Minimizing focus drops will be big for him, but he did display impressive hip sink for his size on a few dig routes. He can bend fairly well at 6’2″ and 213 pounds.
    • Shaq Davis of South Carolina State will be a heavily watched prospect, now more than ever, after measuring with a 6’5″, 217-pound frame and arms over 34″ long. He’s big and can win in contested situations, but watching him in person, he’s surprisingly smooth for his size. And he’s very natural corralling the football in stride across the middle.
    • Vanderbilt’s Anfernee Orji had a nice day for the East Team’s linebacker group. He’s clearly explosive attacking downhill, but he also proved he could work laterally and track plays to the sideline. And late in practice, during team drills, he was able to read the QB’s eyes in zone and haul in an acrobatic interception at the second level.
    • Kyle Soelle is another name to watch at LB. At 6’3″, 232 pounds, Soelle’s size very much passes the eye test. He’s a lean athlete, and while he’s not the most explosive, he is more fluid than you’d expect. His recognition in zone was up and down at times, but he can flow to the ball in run defense, and he’s physical when combating blocks.

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