Pass catchers will be the positions to watch, and the tight ends on the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl rosters make up an interesting group of next-level players. The best tight ends can do all three facets nowadays, and this group is no different.
Top 2023 Shrine Bowl Tight Ends NFL Draft Prospects
1) Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
A lesser-known receiving threat, Schoonmaker made his name known early on at Michigan with his blocking skills. However, over the past two seasons, he’s hauled in six receiving touchdowns and capped his career with personal bests in every major receiving category.
Schoonmaker is a physical blocker with safe hands, something that will come in handy over the middle of the field. Putting his after-the-catch ability on display in Vegas will vault his draft stock.
2) Princeton Fant, Tennessee
A dominant red-zone threat, Princeton Fant can actually win all over the field. Though he isn’t the biggest tight end there is, his ability to line up in the slot and use his physicality to dominate smaller defenders is almost unmatched. Fant could do his draft stock wonders by proving himself in the blocking game.
3) Daniel Barker, Michigan State
Battle-tested Daniel Barker heads to the Shrine Bowl after five seasons in the Big Ten and 13 career receiving touchdowns. Barker is a big target for his quarterbacks, only made better by his incredible reach. Showcasing his athleticism in after-the-catch situations will help his cause — the big man averaged over 12 yards per catch in his college career.
4) Travis Vokolek, Nebraska
One of the larger individuals at the position over the past few years, Travis Vokolek is also the elder statesman of this group. Vokolek, a member of the recruiting class of 2017, battled through injuries in his Rutgers and Nebraska careers, culminating in just four receiving touchdowns to his credit over six years in college.
Still, the 6’7″ Vokolek proved to be much more limber and athletic than his frame would indicate. Proving that against some of the best of the best at the Shrine Bowl should cement his case as a three-down, viable receiving tight end.
5) Joel Wilson, Central Michigan
Central Michigan certainly knows a thing or two about producing NFL-caliber tight ends — Joel Wilson is next in line. Wilson checks in at 6’4″ and 250 pounds, but he moves around much more like a slot receiver. He has all the tools of a dominant next-level tight end in passing scenarios. Nonetheless, he will need to prove he can handle himself against top-tier pass rushers.
Other TEs To Watch at the Shrine Bowl
- Blake Whiteheart, Wake Forest
- Leonard Taylor, Cincinnati
- Thomas Greaney, Albany
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