East-West Shrine Game 2012: Jarius Wright and More Impact Players to Watch

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 19, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06:  Jarius Wright #4 of the Arkansas Razorbacks celebrates a touchdown pass reception against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The East-West Shrine Game is often a showcase of some of the next big NFL stars, and this year features a few names that you're really going to want to keep an eye on.

Watching these games is a scout's dream, since every single player in attendance knows that they are playing for their draft stock.

Sure, since it's essentially an All-Star game, players aren't playing with the same passion and dedication that they would in a regular-season or bowl game. However, one could argue that these postseason exhibitions mean just as much to potential NFL players.

Keep your eye on these three players, as I believe they have the potential to be impact players in the NFL.


Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas

Wright is a small player at 5'10'' and 180 pounds, but he has the speed and athleticism to be a game changer. He's lightning quick and can burn defenses by getting behind them, but he may be most valuable in the slot position as a pro.

He's quick enough to get in and out of his cuts and he's got good hands. He's also a threat in the return game, so a team could use him right away as a kick returner.

I'd compare him to Packers rookie Randall Cobb right away, with the potential to be more of a Percy Harvin type of player when he fully develops into an NFL role.

Projected Round: Third


B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State

Cunningham is a physical wideout with a ton of pro potential. Consider the fact that he notched 1,306 yards and 12 touchdowns this season with the Spartans in what is predominately a run-first offense.

He's got a nose for the end zone and the ability to make big plays, but I would consider him to be more of a possession receiver in the NFL. He runs good routes and has good hands according to many scouts, but many feel he doesn't have the elite speed that will get him by NFL corners and make him a deep threat.

I see him as being a great complimentary player, who can work his way to being a very reliable possession receiver and perhaps be a very productive player in the right system.

He can really improve his draft stock with a good Shrine game.

Projected Round: Fourth


Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa

At 5'11'' and 185 pounds, Prater has good size going into the NFL and has the ability to be a playmaker.

He's got speed, quickness and a natural instinct to make plays. He reads the ball in the air very well. Furthermore, if he gets his hands on it, he's always a threat to take one back to the house.

He's also physical and can play close to the line of scrimmage in the run game or in jam-coverage.

Prater is not one of the bigger names in the draft, but he's solid overall.

Projected Round: Third


Check out the official 2012 Shrine Game Roster Here.

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