East-West Shrine Game 2012: 4 Players Who Most Improved Draft Stock
The annual East-West Shrine Game doesn't get the recognition or have the type of top-level prospects as the Senior bowl does. However, there are plenty of players looking to help their draft stock and make a name for themselves.
This year's crop of players features a few guys who can make a push into the third round of this April's NFL draft.
Little-known players like Chattanooga's BJ Coleman entered the week of practice looking to prove they deserve to be on an NFL roster. Others, like Tennessee's Tauren Poole, wanted to prove something after a down year.
BJ Coleman, Quarterback, Chattanooga
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Chattanooga's BJ Coleman had an excellent week of practice and capped it off with a great showing in yesterday's East-West Shrine Game. Coleman used the week of practice to show his strong arm and impressive physical talent.
One of the biggest question marks surrounding Coleman's game is his accuracy. However, his performance in the game showed that he can be an accurate passer.
Coleman entered this week as a possible sixth- or seventh-round prospect, but now might have pushed himself into the third- or fourth-round range. Teams will fall in love with his physical gifts and bring him on board with the hope that he can develop into an NFL starting quarterback.
Tauren Poole, Running Back, Tennessee
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Tennessee's Tauren Poole didn't have the type of season he expected, and the same can be said for the entire Tennessee football team. Poole failed to average over four yards per rush—a mark that usually signifies the effectiveness of a running back.
However, a lot of his struggles were due to the inconsistent play of his surrounding teammates.
Poole used his time at the East-West Shrine Game to show off his vision and burst. With his first carry of the game, he outpaced defenders to the edge and was able to rattle off a 15-yard gain. His overall production during the game wasn't that impressive, but it was his ability to show some quickness that helped raise his stock.
Combine that one play with his week-long performance at practice and Poole definitely helped himself.
Lennon Creer, Running Back, Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech's Lennon Creer used this opportunity to show that he is a legitimate NFL prospect. At 6'1", 215 pounds, Creer boasts the frame needed to hold up at the next level. His performance at the East-West Shrine Game helped legitimize his impressive college career.
While at Louisiana Tech, Creer rushed for over 2000 yards and averaged nearly five yards per carry. He isn't guaranteed to get drafted this April, but he at least earned himself a camp invite.
Creer strikes me as the type of player who can go from undrafted rookie to impact NFL running back.
Nick Sukay, Safety, Penn State
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Penn State's Nick Sukay earned the defensive MVP honors, solidified by a late-game interception. However, it was his play throughout the game that earned him this recognition. His play during the game capped off an impressive week of practice that surely helped his draft stock.
Sukay possesses the range and quickness to hold up in coverage. He has decent ball skills, which makes him a threat the pull down an interception. His experience on special teams gives him a real shot of getting drafted and sticking on a roster.