NFL Draft 2013: Players Impressing at East-West Shrine Game
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Although it doesn't typically boast the star power of the Senior Bowl, a number of quality players can be found on both rosters, including Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein. However, while the Kansas State quarterback has been a major disappointment in practice, a handful of NFL hopefuls have stood out.
With just two days remaining until Saturday's 4 p.m. kickoff, let's take a look at which players are impressing down in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
By all accounts, former Aggies running back Christine Michael has been one of the best players—if not the best player—on the field.
At one point in his career, the 5'11", 220-pounder appeared destined for stardom. However, multiple injuries—including a broken leg in 2010 and torn ACL in 2011—prevented Michael from ever realizing his full potential.
After a lackluster senior campaign in which he carried the ball just 88 times (he did score 12 touchdowns), Michael has made a name for himself in practice this week. According to DraftInsider.net's practice report, the former Texas A&M tailback has blown away scouts with his hard-charging running style in between the tackles.
If he's able to carry that over to Saturday, Michael could vault himself up draft boards.
Keith Pough, LB, Howard
Sticking with the West roster, hard-nosed linebacker Keith Pough out of Howard is making a lot of heads turn in St. Pete.
Despite his small-school pedigree, the 6'2", 241-pounder is quickly proving he belongs in the NFL.
Practice reports from DraftInsider.net have praised Pough's complete game, especially his quickness and playmaking ability. Howard doesn't generally produce a ton of NFL stars, but Pough—the Football Championship Subdivision's career leader in tackles for loss (71)—could buck that trend.
Jasper Collins, WR, Mount Union
If Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts have taught us anything, it's that Mount Union wide receivers shouldn't be taken lightly.
After posting 92 catches for 1,694 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, it should come as no surprise that former Purple Raiders star Jasper Collins is among the standouts at practice this week.
Lacking prototypical NFL size and speed for the position, Collins makes up for his physical limitations with a pair of sticky hands and solid short-area quickness. DraftInsider.net reports that he's the best receiver on the West roster.
Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
It's been a decade since a player from Arkansas-Pine Bluff was selected in the NFL draft, but 6'5", 304-pound offensive tackle Terron Armstead will end that drought in April.
Another small-school standout, Armstead draws high praise for his immense physical gifts, including 4.9 speed.
However, it's not just his athleticism that has scouts drooling. The No. 14 offensive tackle on NFLDraftScout.com has impressed all week with solid fundamentals, technique and versatility. Due to his size and quick feet, he could stick at left tackle or move inside to guard.
Wherever he ends up, the ultra-athletic offensive lineman really helped himself out this week.
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