NFL Draft 2013: Prospects That Boosted Their Stock at East-West Shrine Game

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 21, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 15: Devin Taylor #89 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during team warm ups before the start of their game against the UAB Blazers  on September 15, 2012 at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images)
Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images

The East-West Shrine Game isn't considered on the same level as the Senior Bowl as college all-star games go, but there are always players at the annual game with bright NFL futures.

Just ask the Washington Redskins how the showcase can spotlight hidden gems. Rookie RB Alfred Morris caught the attention of head coach Mike Shanahan after a strong showing in 2012's game.

All he did this year was rush for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Who could be the next player to use their performance at the East-West Shrine as a steppingstone to a solid NFL career?

Here are the notables from Saturday's game:


Devin Taylor - South Carolina

The talk of standout players has to start with South Carolina's monstrous defensive end. At 6'8", 275 pounds, he has great size, but his production tailed off during his collegiate career.

After recording 7.5 sacks in 2010, he only managed three in his final season with the Gamecocks.

He had a lot to prove in this game, and he certainly accomplished that. Some may say he did this against less-than-stellar competition, but Taylor showed skills that will translate no matter who he's competing against.

Despite weighing nearly 280 pounds, his frame still looks lean. He could feasibly add 15 pounds of muscle to be even stronger in the NFL.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his game is his speed. He showed the ability to close on quarterbacks and chase them down once they were flushed from the pocket.

If he has a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, don't be surprised to hear his name called in second round.


Christine Michael - Texas A&M

Michael was once a highly regarded running back prospect out of Texas A&M, but injuries have really hindered his career. He suffered season-ending injuries in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

Michael was healthy most of his senior season, but fell out of the starting role on the Aggies depth chart.

At the East-West Shrine Game he ran with great energy, determination and pad level. He showed decent hands out of the backfield as a receiver and a positive attitude on the sidelines.

Michael did fumble the ball during the game, but overall he looked good rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown.


Kerwynn Williams - Utah State

Williams is only 5'8", but his versatility as a receiver, running back and return man are apparent. He broke off a nice 37-yard punt return and had a 12-yard rushing attempt en route to 28 yards on the ground.

With the success of diminutive players like the New Orleans Saints' Darren Sproles and the San Francisco 49ers' LaMichael James, Williams should be given a chance to make an impact somewhere in the NFL.


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