East-West Shrine Game: NFL Prospects To Watch (ESPN2, 3 PM EST)

Samuel IngroAnalyst IJanuary 23, 2010

The 85th annual East-West Shrine game.

The event gives potential NFL prospects one final game to showcase their abilities for scouts, and one last fix for college football fans.

The game has been running since 1925 to raise money for children at the Shriner's Hospital, but more importantly for NFL fans, this is better known as the Sleeper Bowl.

Last year's game had an impressive 95 players ending up on NFL teams, with 43 players being drafted outright. It also gives players a chance to receive real NFL coaching, hints, and tips.

This year the East is coached by former Cleveland Browns' head coach Romeo Crennel, who is now the Defensive Coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The West is coached by legendary head coach Marty Schottenheimer, formerly of the San Diego Chargers, and current NFL analyst.

The rosters are star-studded this year in comparison to recent years, mainly because of what a deep draft this year is sure to be. The sleepers in this game will show up huge in the third round, with a few surprises entering the second round with strong performances.

Stars to Watch:

Greg Hardy - Defensive End - Ole Miss: Hardy's stock has been plummeting this season after various injuries and a lackluster final few games. Once thought to potentially be a first round pick, Hardy has slid into the third round. A strong performance today could boost him into second round contention.

TJ Ward - Free Safety - Oregon: Ward's stock on the other hand saw a recent rise at the end of the season, once projected to be a fifth round pick, he's shot up into the third round. If he shows up today, he may be able to crack the second round.

Dennis Pitta - Tight End - BYU: Pitta may end up being the star of the game. The fastest riser, Pitta has all the makings of a starting tight end in the NFL. Currently sitting in the fourth round, he's expected to make a third round appearance, with a team possibly reaching for him in the late second round.

Lindsey Whitten - Defensive End - UConn: Whitten has seen a recent rise and may be the other star of the game. Currently a projected fourth-rounder,Whitten has the most to gain, and could boost himself into the second round between now and the draft.

Kyle Calloway - Offensive Tackle - Iowa: Calloway's stock has been pretty stable, a fourth round selection, this game won't really weigh on him either way. Unless a major flaw in his game shows up, he'll go between the third and fourth round.

Players with Something to Prove:

Darrell Stuckey - Strong Safety - Kansas: The season was rough on Stuckey. He'll need a strong showing today to insure his impact into the NFL. It seems like all of Kansas' prospects have taken a hit after a disappointing year . Stuckey still has the makings of a starting safety in the league, but has been reduced to a fifth round selection.

Brian Jackson - Cornerback - Oklahoma: Jackson currently sits in the sixth round, but he'll be looking to bounce into the fifth round by picking on Darryl Clark today.

Andre Dixon - Running Back - UConn: Dixon is expected to be a solid sixth round pick, but has a lot to prove today. Coming from a spread offense, showcasing his skills in the Shrine Game is his best opportunity in front of scouts.

Javarris James - Running Back - Miami: James has been lighting up on draft boards this week with praise from East coach Romeo Crennel and Todd McShay, prior to the game he's at a sixth round selection. With a great game however, it's possible he may find a fifth round team.

Players on the Bubble:

Darryl Clark - Quarterback - PSU: Clark has the name and fame, but his feet have won him more games than his arm has. Look for him to showcase his arm more for scouts today, to try and earn himself a spot on the draft board.

Max Hall - Quarterback - BYU: Hall is plagued by attitude problems and a weak arm. He's well known in reputation but that might not be a good thing. His stock has plummeted and it's going to take a great game to get him back in the seventh round.

Todd Reesing - Quarterback - Kansas: Reesing is my favorite sleeper,  since it's unknown just how much of the spread offense attributed to his success. He'll need to showcase his arm in a big way if he wants to sneak into the seventh round this year.

Justin Woodall - Strong Safety - Alabama: Woodall quietly put together a strong year for himself. Currently expected to go in the seventh round, a big game could really help his stock today.

Chris Marinelli - Offensive Tackle - Stanford: Marinelli fought through injuries that hurt his draft status, but is still a potential sixth round pick. He could be one of the steals of the draft by early projections, as he is one of the lowest round All-Americans on the board.