The East-West Shrine Game is often considered the less pretty stepsister of the Senior Bowl; it's a fine backup option, but all the guys keep their eyes on the Senior Bowl.
That's not exactly the kindest analogy one can use, but it's often what happens.
However, this year's East-West Shrine Game was not without excitement, intrigue, and players improving their stock. Let's take a look at some of the skill position players who's stock has been affected (either positively or negatively) because of this game. I'll watch the tape focusing entirely on the trenches for an article soon.
Max Hall, QB, Brigham Young University
Hall looked nervous and out of place in his first quarter playing time. He threw some sloppy balls and an interception. He looked to get back on track, directing a nice scoring drive on which he was 3-3 for 66 yards and a touchdown pass, but he followed it up with a botched snap on the next series.
Much like this game, Hall's season has been very up-and-down and he needed a consistent performance today to move back into that mid-round range. He seems to be shaking out as a late round pick at the moment.
Freddie Barnes, WR, Bowling Green
It's not that Barnes' stock dropped, but I didn't see enough on tape to help his stock. Throughout the week his stock did in fact rise, because of the ravings he received due to his performances in practice, but early on I saw Barnes struggling to get separation on anything but those quick outs. However, his importance on the East's final drive was critical to the team's win, and showed how lethal Barnes can truly be.
Blair White, WR, Michigan State
While teammate Freddie Barnes got all the publicity coming up to the East-West Shrine Game, Blair White was arguably the most impressive player on the field. He had countless catches and was the favorite target of East quarterbacks Mike Kafka and Daryl Clark. White doesn't have the top speed, but he's a smart player with good size and reliable hands (although he has a tendency to catch with his body) that should get drafted in the second or third round.
Hunter Lawrence, K, Texas
Seeing a kicker make a 47-yarder must make teams like the Bengals and Chargers think about Lawrence earlier than they normally would. We might see him go in the fifth round.
Todd Reesing, QB, Kansas
Todd Reesing is not a quarterback at the next level. Seeing him again, he was even shorter then I remembered. At 5'10", he's way too short to be an NFL quarterback and his passing was just under par. He wasn't comfortable passing from under center and looked to run way too often. He should carve a niche out in the CFL or UFL and might have success there, but I can't see him in the NFL.
O'Brien Schofield, DE/LB, Wisconsin
One of the most impressive players on the field today, Schofield made a seamless transition from defensive end to linebacker and was all over the field. He held up well in coverage and has enough speed to stay on tight ends and running backs. He had a brilliant read that allowed him to zip across the field and make an early interception. Schofield entered the game a fourth or fifth round prospect, but considering how impressive he was, he could end up going in the second round.
Pat Paschall, RB, North Dakota State
Paschall is the kind of player that is made for the East-West Shrine Game; a player from a FCS school that needs a stage to make a name for himself. Paschall was by far the most impressive running back on the field, running with speed and deceptive power, often picking up the tough yardage to move the chains. Whereas Paschall wasn't even a blip on most scout's radars before this game, he might've moved himself into the sixth or seventh round.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Southern Methodist University
Another player who got a lot of hype from ESPN before the game, Sanders was a thorough disappointment. At 5'11", 180 pounds, I wanted to see him play bigger than he is but he didn't. I don't have any stats to check, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't rack up a single reception. Also, I saw Sanders get chippy on a few plays (the interception and a deep pass), essentially pushing his defender off instead off instead of going for the ball. I'm not a fan of Sanders.
John Skelton, QB, Fordham
Physically, Skelton was by far the most impressive quarterback in the game. He has a ridiculous rifle for an arm and can make any throw with his 6'6" stature. However, coming from a small school, he seemed a bit overwhelmed in this game. He was a bit antsy in the pocket and got happy feet, giving him some inaccurate passes. However, his physical tools are off the chart and he did look very good at points in the game. A team like New England will grab him to develop into their quarterback of the future in the fifth round.
Jamar Wall, CB, Texas Tech
Along with O'Brien Schofield, Jamar Wall was one of the standout defenders in this game. Wall almost had two interceptions in this game, and had a key pass breakup on a fourth down attempt that would've gone for a first down. He did have a pass interference call, but for the most part Wall was able to take Freddie Barnes out of the game. A sixth to seventh round prospect initially, Wall now could find himself as high as the fourth round.
Mike Kafka, QB, Northwestern
A quarterback that's big (6'3") and looked comfortable under center, Kafka was the star of the East-West Shrine Game today, leading a two minute drill that culminated in his throwing of a touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless that was thrown with beautiful touch. Kafka was throwing darts around the field to several different receivers, showed excellent pocket presence and toughness, and was mobile enough to gain some yards with his feet.
If Mike Kafka tests out well at the Combine and impresses, he could very well find himself in the fourth or fifth round.
Matt Nichols, QB, Eastern Washington
The other impressive quarterback in this game, Matt Nichols made a fluid transition from FCS to playing with the big boys. While scrambling, he kept his eyes downfield and showed a solid arm with good accuracy. He might've moved himself into the seventh round, and if he receives a combine invite he might boost his stock up to the fifth or sixth round. If not, he should still either be drafted late or receive an invite to a training camp.