Mark Foltz - AStateNation

Chris Shanafelt of Discusses Darion Griswold at East-West Shrine Game

Darion Griswold has impressed at the East-West Shrine Game practices.

Darion Griswold has caught the attention of the NFL world.

Already on the radar of scouts, the former Arkansas State tight end has elevated his game in front of NFL scouts at the Shrine Game practices this week in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“I think he is a guy who has shown he can do it all and that is what the NFL wants from a tight end,’’ said Chris Shanafelt of “To be honest he was not someone I knew a lot about coming into this week but he has caught a lot of attention.

“To me the thing that has stood out was his blocking and the NFL wants tight ends who can block. Most of the ones who play can block. There are some who are just receivers but all of the really good ones like Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates, they are blockers.”

Shanafelt, who also has a radio show in Chicago, said Griswold showed good hands and good feet during the week of camp.

“The Shrine game is usually for those guys who will be drafted on the third day,’’ he said. “I would say Darion has put himself in a position where he will be drafted. I think he has a good chance to go in the late rounds. Now he needs to have a good Pro Day and a combine.”

The game is Saturday at Tropicana Field. Griswold will be on the East squad and the game kicks off at 3 p.m. on the NFL Network. A web stream of the radio broadcast will be available at this link.

Recruited out of Dumas as a quarterback, he moved to tight end his freshman season and was a four-year starter for Red Wolves teams that won three conference titles and played in four bowl games. He also lettered as a freshman on the basketball team.

Griswold was on the John Mackey Award Watch list the last two seasons. He ranks second in receptions (79) and yards (882) for a tight end behind Steve Lockhart. He caught nine TD passes.

He is the first A-State tight end to play in the game and the first A-State player since David Johnson in 2009. Johnson is now with the San Diego Chargers.

Other A-State products who have played in the game are former running back Corey Walker (1996), defensive lineman Michael Cline (1985) and offensive lineman Ken Jones (1976).

Shanafelt said he believed all 32 NFL teams were represented including some by more than one person.

“Today they worked out without pads so there weren’t as many scouts,’’ he said. “But one thing I noticed about Darion he was almost always the first one out there on the field.”