Shrine Week: Winners and Losers

After three days of practice at the Shrine Game several players stood out. And while there are still opportunities for prospects to impress NFL scouts, those who performed well in San Francisco will force teams to take an extended look at them throughout the process, and thus have a step up on their competition. Our man on the scene, Brent Foshee, took in every practice and filed this report.

Best Week of Practice: 

5) Ryan Fitzpatrick:  Displayed the strongest arm of any of the quarterbacks present.  Though he still has trouble adjusting to pressure he improved over the course of the week.  In most cases the game is not important as the week of practice...this is not the case for the Harvard passer.

4) Nick Kaczur: For the most part Kaczur was outstanding except when used at guard during drills.  Fortunately he played brilliantly at tackle and most scouts seeing him for the first time now believe tackle is his best position at the next level.

3) Ryan Moats: Moats was the fastest of the backs and looked extremely shifty carrying the ball all week.  Moats also showed the patience to allow holes to open and a surprising ability to finish his runs going north-south.  Factor in a good week catching the ball and Moats could be headed into the draft's first day.

2) Jonathan Colon: Colon was not beaten in passing drills all week long.

1) Jay Ratliff: The undersized defensive tackle from Auburn was almost unblockable during drills.  During scrimmages Ratliff constantly got penetration and forced the action away from his gap.  Weighing in heavier then listed might help Ratliff remain at tackle though he looks more like a classic left defensive end.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Montgomery, Dustin Long, Mike Leach, Greg Haugabrook, Chad Owens, Aric Williams.

Worst Week of Practice:

5) Bobby Purify: Purify was indecisive carrying the ball and looked slow.

4) Pete McMahon: Wednesday's joint practice helped McMahon as he finally displayed the ability to play in space.  McMahon did not do enough to justify drafting him at tackle for some teams and overall struggled through the week.

3) Donte Nicholson: Nicholson showed little ability to defend the pass.  A step slow reacting, he was only effective near the line of scrimmage.  Not a good post-season start after a disappointing senior campaign.

2) Timmy Chang: His play this week was characterized by a weak arm and questionable accuracy.  It is difficult to see Chang enter the league as anything more than an undrafted free agent as he is being branded a system quarterback.

1) C. J. Brooks: Entering as one of the games most highly rated offensive lineman, Brooks saw his stock drop the furthest of any player.  Brooks was so bad at guard he was not even tried at tackle.  A major disappointment.

(Dis)-Honorable Mentions: Stefan Lefors, Santonio Thomas, Andrew Guman, Jesse Lumdsden, Lionel Turner, Nick Johansson.

Two years ago DeWayne Robertson was reportedly requiring a $50,000 fee from any agent who wanted to interview with him and last year Kellen Winslow Jr. was asking $10,000 per sitting.  The word this year is Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson has told several agents it will take $100,000 and a brand new Cadillac Escalade before he signs any agreement.

Late word on the underclassmen front has Ball State receiver Dante Ridgeway declaring for the draft.  A productive collegiate wide out, scouts question his size/speed numbers.

Virginia outside linebacker Darryl Blackstock has entered the draft while Justin Tuck has interviewed several agents and may be close to signing.

We have followed the up and down decision LSU tackle Andrew Whitworth was tussling with.  All set to enter the draft in December, the big left tackle began having second thoughts after the hiring of head coach Les Miles and started to waver the first week of January.  Today Whitworth made it official; he is staying in school.

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