The West beat the East 10-3 in a defensive battle at the East-West Shrine Game. The game provided an opportunity for draft scouts and analysts to get a peak at some of top players in this year’s class, as well as some of the less heralded ones. Let’s look at some of the winners and losers of the game as it relates to the Ravens draft needs.
Deatrich Wise Jr. DE, Arkansas
Wise was spectacular all throughout the game, his name appearing continuously on my notes sheet. Wise was constantly causing pressure in the backfield, against both the run and the pass. Wise split a double team early in the game to stop De’Veon Smith behind the line for a loss of yards, and quickly afterward, Wise recorded a sack. Wise forced the quarterback to make quick decisions at multiple points in the game due to the pressure he brought. Wise recorded a big stop of De’Veon Smith on a key fourth down try by the East in the fourth quarter. Wise also had a strip on the East’s final drive, but his team was not able to come up with the ball. Wise probably saw the biggest leap in draft stock of any player in this game, and could slide to outside linebacker if the Ravens selected him and chose to do so.
Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah raved about Moreau throughout the broadcast, and rightfully so. Moreau was rarely thrown at his coverage was stellar. Moreau has elite speed, having previously recorded a 4.39 40yd dash. The UCLA product also has great footwork, as he was able to make all the right adjustments on the ball to knock it away the rare times it was thrown his direction. Moreau also recored a special teams tackle covering a punt, proving his value at more than one position. Moreau had not previously been on my radar as a player the Ravens could target, but has quickly jumped into the conversation.
Trey Hendrickson, DE, FAU
Hendrickson was great in this game, especially in the first half where he recorded a strip sack. Hendrickson did not do much against the run, but has potential in the NFL as a third down pass rusher. As the FAU career leader in sacks, scouts will know that he has an eye for the quarterback.
Darius English, DE/OLB, South Carolina
English saw more playing time as Ejuan Price missed this game with an injury, and did not disappoint. English had a sack in the first half. Although, it was largely due to a bad snap leaving him unblocked. English showed speed off the edge, beating 6’9” tackle Dan Skipper multiple times. English projects well to the NFL as a 3-4 OLB, and helped his stock today as he showed strong pass rushing ability.
Kermit Whitfield Jr., WR/RS, Florida State
Whitfield had a few drops early in this game, but also showed a lot of explosiveness. Whitfield has potential to be used in similar ways to Tyreek Hill in terms of a big play guy on offense off of screens and end arounds, as well as being a threat in the return game. Whitfield has elite speed, and could challenge Hill as the fastest player in the NFL.
Gabe Marks, WR, Washington State
Marks had multiple drops, most notably one on a simple screen pass, in addition to his muffed punt late in the game. Marks lacks ideal size to play on the outside like he did in college, but seemed to fear contact over the middle when he played today in the slot. He projects to the NFL as a slot receiver, and will need to improve his hands, as well as have the toughness to go over the middle.
De’Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
Smith rarely showed explosiveness, and failed to use his size throughout the game. In the closing minutes, Smith had a fumble, killing the momentum that his team had, as they had advanced into the redzone.
Orion Stewart, S, Baylor
Stewart came into this game with impressive all around production. However, he did not show up at all. He did not seem to have a nose for the ball, and was not always running hard to make a play when a ball carrier was near him. His stock took a bit of a tumble with the quiet performance.
Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan
Stribling struggled at points in this game, and was unwilling to play against the run. Unwillingness to play against the run had been the knock on him coming into the game, and it showed up. On the only touchdown of the game, a run by the West, Stribling had a chance to potentially make the tackle short of the endzone, but did not run very hard, and thus did not get there in time.
With the East-West Shrine Game past, draft analysts and scouts will turn their collective attentions to the Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl will be played on January 28 at 1:30. The Senior Bowl rosters are overall more talented than those of the East-West Shrine Game, and thus will be a much watch for Ravens fans, as Ozzie Newsome continually selects players from that game. Practices for the game begin on Tuesday as the path to the draft presses on.