Andrew Harbaugh | January 19th, 2019
In a game where some of the talent was recommended by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, the NFLPA will be having there Collegiate Bowl. It is a game that falls under the severe shadow from the Shrine game and Senior Bowl as far as the college all-star games go. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be watched.
Last year 19 players from the game were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft and they have some notable alumni in Shaquill Griffin, Marquette King, and Tarik Cohen among others. This year it lacks a lot of big, eye-catching names but what it has is a lot of players who, with a good week of practice followed up by a good game, can become names that the 32 NFL teams will be targeting come April.
Let’s introduce you to a couple of players that I will be watching this Saturday.
A fun late name to be added to the game is Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur. Kyle is the son of Giants coach Pat Shurmur but he isn’t getting recognition because of that. Kyle has shown the ability to make plays in a tough SEC, and the ability to flat out win games. At the end of the day, that’s what teams always want as simple as that may sound. With a career touchdown to interception ratio of nearly 2:1 and solid mechanics, he will certainly be drafted. Maybe the Giants give Eli Manning one more year and they take Kyle on day 3 to sit the year behind him and get mentored by the man who knows him best. Regardless of where he ends up, he has a chance to be an NFL backup at the very least.
Position: Tight End
School: Texas State
One of my favorite players in this draft because of his pure, raw athleticism he posses for a tight end. He is a horrendous blocker at times but what he lacks in blocking he makes up for in his pass catching. He isn’t afraid to improvise on his routes to help his quarterback out and when given the ball at the line of scrimmage he has the ability to turn upfield for a first down. As I mentioned though he is very raw, not raw enough where Gordan Ramsay would lose his mind but still raw. With some polish and getting coached up the right way, he could excel in the pass-friendly NFL that we all know and love.
Position: Running Back
School: Slippery Rock
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Wes Hills has been the biggest standout in NFLPA practice this week. With a frame of 6’2” and 220 pounds it would be hard not to stand out. What Hills does well is use that size to his advantage with his long strides he takes and the way he shakes off tacklers when running between the tackles. If he can take the momentum he has gained so far after a good week and practice the same way down in Mobile during the Senior Bowl. He could be the latest late, late running back that teams fall in love with and by the time the season rolls around he could be a starter.
A fun game to be had and it can be seen at 5 PM EST today on Fox Sports 1. Lots of great players on teams that don’t the exposure that an Alabama or Clemson get but they still deserve our eyes and respect.
Questions and comments?