2015 East-West Shrine Game: Practice Report



2015 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday’s West Team Practice Report

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

The third practice of the West squad in the East-West Shrine was held in St. Petersburg, Florida under cloudy skies with temperatures in the 60s. The West team is being coached by former Redskins head coach and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn. Zorn had the players practicing in full pads.

  • One of the most impressive players from Wednesday’s practice was North Dakota State running back John Crockett. He ran the ball well and showed off a burst to go with size. Crockett (6-1, 215) also was impressive in the blitz-pickup drill. He had two impressive reps holding his ground on a bull rush and stopping a speed rush to the side. Oregon linebacker Tony Washington did beat Crockett with a vicious bull rush, but Crockett did well overall.

    As a receiver, Crockett beat Utah State linebacker Zachary Vigil down the seam for and Kansas linebacker Benjamin Heeney on an out route. In the run scrimmage, Crockett ran hard and broke off a long run. He set up a block and made a nice cut to bolt downfield. It was very impressive and seemed to get the attention of Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.

    Sources indicated that they like Crockett as a potential third-day pick. He has good size and showed a nice burst at the East-West Shrine. Crockett definitely helped himself.




  • South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner also flashed when he beat Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager by getting over the top down the seam. There are some observers who like Zenner, so some teams could be impressed.

  • Two West squad players who really played well all week were Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell and Kansas State center B.J. Finney. Both of them look like future NFL players who could develop into starters.

    Bell finished off his strong week of practice with another solid day on Wednesday. Sources with teams have been impressed with Bell and feel that he has really helped himself. He beat Stanford linebacker James Vaughters on a corner post route for a nice reception downfield.

    Along with showing receiving skill, Bell flashed as a blocker on Wednesday. He sealed a running lane for Crockett to burst to the second level with a well-executed block on a linebacker. That earned the praises of the coaching staff. Entering the NFL, Bell will have to work on his blocking, but he is impressive as a receiver.

  • Finney has blocked well in every practice. He contributes to opening holes in the ground game and was reliable in pass protection. He is stout at the point of attack and is very technically sound. It is clear that Finney has been well coached at Kansas State. He will probably go in the mid-rounds, but he could end up being a nice value pick.




  • One linebacker really stood out well on Wednesday: Michigan State’s Taiwan Jones. He did a nice job in pass coverage in the one-on-ones and in the team scrimmage. Jones slapped a pass away from Oklahoma fullback Aaron Ripkowski after maintaing close coverage. Even more impressively, Jones was able to run with Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell on a route to the flat. In the team scrimmage, Jones was able to run with a back and make a tackle after a short reception. The NFL is seeking linebackers who can cover, so Jones gave evaluators something to think about.

    WalterFootball.com will have more recaps from the East-West Shrine practices along with a run-down of the post-practice team interviews. Follow @walterfootball for updates.



    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Recap - 1/18
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Stock Report - 1/16
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's East Team Practice Report - 1/14
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's West Team Practice Report - 1/14
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's East Team Interviews - 1/14
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's West Team Interviews - 1/14
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's East Team Practice Report - 1/13
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's West Team Practice Report - 1/13
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's East Team Interviews - 1/13
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's West Team Interviews - 1/13
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's East Team Practice Report - 1/12
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's West Team Practice Report - 1/12
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's East Team Interviews - 1/12
    2015 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's West Team Interviews - 1/12










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