2016 East-West Shrine Game: Practice Report



2016 East-West Shrine Game: Monday’s East Team Practice Report

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

The first practice of the East-West Shrine was held in St. Petersburg, Fla. under sunny skies with temperatures in the 60s. The East team is being coached by former Notre Dame and Kansas head coach Charlie Weis. Weis had the players practicing in shells: helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts.

  • At all of the All-Star games, there are a lot of eyes on the quarterbacks. The East Team had a trio of Michigan’s Jake Rudock, Wisconsin’s Joel Stave, and Massachusetts-Amherst’s Blake Frohnapfel. Rudock took the starter reps, but all three of the signal-callers were unimpressive. Both of the Big 10 passers should have thrown multiple interceptions, but there were a number of picks dropped. Neither has an arm that gets evaluators excited.

    During the team scrimmage, Stave had a pass had an interception juggled and dropped by Louisville linebacker James Burgess. Rudock followed with a terrible pass down the middle seam of the field that was floated right to Boston College safety Justin Simmons, who was trailing a few yards behind the tight ends.

    None of these signal-callers looked good on day one, but often that is the case in the early going All-Star games. Athletically, all three look like undrafted players who will compete to make a roster as training camp arms.




  • Illinois running back Josh Ferguson was one of the standouts on the first day of practice. During the individual session, he showed quick feet through the bags in the individual period. In the team period, he had a serious burst to get upfield and rip off yards in chunks. Ferguson bolted down the field for a big gain on screen pass. With his speed and elusiveness, Ferguson looks like a nice receiving weapon and change of pace backup for the NFL.

  • Another player who showed up ready to play was Arkansas State tight end Darion Griswold. He made some tough catches and used his size to shield defenders from the ball. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder showed nice concentration to tip an inaccurate pass to himself with a linebacker bearing down on him. Griswold controlled the ball and held on after taking a stiff hit from the defender. Penn State tight end Kyle Carter also had a nice reception, but Griswold was the most impressive player of the position group on day one.

  • Along the lines, one of the players who showed some tools to work with was Penn State defensive lineman Anthony Zettel. In the one-on-ones, and during the team scrimmage, Zettel was constantly breaking into the backfield. He showed off powerful hands with functional strength to slap blockers hands off of him and shed the block. However, after getting free of his blocker, he was getting shoved into the ground easily and that kept him from finishing plays. Throughout the practice Zettel was losing his feet consistently, he has a thin lower body and needs to add some strength to his base. As a pro, he could be a work in progress that develops into a nice player after a year or two. Zettel (6-4, 284) could be a 3-4 defensive end. In a 4-3 he’s a bit of tweener who could be an end on run downs and rushes from the inside in passing situations.




  • Florida State linebacker Terrance Smith had a nice day. He was fast, flying around the field and was physical with offensive players. He had a pass broken up with some nice coverage defending tight ends and backs in the flat.

  • A sleeper prospect to watch on this team is Stony Brook defensive end Victor Ochi. His first-step quickness was impressive as he exploded off the snap with a great get-off. Ochi (6-2, 255) still is very raw and needs development. He looks too undersized for a 4-3 defense to be anything more than a situational pass-rusher. A better fit could come as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

  • South Carolina offensive tackle Brandon Shell had a strong start to the week. The 6-foot-6, 328-pounder certainly has size for the next level. Shell was strong but needs further work on technique and his pad level. In the pass-rushing one-on-ones, Shell showed some brute strength as he easily pounded Notre Dame defensive end Romeo Okwara into the turf. Last year, Shell played left tackle, but he will need to move to guard or right tackle in the NFL.

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



    2016 East-West Shrine Game Recap - 1/23
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Interview with Geronimo Allison - 1/21
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's West Team Practice Report - 1/20
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's West Team Interviews - 1/20
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's East Team Practice Report - 1/20
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday's East Team Interviews - 1/20
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Interview with Donovan Smith - 1/20
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Interview with Jamie Byrd - 1/20
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's West Team Practice Report - 1/19
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's West Team Interviews - 1/19
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's East Team Practice Report - 1/19
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Tuesday's East Team Interviews - 1/19
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's West Team Practice Report - 1/18
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's East Team Practice Report - 1/18
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's West Team Interviews - 1/18
    2016 East-West Shrine Game: Monday's East Team Interviews - 1/18










    2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 12


    Fantasy Football Rankings - May 9


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12