The East-West Shrine Bowl is happening Thursday, February 2, at 8:30 EST on the NFL Network. A game that has been played since 1925 to benefit Shriners Children’s, it’s one of the first opportunities people will have to focus on 2023 NFL Draft prospects. There are a lot of talented players who will be hoping to make an impact this week as current NFL players like Za’Darius Smith and Jimmy Garoppolo have done in this game. Maybe Washington will find another player like East-West Shrine Bowl Hall of Famer Mark Rypien!
I wanted to highlight a few that I think the Commanders should watch closely because of their potential to contribute to the team.
A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
Washington has a lot of talent at wideout, but they do not have a lot of size. A player like A.T. Perry could address that need. Listed at 6’5” 205 lbs, Perry presents a big target for a quarterback. I’d like to see if he can be a little more aggressive at the point of the catch.
Kearis Jackson, WR, Georgia
Jackson is here for one reason and one reason only: punt returns. If he can provide quality depth at receiver as well, that would be a bonus.
Leonard Taylor, TE, Cincinnati
With good size at almost 6’5” and 250 lbs, Taylor is able to get open downfield and hard to bring down. I’ll be looking to see how he contributes in the run game.
Cincinnati TE Leonard Taylor showing some wiggle at the top of his route to create separation for the TD.— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) January 24, 2023
It’s a deep TE class in the 2023 NFL Draft but Taylor has the size and physical traits to gain some steam at the @ShrineBowl. pic.twitter.com/BKEyqhgn3L
Carter Warren, OT, Pittsburgh
He may not be the quickest off the snap, but Warren has quick feet, reacts quickly to defenders, and does a good job using his length to control defenders.
Carter Warren is one of the Best OT in the 2023 #NFLDraft. His pass blocking technique is arguably the best in this class. He punches well, can mirror speed rushers, and can anchor vs power. pic.twitter.com/MbV0M0mMVM— Sanjit T. (@Sanjit__T) January 17, 2023
John Ojukwu, OT, Boise State
Another left tackle prospect that looks to have the tools to excel in pass protection. My favorite trait of his is his patience. I’ll be watching for his run blocking and his ability to block in space.
I'll be curious if John Ojukwu (Boise State LT 70) ends up during the 2023 NFL Draft. Experienced player with over 3400 career snaps at LT and RT. Hasn't given up a sack this season either. Plays with good patience and technically sound. High school wrestler & track & field kid. pic.twitter.com/Wk8jtjGS8R— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) December 6, 2022
Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OT, Oregon
Predominately playing at right tackle for the Ducks, Aumavae-Laulu has an enticing blend of strength and athleticism that would be a huge asset to the Commanders offensive line.
Love the leg drive from Oregon RT 71 Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu to clear out the 3T pic.twitter.com/WeK50P0NQn— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) November 27, 2022
Juice Scruggs, OG/C, Penn State
Chase Roullier has been an excellent player when healthy, but he’s ended the past two seasons on injured reserve. Scruggs, a team captain for the Nittany Lions, is an athletic lineman that will have to get stronger to really contribute. If Roullier returns to form, Scruggs can hold down a spot at OG.
Juice Scruggs had breakfast for dinner with that pancake. pic.twitter.com/6O6abbNyen— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) December 22, 2020
Kobie Turner, DT, Wake Forest
Shoutout to The10Jersey for sharing this prospect in another post. Turner is athletic, quick, and plays the run well. Is he strong enough to make an impact at the next level?
@okibob & @MississippSteve— Todd Lee (@NOFALCONS10) January 28, 2023
I've been looking for draft sleepers lately and an interesting thing I've noticed when looking at DTs on PFF is that Kobie Turner has a higher Run stop grade than Jalen Carter and is ranked one spot behind him at #9 pass rushhttps://t.co/tRw3MhlJ0G
Jose Ramirez, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
With excellent get-off, speed around the edge, and ability to flatten to the QB, Jose Ramirez had the second-most sacks in college football last season. I’m looking to see him elevate his play against prospect from Power Five schools and how he plays the run.
Jose Ramirez (#4) led the nation in sacks for a reason. pic.twitter.com/zHrCO2JoGx— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 24, 2023
Anfernee Orji, LB, Vanderbilt
What intrigues me about Orji is his lateral quickness. He’s good at scraping along the line and tracking ball carriers to the outside. He also will fill gaps in the run game. I want to see more of him in coverage.
Kei’Trel Clark, CB. Louisville
He might be a bit undersized at only 5’10”, 179 lbs, but Clark is technically sound, quick, agile, and has the hands to take the ball away from the offense. If he can’t survive on the boundary, he should be able to start at nickel.
Kahlef Hailassie, CB, Western Kentucky
For a team that plays a lot of zone coverage, Hailassie should fit right in. He plays his assignments in zone coverage well and has the length to make up for being out of position. Speed and agility are my questions for him as they might hinder him in man coverage.
Kazmeir Allen, RB, UCLA
There are a lot of talented backs in this game, but I think most are similar to Brian Robinson, Jr. What Allen brings to the table is speed. He’s small, so I worry about his ability to block, but he would be an ideal third-down back and kick returner.
Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Curtis Samuel will be a free agent after next season. If you are looking for a replacement, consider Flowers. He is small at 5’9”, 180 lbs, but he is electric. He should thrive in the slot and be a player you move around the formation and get the ball to in various ways.
This the guy y'all not talking about enough, draft Zay Flowers. pic.twitter.com/yERxLmtwgE— Mace (@realmaceblack) January 24, 2023
Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
Once a highly-regarding prospect, Kirkland struggled last year with some of the top pass rushers. Can he regain his form as a top tackle prospect? If he can’t, can he flip to the right side or play guard?
Ricky Stromberg, OG/C, Arkansas
Primarily playing center the past two seasons, but with experience at both guard spots, Ricky Stromberg is strong in the pass game and excels when he gets to block downhill. He’s not the most athletic or agile blocker, so he might struggle with faster interior defenders.
#6 Ricky Stromberg (5/10)— MRCROCKPOT TPL (@mrcrockpot) January 3, 2023
Pros: Everything you're looking for in a center in today's NFL with immense versatility, big, strong, mobile, and smart with the ability to shift to guard at the drop of a hat
Cons: Deficiencies in arm length and short-area agility pic.twitter.com/a61OIj4RW1
Kadeem Telfort, OT, UAB
Kadeem Telfort is a huge tackle at 6’7”, 319 lbs that is mauler in the run game and hard to move in the passing game. I’d like to see more pass pro before I’m sold on him staying at LT.
Watch UAB left tackle Kadeem Telfort chip the defensive lineman and climb to the LB to spring this run in the Bahamas Bowl (also finishes the LB into the dirt).— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) December 16, 2022
A Florida transfer, Telfort is a 6-8, 330 run mauler. G5 sleeper in the 2023 NFL Draft class. pic.twitter.com/6Mm0MeH3Z5
Shaka Heyward, LB, Duke
Heyward offers length and size at almost 6’3” and 239 lbs. He was very productive for Duke, especially when attacking the line of scrimmage. I’m curious to see more of him in coverage.
Myles Brooks, CB, LA Tech
Brooks has good size and looks to have some scheme versatility. Speed is my big question with him.
Following the selection of the Virginia WR, the #Jags scoop up 6’2 CB Myles Brooks at selection 184. Brooks is a lengthy playmaker racking up 25 PBU’s and 9 INT’s in his 4 year career at Louisiana Tech. Watch out for him at the senior bowl. pic.twitter.com/iYtHuPaECi— 90210 Toriono (@90210Toriono) January 22, 2023
A full list of players in the East West Shrine Bowl game can be found here. What do you think of these players and are there any player you’re looking forward to seeing in the game?