ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The first of two big post-season All Star games is underway in St. Petersburg, Florida as scouts and coaches from around the league gathered to observe the talent at the East-West Shrine Game. The rosters offer a nice mixture of undervalued big-school players combined with lesser known small-school prospects. Tuesday saw several players really impress the scouts on hand while a few big name prospects turned in disappointing performances.
Christine Michael/RB/Texas A&M: Michael was the best player on the field Tuesday and really impressed scouts. He's a big back who combines downhill power with a terrific amount of quickness. Michael ran through defenders or bounced around them and consistently picked up positive yardage whenever the ball was in his hands.
Terron Armstead/OL/Arkansas Pine Bluff: The athletic blocker who started for three years in the SWAC conference lined up at left tackle as well as guard today and held his own. He's an agile lineman who moves well and was able to out-position opponents all day. Armstead never got beat in drills or scrimmage and has many believing he's a prospect with starting potential in the NFL.
David Bass/DE/Missouri Western: The small school pass rusher displayed big time ability and was tough to stop all day. He beat opponents off the edge and was fast up the field. Bass played with terrific speed, quickness and leverage. He also has a frame that should fill out in time.
Emory Blake/WR/Auburn: Blake was a player who showed flashes during his Auburn career yet never really put together a complete game. Today he was consistent all practice long, making a number of difficult catches in the middle of the field besides showing dependable hands running underneath routes. Blake is not a burner who'll stretch the field, but he possesses the body type and pass-catching skills that teams covet in a possession receiver.
T.J. Johnson/C/South Carolina: Johnson was not dominant in the middle of the line during today's practice, rather very workmanlike and got the job done. He blocks with terrific fundamentals and showed a great head for the position. Johnson was terrific in pass protection and held his own run blocking. What really impressed was the way he worked so well with teammates - linemen he's played next to for less than 24 hours.
William Campbell/DT/Michigan: Campbell was the strongest lineman on the field today and was impossible to control. He consistently collapsed the pocket, pushing opponents off the ball and disrupting the action. Campbell lacks great quickness off the snap yet is a load in the middle of the line and is tough to handle.
Dan Buckner/WR/Arizona: Buckner was possibly the most consistent receiver of the day on Tuesday. He's a big bodied wideout who uses his frame and size to out-muscle defenders for the reception. Buckner won a number of battles and at the same time showed consistent pass catching hands. He's not a field stretcher, but is a solid possession wide out.
Sio Moore/LB/Connecticut: Moore displayed a complete game today and laid some vicious licks on opponents which drew praise from coaches and a loud response from scouts. He really stood out defending the run and was explosive playing in the box or firing through the gaps upfield.
Brandon McGee/CB/Miami: McGee's performance can simply be described as 'wow'. He looked terrific in drills then came away with a pair of impressive interceptions during scrimmage. McGee went up and stole the ball away from D.C. Jefferson on one pick, despite giving away six inches to the Rutgers tight end. McGee has been all over draft boards though most teams agree he has the underlying skills to play in the NFL.
Earl Wolff/S/North Carolina State: Wolff was praised by coaches in the early going and carried his momentum through scrimmage. He displayed solid technique and better than advertised skill in pass coverage.
Not So Impressive
Collin Klein/QB/Kansas State: Klein struggled in all areas today. He throws with poor technique, pushing passes, and shows little in the way of arm strength. Klein was not decisive throwing the ball in drills or scrimmage.
Devin Taylor/DE/South Carolina: The one-time highly rated defender looked very ordinary today. He was consistently handled by blockers and was easily neutralized at the point of attack.