2019 East-West Shrine Game: Winners & Losers
Each year, the East-West Shrine Game gives some of college football’s best players the opportunity to show off their skills in a marquee All-Star invitational. While not quite as prestigious as next week’s Senior Bowl, the Shrine Game has certainly featured some great NFL players in its illustrious 94-year history. Past notables include Brett Favre, Shannon Sharpe, and last year’s surprise Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay.
This game and the preceding week of practice can improve or hurt the draft stock of some players. In this article, I’m going to briefly highlight the performances of some notable players and examine what it means for their NFL futures moving forward.
In addition to showcasing future NFL talent, the Shrine Game benefits the Shriners International charitable organization and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. For more information or to donate, click here.
Terry Godwin II (WR – Georgia)
Godwin was named the Shrine Game’s offensive MVP after a 4-80-2 performance. His two TDs in the final three minutes of the third quarter made it a game, with the West previously holding a 21-0 lead. Godwin showed out, and his draft stock improved after an impressive game and week at practice. This game was so important to him as a prospect because of his limited production on a loaded Bulldogs team. He’s 5’11” and 185 pounds, so a fairly small build may limit him at the next level in some respects. Godwin, however, may have done enough in the last week to hear his name called on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
Justin Hollins (OLB – Oregon)
The game’s defensive MVP, Hollins tallied 10 tackles (including three for a loss) and two sacks. Not bad at all. He had an impressive career at Oregon, highlighted by his 2018 season which saw him record 11.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and a pick. The talented OLB should make his way into the Day 2 conversation after this game, as edge-rushers are at a premium in the NFL.
Daniel Wise (DE – Kansas)
Wise flew under the radar for the most part, playing for a weak Kansas football program. His career stats as a Jayhawk were pretty impressive, though, and he totaled 43 TFL and 17 sacks in his four seasons. As a WVU fan, I remember Wise wreaking havoc on my Mountaineers to the tune of 3.5 TFL and 2.0 sacks in a Big-12 matchup last season. He was a standout at practice this week, and his solid play in the Shrine Game should push his stock up. He reportedly met with the Giants this week.
Shawn Poindexter (WR – Arizona)
Poindexter had a strong showing in the Shrine Game, leading the West in receiving yards (73) with a 22-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. At 6’5″/218, he’s got the right size to make it at the next level, and this game should boost his stock.
Olisaemeka Udoh (OT – Elon)
He had such an impressive week at practice that he was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster. Udoh is big and quick and should be a great addition to an NFL team.
Tyree St. Louis (OT – Miami)
St. Louis was reportedly a star at practice all week and practiced at four different positions. He played at tackle and guard in the Shrine Game before an ankle injury knocked him out right before halftime. He’ll be a valued commodity come draft day with such a versatile skill set.
Taylor Cornelius (QB – Oklahoma St.)
Cornelius had a great 2018 season at Oklahoma State, throwing for 3,973 yards with a 32-13 TD/INT ratio. A 6’6″/232 frame made him the largest QB playing in this game, and he’s able to air it out at will with a big arm. Yet his practice week was met with mixed reviews, and his game performance was downright poor. He completed four of seven passes for just 28 yards and the only two picks thrown in the game. The Shrine Game won’t help his draft worth.
Darnell Woolfolk (RB – Army)
Woolfolk has worked his way into the draft conversation with a strong career at Army, but he simply wasn’t given much work in the Shrine Game. Through no fault of his own, Woolfolk was only given two touches and did not receive a chance to show off the skill set that made him so successful at the collegiate level.
Devine Ozigbo (RB – Pittsburgh)
Ozigbo’s fantastic 2018 season at Nebraska saw him rack up 1,285 scrimmage yards, 12 TDs, and a ridiculous 7.0 YPC. He only touched the ball four times in this game, punching in a score from just two yards out after a long interception return by the West. His big frame and quick burst made him an interesting sleeper heading into the draft, but I don’t think this game affected his stock.
Easton Stick (QB – North Dakota St)
Probably the most highly touted QB playing in this game, Stick didn’t see enough action to warrant moving the needle in either direction. He went 5-of-8 for 51 yards and a score in his limited playing time. He went 49-3 as North Dakota State’s starting successor to Carson Wentz, but his size and arm strength don’t quite measure up to the Eagles’ passer. Stick should still be an interesting QB prospect taken in the middle rounds, but his stock stayed the same as if was before the Shrine Game.
Nick Brossette (RB – LSU)
Brossette led the Tigers in rushing in 2018, totaling over 1,039 rushing yards and 14 TDs. While he was an effective runner, Brossette racked up only 77 receiving yards in four seasons with LSU. In the Shrine Game, he totaled 41 yards on six touches, including a beautiful 22-yard TD catch over his shoulder on a wheel route for the game’s first score. His receiving TD possibly showed an added element to Brossette’s skill set, but it wasn’t enough to add much to his draft value.