View some of the top NFL Draft prospects in this week's East-West Shrine Game.
The NFL Draft process continues with the college All-Star games. The most prominent of which is next week’s Senior Bowl, but the East-West Shrine game is also worth keeping an eye on.
More than 90 NFL hopefuls will convene in St. Petersburg, Fla. for a week of practice, followed by the game itself at Tropicana Field on Saturday, Jan. 23.
Bleacher Report’s NFL draft and NFL lead writer, Matt Miller, joined 49ers.com once again to provide a list of the top five prospects he’ll be watching throughout the week. Make sure to follow Miller on Twitter @nfldraftscout for premier draft coverage.
1. Keenan Reynolds, RB, Navy2015 Statistics:
1,203 passing yards, eight touchdowns and one interception … 1,373 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns with a long of 67 yards.
Career Highlights: Reynolds owns the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns (88) … Holds NCAA single game record for rushing touchdowns (7) … Owns record for career rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559).
Miller's Comments: “He’s number one for me. He’ll be playing running back instead of quarterback. I’m pretty excited to see what he can do, making that transition. I thought he was a Heisman candidate this season. He was that good.”
*Notes: *Reynolds will undoubtedly be compared to Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson. Robinson made a similar move to a skill position after playing quarterback at Michigan. The Jaguars made Robinson a fifth-round pick in 2014. In three seasons, Robinson has averaged 4.1 yards per carry and has five rushing touchdowns.
Miller understood those parallels, but said that Reynolds may even project better as an NFL player.
“I think he’s a little more physical than Denard was. Robinson was always kind of a finesse quarterback, and Reynolds has had to run between the tackles a bit more. He’s 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, and I think he has better size as well to just be a natural running back.”
Current Draft Grade: Undrafted Free Agent
“He could blow us all away this week and have a great combine if he’s invited. Then this all changes. Right now, I don’t think he’d be worth drafting, but he’d be worth taking a shot on as an undrafted free agent.”
- Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon2015 Statistics: 2,643 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions … 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Career Highlights: Transferred to Oregon after playing three seasons at Eastern Washington … Threw 110 touchdown passes while at EWU.
Miller’s Comments: “Adams had a weird year. He started out slow, making that transition from Eastern Washington to Oregon. When he came back from the finger injury, he was unstoppable. I’m interested to see what he can do this week with bigger talent around him."
*Notes: *Some analysts drew Russell Wilson comparisons during the season based on size and playing style. Rather than Wilson, Miller tabbed another signal-caller who may be a better comparison to Adams.
“He’s probably closer to like a Chase Daniel than he is Russell Wilson, if you want to compare him to another short quarterback. He’s got an NFL arm. Everything I see says that. He’s a pocket passer who can definitely get to his second and third options.”
Current Draft Grade: Round 5-6
- Paul McRoberts, WR, Southeast Missouri State2015 Statistics: 76 catches for 940 yards and nine touchdowns … 14 punt returns for 162 yards and one touchdown on a 69-yard punt return … Four kick returns for 78 yards.
Career Highlights: 29 total touchdown receptions … Three consecutive seasons with nine touchdown catches.
Miller’s Comments: “He’s 6-foot-3, 197 pounds. He’s really quick off of the line of scrimmage. I’d say from a 49ers angle, Chip Kelly likes big receivers, so this guy being 6-foot-3, he’s a high-point type receiver that can make a lot of plays.”
Notes: McRoberts was recently added to the Senior Bowl roster, giving the receiver another chance to impress scouts.
Current Draft Grade: Round 4-6
“He is a draftable guy for sure. He just dominated the FCS level and definitely has the size, speed and production that you look for. He has all those qualities. He’s flying under the radar right now, but he really shouldn’t be.”
- Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana2015 Statistics: 3,573 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions … 61 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.
Career Highlights: 61 career passing touchdowns.
Miller’s Comments: “He reminds me of Chad Henne. He’s functional. He’s 6-foot-6, 240 pounds. He’s got a little bit of mobility but not a lot. He’s someone that you have to check all the boxes on at least.”
Current Draft Grade: Undrafted Free Agent
“He’s a pretty good quarterback. He had his moments where he looked pretty good, but he had too many turnovers. Still, he has the chance to stick on an NFL roster.”
- James Cowser, Edge-Rusher, Southern Utah2015 Statistics: 13 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 68 total tackles … 19 tackles for loss
Career Highlights: Owns Big Sky Conference record for tackles for loss in a single season (28.5) … 42.5 career sacks.
Miller’s Comments: “Southern Utah is really loaded, believe it or not. They have like three guys who are draftable this year. Cowser has really impressed me every time I watch him play, he does something to disrupt the play. He’s 6-foot-3, about 258 pounds, but he can play as a standup outside linebacker.”
*Current Draft Grade: *Round 4-6
“He’s going against some pretty good offensive linemen this week which will be great to watch. He absolutely looks the part. You turn on the film and he was flat-out dominant at times. This could be a good week to bump him up, because I think this edge-rusher class is pretty weak.”