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Two Players From the East West Shrine Game Who Could Help the Saints

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The biggest standout in Saturdays Shrine game was Oregon QB Vernon Adams. A mobile, undersized QB who may struggle to find a home in the NFL. Yet there are 2 defensive players who we may want to take a further look at from the Shrine game.

Ochi sacks the QB in Shrine game
Ochi sacks the QB in Shrine game
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One surprise standout player was OLB Victor Ochi. Ochi played for Stony Brook University, New York. I had to google Stony Brook. The team, The Wolverines, compete in the FCS and finished a lowly 5-5 in 2015. Ochi gave the OTs problems throughout the game ,almost beating Nebraska LT, Alex Lewis for a sack early in the game. He later beat Arizona LT, Lene Maivava with a speed rush for a sack. A bit undersized Victor Ochi is projected to play OLB. Draft Scout currently has him ranked 15th as an OLB, with his stock rising.

From NFL.com Draft Profiles:

Ochi 6'1" 241lbs.

STRENGTHS

Plays standing up or with a hand down. Sets a nasty edge with a thunderous punch that jars lower end competition. Constricts running lanes and looks to dive down the line of scrimmage to make tackles. Active, heavy tackler. Loves the game and plays with toughness. Able to decimate FCS tackles with punch, snatch and tug move that sends them to the ground. Will run right through soft­edge tackles on the way to hit the quarterback. Has long arms and gets adequate extension at point of attack. Holds Stoney Brook records in tackles for loss and sacks.

WEAKNESSES

Smaller than desired for and edge defender. One­speed pass rusher who plays with square pads over shoulder turn and hip flip around the edge. Stiff mover in space. Ill equipped to drop in space or cover. Hand usage is somewhat basic. Pass rush lacks spontaneity and allows rep to play out rather than controlling it with counter moves. Snap anticipation and recognition of play flow needs to speed up. Level of competition was substantially below the NFL level.

The next player who stood out was South Carolina State DT, Javon Hargrave.

Hargrave reminded me a little of former Saints player Will Smith. Hargrave Has a quick burst, batted one pass. He had several QB pressures and near sacks. Was able to bull rush the pocket.

From NFL.com Draft Profiles:

Javon Hargrave is listed at 6'2" 290 lbs at Walterfootball and 6'1 309 lbs at NFL.com

STRENGTHS

Thick bubble and burly thighs. Compact frame allows him to play low and dip around the corner when playing in gaps. Dominated his level of competition. Surprising foot quickness with an adequate spin move. Plays with quick burst upfield and into blockers. Plus motor and effort and willing to pursue around the field. Better upper body power than in his trunk. Inconsistent with his hands, but when he uses them, they are effective. Raw, but has potential and flashes playmaking ability.

WEAKNESSES

Squatty with short arms and tiny hands. Very raw as a pass rusher relying on athleticism over moves and counters. Lacks instincts and feel for the position. Doesn't anticipate down blocks and can knocked around because of it. Doesn't play with enough anchor. Lack of length could become a non­starter if he doesn't play with great quickness. Feel for the game and technique could take extended time to learn.

Neither prospect is projected currently as high draft prospects but distinguished themselves in the Shrine game. Both might bet interesting late round or UDFA prospects. Both have further opportunities to to raise their stocks in the coming weeks and at the combine.

A few others who helped themselves at the Shrine game:

From Walterfootball.com:

  • UCLA center Jake Brendel had a solid game. He had an impressive block to spring Storm Woods for a 14-yard run. Brendel could be a late-round pick who turns into something. 

  • Illinois guard Alex Karras and Nebraska left tackle Alex Lewis had some nice blocks. Karras lacks a great skill set, but is a tough fighter with some nastiness to him. Lewis should start out as a developmental swing tackle backup. 

  • Manitoba (Canada) defensive end Ebuka Onyemata had a strong week with power and speed to get the better of offensive tackles. That continued in the game, as he had a sack and multiple hits on the quarterback. Onyemata was impressive in St. Petersburg.
  • The QB mentioned was Vernon Adams Jr of the Oregon Ducks. He is listed as either 5'10" or 5'11" and looked 5'10" in the huddle. In the first half alone, he threw for 191 yards and 3 TDs.