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Players the Saints Should Watch From Saturday’s Bowl Games

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The most famous game played from the weekend was the East-West Shrine Game. However, there was another played most didn’t know about.

NCAA Football: East-West Shrine Game
DE Trey Henrickson
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Along with the East-West Shrine Game, the NFLPA also had a game to display potential draft prospects. Being called the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, it features more prospects trying to make their case. Below I’ll give some candidates the Saints may just want to consider in the draft from both games.

From the Official East-West Shrine Site:

OUR MISSION

Created by the Shriners in 1925, the East-West Shrine Game was the nation’s first college all-star football game. The game is driven by the desire to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in its mission to help children in need of expert medical care. More than 1 million children have benefited from Shriners Hospitals’ unique way of providing hope and healing, regardless of the families’ ability to pay for services.

Many big name players displayed their talent in the past as well as many NFL great coaches have been involved in getting the most from the rosters.

FOOTBALL’S FINEST

For more than 90 years, some of football’s greatest athletes and coaches have contributed to the tradition of the East-West Shrine Game. Players like Gale Sayers, Tom Brady, John Elway, Allan Page, Dick Butkus, Brett Favre, Gino Marchetti and Walter Payton, along with coaches Don Shula, Dick Vermeil, Paul "Bear" Bryant and Jerry Glanville, to name a few, have supported the East-West Shrine Game.

If you were looking for an offensive display yesterday you were in for a big disappointment. The West won in a defensive slugfest 10-3 over the East.

Of the quarterbacks on display, Wes Lunt of Illinois had the best day. Lunt went for 101 yards completing 11-of-14 attempts. Gunner Kiel of Cincinnati completed 4-of-7 attempts for 57 yards. What I saw from Kiel was poor mechanics, throwing often without setting his feet and off-balanced. He also seemed to have poor pocket awareness. In fairness, he was often pressured into those positions.

The one I had my eye on pregame was Zach Terrell of Western Michigan. Terrell has a poor day, completing just 4-of-9 attempts for only 33 yards, and never seemed to take control of the offense. For the East team, only Cooper Rush of Eastern Michigan had much success, completing 11-of-17 attempts for 94 yards. The East did start the game often pinned deep in their own territory.

The player I was impressed with on offense was Elijah McGuire of Louisiana-Lafayette, or ULL. McGuire rushed seven times for 42 yards, averaging six yards a pop and a touchdown. His long was for 18, and while others rushed and averaged more yards per attempt, McGuire displayed the ability to change direction, shed tackles, and wait for the hole to develop so he could make the most of his attempts.

Trey Hendrickson of Florida Atlantic was disruptive force with a constant motor. Also has very good awareness breaking loose and running down the play when needed. Hendrickson had a sack and a forced fumble. Another making his presence felt and helping his draft stock was Arkansas DE Deatrich Wise Jr.

The most impressive in the secondary was UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau. He definitely helped his draft stock yesterday.

The other bowl game from yesterday was the NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL.

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is the premier postseason all-star game for draft-eligible college players. The week-long schedule provides participants with a first-class professional experience while introducing them to the business of the National Football League. Founded in 2012, the annual game gives prospective NFL players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to potential employers and fans. Scouts from every NFL club and other professional leagues attend the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s practices and game.

Since its inception, many players have gone on to begin careers in professional football. Notable Collegiate Bowl alumni include:

QB Trevone Boykin, Seattle Seahawks

K Marquette King, Oakland Raiders

WR Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs

WR Geremy Davis, New York Giants

OLB Zack Wagenmann, Arizona Cardinals

Our alumni players hail from the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big East, and Pac 12, among others.

The National team defeated the American team in a 27-0 blow out. The National team also has a perfect 6-0 record over the American team. Now, I didn’t watch much of this one, so I’ll borrow heavily from SB Nation.

The best thing the American team did was grab three interceptions and a kickoff fumble recovery. They were unable to capitalize off the recovery, in turn fumbling the ball in a goal to go situation.

Saint Francis defensive back Lorenzo Jerome made an early name for himself with two interceptions of Houston’s Greg Ward Jr. in the first half.

The biggest star for the National offense was Virginia running back Taquan Mizzell who racked up 96 rushing yards on only nine carries, including a 6-yard touchdown in the third quarter to extend the team’s lead to 27-0.

Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire connected with New Mexico running back Teriyon Gipson for a 13-yard touchdown on fourth down to finally get the American Team on the board with just over three minutes left in the game, but the rally ended there.

Gipson — the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson — was one of the stars of the game, finishing with 64 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards on three receptions.

Near the end of the game, I did watch one QB, Philip Nelson of East Carolina, who displayed impressive control and tempo with the offensive line. Unlikely to be drafted, Nelson may be someone to bring in as a UDFA. However, character concerns are the main issue that is playing against Nelson.

Nelson played two years for the University of Minnesota before transferring to Rutgers for a chance to play with a team who used a pass-heavy offensive attack style. Nelson was charged with a felony assault for a bar room altercation on former Minnesota State-Mankato player Isaac Kolstad, who suffered severe brain injuries. Witnesses claimed Nelson kicked Kolstad while he was down.

Nelson would plead guilty to fifth-degree misdemeanor assault in the case, but had already been released by Rutgers. He then became a walk-on for the East Carolina Pirates. As a starter for East Carolina in 2016, Nelson played 10 games, throwing for 2,621 yards in 349 attempts with 237 completions. With a 67.9 percent completion record, he threw for 16 TDs and only had 8 INTs. His long was for 75 yards. His QBR was 141.5