Today I reviewed the tape from the Eastham Energy Bowl, a first-year all-star game put together by group including former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, that was played the same weekend as the East-West Shrine Game.
The level of talent at this game will not lend itself to many players being selected in next April's draft. However, there are a handful of players that could sneak into the late rounds, and several others potentially signing as priority free agents (whenever teams are able to sign them due to the CBA issues) with a chance to make a roster.
Here are a few prospects that stood out during the game:
DE Rodney Gnat (Louisville): His nine sacks in 2010 went a bit under the radar on an average Louisville team, but his explosiveness off the edge did not escape scouts. He did get engulfed at times when playing the strong side, but also disengaged on one play to make a stop.
RB DeJuan Harris (Troy): He's not going to run an exceptional 40-yard dash at his pro day, but his one-cut ability and tough running were evident in the EE Bowl.
CB Talmadge Jackson III (Oregon): He showed his propensity to make big hits during the game, and high-pointed an interception (albeit on a severely underthrown ball). He's a great fit for a zone scheme and a potential special teams contributor.
OG Ricky Henry (Nebraska), DT T.J. Langley (Arkansas Tech): At 6-5, 315, Langley is quite a physical speciman. His battles against Henry were really worth watching in his game. At times, Langley flashed a first step to penetrate and the strength to push Henry into the backfield. However, the first-team All-Big 12 pick usually anchored before reaching the quarterback and at times got under Langley's pads to take him a few yards downfield. Both guys will certainly be on teams' radar...
CB Loyce Means (Houston): Some people may think I included Means here because of his pick-six and fumble recovery for a score...however, his quick feet and aggressive coverage style is what makes me think he could sneak into the draft late. Being in position to make those big plays is no mean feat, either.
OT David Mims (Virginia Union): The 6-8, 335-pound right tackle prospect with a strong kick-slide and great length looks the part of an NFL lineman. The players in this game could not beat him upfield, but NFLends will use his height against him unless he learns how to anchor effectively. He also lacks recovery ability, and may struggle to prevent strong pro ends from beating him inside on a secondary rush.
ILB Cobrani Mixon (Kent State): In a draft lacking in 4-3 mike linebackers, Mixon's ability to explode into gaps as a run defender and attack short throws in coverage could earn him respect among scouts.
CB Julian Posey (Ohio): His slight, sub-180 pound frame belies his physical style of play and aggressive nature. He broke up two passes during the game, one closing on a slant and the other extending to knock away a quick stop route by the near left pylon.
RB Alex Robinson (Iowa State); Robinson does not have elite speed or quickness, but showed enough of everything and versatility as a receiver to earn a shot at playing time in training camp.
WR Armand Robinson (Miami, Ohio): Very productive receiver (94-1,062-6) who displayed strong hands, tough run-after-catch ability, and a quicker release off the line than expected.
DT Damik Scafe (Boston College); A try-hard tackle prospect, Scafe's lack of athleticism was evident throughout the game -- but so was his effort and ability to stand up to double teams. An NFL team may see him as a potential reserve nose tackle.
TE Brad Taylor (Baylor): Looked like he could be a solid H-back prospect, displaying good hands and an ability to move linebackers out of run action at the second level.
WR Jimmy Young (TCU): One of the few prospects in this game that received a Senior Bowl invite, Young proved his strength after the catch and receiving ability in the game. He but also looked a bit sloppy in his routes and lacked awareness when his quarterback was trying to extend the play.
--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter