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FRISCO, Texas -- The 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl, one of the week's two collegiate NFL Draft showcases along with the Senior Bowl, is in the books out at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys' practice facility, following a 26-11 victory by the West team. 

Here's a look at some of the biggest takeaways from the all-star showcase, breaking down some of the many prospects who elevated their stock ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Virginia WR Malik Washington wins the week 

"Malik Washington, he's nice," West teammate and Southern Mississippi running back Frank Gore Jr. said immediately on Tuesday when asked which offensive player has flashed the most throughout the week. "I haven't been able to just sit there and watch him, but as I see him every day, I see he's making plays. That's great. I think that's cool, and I'm happy for him even though I don't really know him like that. Real happy for him because I know he put in a lot of work to be here, so just happy for him and happy to be on the team with him."  

That's one of the tougher parts of these all-star game formats for offensive skill position players: there isn't the same timing and chemistry that comes with the thousands of reps players accumulate with their college teammates. However, Washington endeared himself to his quarterbacks immediately. 

"Malik Washington for sure," West teammate and Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa said Tuesday when asked which offensive player has stood out throughout the week. "Very smart, very smart route runner. Not the biggest, not the fastest or the strongest, (Washington stands at 5-8 1/8, 192 pounds) but for some reason he gets separation, he wins all his one on ones. The best choice route runner I have seen out here. He's just a comfortable target for a quarterback to throw to."

Always winning your one-on-one's is an easy way for a receiver to gain favor with their quarterbacks. 

"When you come to different environments around different players, sometimes off the bat you just click with certain players," Tagovailoa said. "Other players it takes time for you to click. It was the same thing for me with Maryland. With Malik, we just clicked for sure."

After just four practices, Washington himself said he felt that chemistry should be good to go.

"I think it helps when the quarterbacks are pretty good," Washington said Wednesday. "So as long as they're good and you do what they want you to do, it becomes easy. So we have three great quarterbacks playing for us and I just run my routes however they want me to run them and I try to get open for them. So the chemistry should be laminated, should be good."

For those not as familiar with Washington's football journey, that's alright. His career has taken off like a rocket ship over the last year. Washington started his collegiate years at Northwestern after leaving high school as a three-star recruit where he totaled 1,348 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns on 120 career catches in a classic, run-first Big Ten offense. 

After a Northwestern's football program underwent a high-profile coaching change, spurred by scandal this past summer, Washington utilized his extra COVID year of eligibility by transferring to Virginia. That's where he became a superstar, eclipsing his four-year Northwestern career totals for yards and touchdowns in a single season. He totaled a nation-leading 110 catches (breaking the Cavaliers' and ACC's single-season records), 1,426 receiving yards  (a Cavaliers' single-season record) and nine receiving touchdowns. 

"I got an opportunity to really be the star of the show," Washington said of his one season in Charlottesville in 2023. "I got an opportunity to be the center of the offense. I think with that, a lot of trust came with that. So when guys trust in you, the teammates, the coaching staff, you have to trust in yourself and it allows you to soar to reach heights you never reached before. I really appreciated the opportunity and the trust that I had at the Virginia football team."

Washington's biggest piece of knowledge he'll take away from a week at the Shrine Bowl is how the NFL wants things done as far as play verbiage, route techniques and play timing. At the next level, he hopes to model his game after a Shrine Bowl Hall of Fame inductee. Five-time Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith Sr. Smith Sr.'s (5-9, 195 pounds) and Washington's frames (5-8 1/8, 192 pounds) are quite similar. 

Smith Sr. spent some time at the event in Frisco to be a resource for the 2024 crop of players coming through the event and even pulled Washington aside to give him some advice. 

"We just talked to him, Steve Smith Sr.," Washington said when asked who he models his play style off of.  "I think he's just a player that plays excellent before the catch is fierce. Off the ball is fierce in his competitiveness and then at the catch point and after the catch, he's one of the best in the world. He's one of the best to ever do it. So I think for me trying to emulate my game as best as I can after a guy like that, trying to be as good as I can be Following in his footsteps and then trying to exceed his footsteps at the end of the day will help me tremendously."

Another player who came out of the Shrine Bowl a year ago at a similar size, Ravens rookie wideout Zay Flowers (5-9, 182 pounds), was selected in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2023 NFL Draft. He led the the AFC runner-ups in catches (77) and receiving yards (858) as a rookie. Washington sees his best NFL being in a West Coast offense as well as a scheme heavy on 11 personnel usage (formations with one running back, one tight end and three receivers).

"I think I fit best in like an 11 personnel, maybe a West coast offense with a quarterback that can move around and stuff like that because I think I do a fairly good job of getting up and being quarterback-friendly and finding open spaces," Washington said. 

The Rams ran 11 personnel at the league's highest rate (94.6% of their offensive plays), and they may be interested in receivers, with Demarcus Robinson hitting free agency and Cooper Kupp turning 31 this summer. They did just hit the jackpot on fifth-round rookie wideout Puka Nacua, who set the NFL's rookie receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486)  records in 2023. 

Other potential teams that operated out of 11 personnel at a frequent basis were the Carolina Panthers (87.3%, second-most in NFL), Indianapolis Colts (76.2%, third-most in the NFL), Washington Commanders (73.1%), Cincinnati Bengals (72.2%) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (70.1%, eighth-most in the NFL). 

However, any team with serious interest in Washington will likely have to spend a Day 2 pick on him (second or third round) even in a year with a deep receiver class after his showing at the Shrine Bowl this week. 

Southern Miss RB Frank Gore Jr. pops with electrifying TD run, wins Shrine Bowl Offensive MVP

Gore Jr. (5-7 1/8, 199 pounds) had the best run of the Shrine Bowl game, no question about it. He took a handoff up the middle, saw the A and B-gaps plugged up, and quickly cut outside and then hit the gas pedal. Forty nine yards later, and he was in the end zone for the first touchdown Thursday night. He ran for a game-high 87 rushing yards on six carries, 49 of which came on his scoring sprint. 

"I saw they got a little penetration front side, so I bounced back," Gore Jr. said postgame. "I saw a little gap and I did everything I could … and once I got past one, I just had to [use] my speed."  

The son of the NFL's third all-time leading rusher, Frank Gore (16,000 rushing yards in 16 NFL seasons), had a football put in his hands at 4 years old after being observed chasing his older cousins around in the yard. Gore Jr. considers himself having been a professional for years after spending much of his life utilizing a training regimen designed by one of the NFL's most consistently productive backs of all-time. Frank Sr. beamed like a proud father watching his son accept the game's offensive MVP award. 

Having played both quarterback and receiver in high school, Gore Jr. is also smooth in the passing game, bringing the ability to line up in the slot as well as out of the backfield to catch passes. He said he earned an invite to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine and that he met with a Dallas Cowboys scout as well as those from other teams throughout the week. As of today, he'd be a nice Day 3 value. Who knows who much further his stock could climb with the Combine, Pro Day and private team workouts left in the process? 

"I know there's a lot of questions about me because I'm from a small school, so I had a chip on my shoulder to come in and sort of prove to everyone that I belonged," Gore Jr. said.

Gore Jr. certainly proved he's much more than a name on Thursday night. 

Boston College IOL Christian Mahogany a consistent winner all week

Mahogany (6-2 1/2, 318 pounds) earned First-Team All-ACC honors at right guard in 2023 after returning from a torn ACL in June of 2022 that erased his junior year. He played right guard in college, but here in Frisco they started him off left guard in practice, a position he filled in as a sophomore with the Eagles. Mahogany also took reps at center to show he can fill any interior offensive line spot, and he definitely didn't disappoint. He does a great job getting low and winning with sturdiness against defensive lineman at the point of attack. Mahogany could be a Day 2 selection. 

Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa performs as top QB in Shrine Bowl game

Taulia Tagovailoa, the Big Ten's all-time passing yards leader (11,256) and younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wasn't the top quarterback in the Shrine Bowl practices this week, but he certainly earned the title of the top QB performer in the game itself Thursday night. 

He threw for 142 yards on 9 of 14 passing while also taking a bootleg scramble for a two-yard rushing touchdown. His wow play of the night came on a 52-yard strike while rolling out to the right. Tagovailoa (5-10 1/4, 200 pounds) dropped the football right in the bucket for South Dakota State wide receiver Jadon Janke (6-1 2/3, 205 pounds). 

Earlier in the week, Tagovailoa spoke about how one of his major selling points as a prospect is his ability to make plays outside of the pocket. The throw above showcased just that. 

"So my superpower is extending plays, running out the pocket and using my feet to make plays and just that competitive edge," Tagovailoa said Tuesday when about his selling points is as a prospect. "If you watch my film, you can tell that I played with a chip on my shoulder, and you can tell that I play with a lot of passion. I love the game of football, and I really care about this stuff."

Texas Tech safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson shines

Taylor-Demerson isn't the world's most physically imposing presence (5-10, 189 pounds), but he more than makes up for that with his sideline-to-sideline range when he lined up as the deep safety in practice. When playing the run game down in the box, he's a hard hitter, describing himself as "a menace" coming down to defend against the run. 

As an on-field leader, Taylor-Demerson was an immediate, vocal communicator pre-snap, helping get his teammates aligned in team drills. He was consistent throughout the week in practice when covering slot wideouts, including Washington. One of the few defensive backs out here who can make that claim. 

His week at the Shrine Bowl started off with a bang thanks to a pick-six on Sunday off of BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis. 

Taylor-Demerson could be a nice Day 3 value (rounds four through seven) as someone who has the football IQ and versatility to contribute earlier than expected.

Kentucky QB Devin Leary puts together top Shrine Bowl practice performance at his position 

Strong footwork as well as a crisp, tight spiral were the highlights for Leary (6-1, 215 pounds) in practice this week. He made the two best throws in team drills during the East Team's practice on Tuesday, and they happened on consecutive plays.

He lofted a dart over the middle behind the zone coverage to Oregon State wide receiver Anthony Gould for a 25-30 yard gain to get down near the goal line. On the next play, he dropped the football into the bucket for Michigan wide receiver Cornelius Johnson in the back right corner of the end zone. 

Oregon State WR Anthony Gould dazzles with longest play of Shrine Bowl 

What Gould (5-8, 172 pounds) lacks in size he more than makes up with in speed and agility. He made that abundantly clear on his 80-yard punt return touchdown. This play may have placed Gould on a few more teams' radars. 

Penn State's Curtis Jacobs stakes claim as Shrine Bowl's most athletic linebacker

Jacobs flew around at the Shrine Bowl as he was clocked at 20.31 mph per GPS player tracking, the fastest time by a linebacker and tied for the eighth-fastest speed of any defender overall in the padded practices per Zebra Sports. The inside backer does have some pass rush chops with 9.5 career sacks in three seasons as a starter, and he also has plenty of experience coming down to defend the run playing in the Big Ten. 

His athleticism translates to being fluid in pass coverage. He can stay with receivers and tight ends, and with his speed, plenty of NFL special teams coordinators would likely love to have him on their kickoff and punt teams.

Here's a practical example from practice of Jacobs applying his athleticism to cover a ton of ground in coverage to force an incompletion while defending play-action. 

He'll be one of the most athletic 'backers on the board when Day 3 rolls around.