The East-West Shrine Classic turned into a defensive battle and a field goal fest, with the East defeating the West 19-3 on Saturday.
Still, there were some performances of note by several of the college prospects looking to impress NFL scouts in attendance at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Here are some players who stood out to me from watching the game and could make some sense for the San Diego Chargers if they are looking for a diamond in the rough in the mid-to-late rounds of this year's NFL draft.
Tre' McBride, WR, William & Mary: McBride ran polished routes for a small-school prospect. He also did a nice job using his hands and not letting the ball get into his body. McBride had good production his senior season, finishing with 62 receptions for 809 yards and four touchdowns. And he’s a big body at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, which fits the profile of what the Chargers look for as an outside receiver. My only question is a significant one: How fast is McBride? The Chargers already have two developmental, possession-type receivers they like in Javontee Herndon and Torrence Allen, and they could use a burner.
Terrence Magee, RB, LSU: McGee ran the ball hard, doing a nice job making one cut and getting down the field with an attitude. He also flashed good hands catching the ball out of the backfield and showed the ability to make people miss. Magee finished with 571 yards rushing and three touchdowns during the 2014 season, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He comes from a program in LSU that’s produced several running backs currently playing in the NFL, including Stevan Ridley, Jeremy Hill, Spencer Ware and Alfred Blue, so you know McGee has been coached well in a competitive environment.
Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky: Smith showed quickness and the ability to bend around the edge as an outside pass rusher. He posted a sack in the first quarter, bringing down Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly as he tried to scramble out of the pocket. Smith also notched a pass deflection on an inside rush on third down. At 6-5 and 265 pounds, Smith projects as more of a strong-side defensive end in passing situations for San Diego’s defense.
Anthony Chickillo, DE, Miami: At 6-4 and 275 pounds, Chickillo got off blocks and did a nice job in pursuit in the run game. He also showed some juice as a pass rusher, finishing with a sack.
Josh Shaw, CB, Southern Cal: He's a big corner at 6-1 and 200 pounds who did a nice job turning and running with a fast receiver in Maryland’s Deon Long on a go route. Shaw also had a nice interception where he showed anticipation breaking on the ball in the end zone. However, he will have to explain to teams the curious incident he had in college that resulted in his suspension for most of the 2014 season. Shaw projects as a press corner.
John Miller, OG, Louisville: At 6-3 and 315 pounds, Miller is physical and can move. He did a nice job getting a push in the run game for the East Squad. However, Miller appeared top heavy in pass protection and needs to bend his legs more. Miller made 47 starts for the Cardinals as a four-year starter and was an honorable mention All-ACC selection this season. He played both guard spots at Louisville.
Dominique Brown, RB, Louisville: At 6-2 and 232 pounds, Brown is a physical, between-the-tackles runner who can grind out tough yards. I like the way he finished runs, falling forward almost every time. However, Brown didn’t show much wiggle or ability to make defenders miss. Brown totaled 69 yards on 19 carries and scored the game’s only touchdown.
Damian Parms, S, Florida Atlantic: Parms had two interceptions, so he showed he has a nose for the football. That’s important for a team in San Diego that totaled just seven interceptions in 2014.
Derrick Lott, DT, Tennessee-Chattanooga: Lott had a nice tackle for a loss that almost resulted in a safety. And at 6-4 and 300 pounds, Lott also showed athleticism, running down on kickoff to make an open-field tackle.
Niklas Sade, K, North Carolina State: Sade had 47 touchbacks on 74 kickoffs for the Wolfpack. He also nailed a career-long 51-yard field goal. The Chargers could use a kickoff specialist, and Sade would be a cheap alternative through the draft or as an undrafted rookie free agent.