Shrine Game: Four Prospects to Watch

AJ Jenkins NFL Draft

Illinois WR A.J. Jenkins is one on the prospects to watch at the Shrine Game.

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Here are four intriguing prospects to watch this week at the East-West Shrine Game. We’ll be bringing you updates all week on what we’re hearing from practice.

NEPD Writers Doug Kyed and Mike Loyko will be in Mobile, Alabama next week for the Senior Bowl, so we’ll have even more coverage of that event.

Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
This former Hawkeye is a maddening prospect. He has the athleticism, fluidity, and speed (possibly high 4.4’s) to be a Top 100 prospect.

Unfortunately, his play in zone coverage didn’t seem to develop from his junior season. Prater played way off, negating his ability to close and make a play on the ball. Perhaps Prater can show scouts what he can do playing within a more aggressive defensive mindset.

He also was poor helping in run support this year, had a tough time shedding blocks. He did lay the occasional big hig hit.

Brandon Lindsey, DE/OLB, Pitt
Lindsey is an improving conversion prospect that could make some waves as a 3-4 OLB prospect. He isn’t an efficient bull-rusher yet due to getting his pads a bit high, but can use his burst to get around OT’s and pressure the QB.

He’ll need to show scouts that he can play in space, he’s shown good quickness at times. If teams feel that he can be a 3-down player, he could sneak into the Top 100.

AJ Jenkins, WR, Illinois
Jarius Adams from Arkansas will rightly get a lot of attention, but Jenkins certainly hasn’t been a slouch this season. He plays taller than his 6’0″/190 frame would indicate.

Jenkins has some good speed and great hands, but what separates him from most college receivers is his ability to separate. Even with only marginal routes, he consistently separates against man while showing an innate ability to find the soft spot in zone.

If he can show scouts that he has enough speed to be a vertical threat at the next level, he could get some looks at the end of day two.

Duke Ihenacho, SS, San Jose State
Ihenacho has a great feel for routes and reads plays quickly. However, he doesn’t seem to have the plus athleticism needed to be a starter in the NFL.

He’ll need to show scouts this week that he has the recovery speed and physicality to redirect and tackle. If he can, Ihenacho could be a depth pick for teams looking to add a safety in the later rounds.

You can find the full Shrine Game roster here.

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