DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous takes us inside some of the Day 1 images from the 2019 East-West Shrine practices at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida.
25 Johnson FULL EXTENSION MAGAZINE North Alabama
North Alabama's Chris Johnson goes full extension during Day 1 drills. Throughout his career as a Lion, Johnson displayed the ability to get off the hash as a rangy, 6-foot-2, 210-pounder.
4 Godwin at full extension to grab pass
Georgia's Terry Godwin (No. 4 pictured) goes full extension for a grab on Day 1 of 2019 East-West Shrine practices. Aside from his ability to win in short areas, the former four-star recruit displayed range as a pass catcher.
14 Cornelius about to throw deep with 90 Dogbe on the way
East quarterback and former Oklahoma State Cowboy Taylor Cornelius got outside of the pocket to throw a perfect pass on the move to Auburn wide receiver Ryan Davis. Davis got behind James Madison CB Jimmy Moreland on the play. Cornelius was at his best throwing deep breaking square-in patterns most of the day.
5 Davis about to get tackled by 15 Moreland in the open field after big catch
Despite getting behind Jimmy Moreland on this play, Davis (No. 5 pictured) had some issues with his footing and drops during the week. The former Tigers wideout caught 180 passes from a variety of positions during his four-year stay in the SEC.
22 Hampton IN FOCUS break
Rutgers safety Saquon Hampton, pictured, did a fine job of breaking on flat routes and filling as a run defender during the week. Hampton led the Big Ten with 16 passed defended (3 INTs, 13 PBUs) in 2018.
95 Slayton fumble recovery
Syracuse DL Chris Slayton displayed an ability to bend his knees during a scoop-and-score drill during an individual period. On Day 1, he won across the faces of guards and centers attempting angle blocks and also demonstrated power in one-on-one pass rush drills. Slayton -a 700-pound squatter- was difficult to block much of the week.
96 Broughton on the bags
Cincinnati DL Cortez Broughton (pictured doing bag drills) was often run by the pocket as a defensive end, but he used head-and-shoulder quickness to win as a three-technique on occasion. Despite being undersized to a degree, Broughton (6'2, 291) brings scheme versatility to the table with his 81-inch wingspan.
4 Rypien throwing from cloudy pocket in Monday’s practice
West quarterback and former Boise State Bronco Brett Rypien was effective throwing under pressure during several periods of Monday's practice. The player about to hit him -Kansas' Daniel Wise (No. 96 pictured)- was the most disruptive West defensive lineman during the day.
Over the course of his first four seasons, head coach Bryan Harsin has cemented Boise State as one of the premiere programs on the West Coast and in the nation. Last season, the Broncos finished 11-3 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West. This season, the Broncos will be led by a senior quarterback on offense and a talented secondary and defensive line on the other side of the ball. Senior cornerback Tyler Horton (5’11, 190) and junior safety Kekoa Nawahine (6’2, 207) are the undisputed playmakers in the secondary.
Nawahine finished last season with three interceptions and six pass deflections while Horton had 11 pass deflections to go along with two picks. Both players have played more than 25 games apiece and bring a wealth of experience to the Broncos defense which projects to be one of -if not the best- in the Mountain West. Along the front seven, senior defensive tackle David Moa and sophomore Curtis Weaver (6’3, 256) combine to stop the run and get after the quarterback. Moa is the run-stuffer and Weaver, who finished with 11 sacks as a freshman, is the pass rusher. On offense, senior quarterback Brett Rypien (6’2, 202), the nephew of former Redskins Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, will be asked to continue his steady play.
Rypien, a three-year starter, has amassed 9,876 passing yards, 60 touchdowns and 22 interceptions while completing 62 percent of his passes. Harsin once again has a team capable of winning 10-plus games and can even dream of a darkhorse chance at the College Football Playoff if his team goes undefeated, thanks to a tough non-conference schedule.
Troy’s Player to watch
55 David Moa 6’3 275 DL-Senior
Moa is the prototypical run-stuffer and the anchor of the Broncos defense. The senior defensive tackle opens lanes for the other members of the front seven to make plays. Last season, Moa finished with two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss while being named a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection. He hopes to return to his junior year form after an up-and-down junior campaign (https://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/college/mountain-west/boise-state-university/boise-state-football/article216096480.html). In 2016, he recorded 8.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Look for Moa to continue making waves in the Mountain West and, with another strong season, he could get looks from the NFL.
Game of the season
September 29th vs. Wyoming
The Broncos have a Week 3 matchup on the road against Oklahoma State, which figures to be their most challenging non- conference game. However, two weeks later against Wyoming in Laramie, they will play the Cowboys in a game that will have conference championship implications. Last season, the Broncos defeated Wyoming, 24-14. The Cowboys are projected to be the Broncos stiffest competition in the Mountain West mountain division. Wyoming lost star quarterback Josh Allen (2018 NFL Draft, 1st Round, 7th overall, Buffalo Bills) but return several defensive playmakers and will be poised to test Boise State at home.
DraftNasty’s Prospect Watch
8 Jabril Frazier 6’4 243 OLB-Senior
Frazier often has been employed at the outside linebacker/STUD position for the Broncos. He can put his hand in the dirt or rush from a two-point stance. An athletic defender with range, he hasn’t yet established himself as a consistent force setting the edge versus offensive tackles. In addition, his pass rush variety when working from either position leaves room for improvement. Aside from putting on added weight, he needs to finish on the quarterback with more regularity to truly get looks from NFL scouts as a potential 30-front Rush OLB prospect.
Boise State will handle road contests against Troy and Wyoming but fall to Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Other than a Week 3 loss against OSU, Draftnasty’s Troy Jefferson is predicting an 11-win season and a Mountain West Conference championship.
Tom Herman enters his second season as the Longhorns head coach after a 7-6 season in 2017 and a bowl victory against Missouri. The team returns a number of starters from last season and the same can’t be said for its Big 12 counterparts, which should make them a candidate to improve in the conference standings. Texas did lose five starters on defense but return three seniors on the defensive line and three seniors in the secondary. At the second level, the Longhorns also have two NFL-caliber linebackers in seniors Breckyn Hager (6’4, 245) and Gary Johnson (6’0, 230). Offensively, the Longhorns are in need of playmakers around junior wide receiver Collin Johnson (6’6, 220). Last season, Johnson caught 54 passes for 765 yards and two touchdowns. If Texas wants to improve their fortunes offensively, then they will have to settle on the running back position. In 2017, sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger led the team in rushing with 385 yards. Defensively, they should be able to compete with anyone, but the team enters the season with question marks offensively.
Troy’s player to watch
2 Kris Boyd 6’0 200 DB-Senior
Boyd’s performance against West Virginia’s leading receiver, David Sills V, was exceptional in 2017. Sills V, who finished the season with 980 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, caught just two balls for 47 yards against Boyd and the Longhorns. For the season, Boyd had two interceptions and 15 pass deflections en route to being named second team All-Big 12. The senior defensive back will have another year to acclimate himself to second year defensive coordinator’s Todd Orlando’s scheme and has already been named to the Jim Thorpe and Bronko Nagurski watch lists.
Game of the season
September 15th against USC
What better way to announce the Texas Longhorns are back than with a win against the USC Trojans? The rematch of the 2006 Rose Bowl will take place in Austin during Week 3 of the season. Both the Longhorns and Trojans are coming off solid seasons after what has largely been a decade of underwhelming results from each team. Last year, the Trojans defeated the Longhorns by a field goal and expect this year’s matchup to be just as competitive.
DraftNasty’s Prospect Watch
90 Charles Omenihu 6’6 275 DL-Senior
Omenihu has put together a combined 20 starts over the course of the last two seasons. In 2017, he began to put his talent on display more consistently. Despite requisite length, he hasn’t affected the three-step passing game up to this point in his career. His hand usage is a work in progress as a pass rusher. The former Rowlett High School (Tex.) star has a feel for slicing gaps and he can create inside penetration quickly off the snap. For him to become a more dominant defender, he needs to improve at creating separation from offensive linemen. Standing over 6-foot-5 inches, he has some upside as a 30-front defensive end prospect if he can put on an additional 10-to-15 pounds.
Draftnasty’s Troy Jefferson is predicting the Longhorns will fall to USC and West Virginia at home and on the road against Oklahoma State. However, Texas will win two more games than they did a year ago and, most importantly, defeat rival Oklahoma.
Army offensive lineman Brett Toth improved his NFL Draft stock this postseason after receiving invites to both the 2018 East-West Shrine Game and 2018 Senior Bowl. We talked with Toth about Army’s resurgence during his tenure and the transition from an option-based offense in the postseason.
DN: We’ve had a chance to do a couple of your games the last couple of years. The upset over Temple.
Toth: In 2016.
DN: Yeah, the first game of the season. Some of your fellow offensive linemen, like Rick Kurz, had to be happy for you (getting selected for the East-West Shrine). Army has had some defensive backs that have been in some all-star games (Caleb Campbell-2008 East-West Shrine) but you’re one of the more recent offensive lineman. Talk a little bit about being here in the East-West Shrine.
Toth: Definitely I want to say thank you to the Shrine Game. Big statement here at the Shrine Game is that it’s more than just a game. I love that aspect of it, going out and kind of doing community service. The outreach programs -like with Shriners Hospital- it’s amazing, it’s unbelievable. It’s taken the game itself, which is a game we all love, everyone here you gotta love it, being here. It’s taken that and putting the bigger message out there. I’m here representing my school. If we didn’t have the success we’ve had the past two years, who knows if I’d be here. The senior class, the junior class, as you mentioned Rick Kurz. Up front, our offensive line, we were just determined the past two seasons. We were determined to make Army great again. And I’d like to say that we did that following that last win out in Texas (2017 Armed Forces bowl victory over San Diego State).
DN: You definitely have made Army great again. Let’s talk a little bit about you. Very versatile in terms of your mobility getting up to the second level. You’ve gained weight while you’ve been in school. At one point, you were starting at around the 270-pound range. What is your weight up to now and how has it felt having to pass set so much out here this week (played in an option-based offense at Army)?
Toth: I just weighed in at 305.
DN: Wow, that’s pretty awesome man.
Toth: Yeah, I was 315 over the break. Got some of my Mom’s home cooking….(laughs). That was nice. Transitioning to the pass set. Again, it’s the raw attributes. It’s the mobility and the kind of stuff that I excelled with.
DN: Well, you’ve seemed pretty comfortable so far.
Toth: I’ve just gotta tweak a few things. Fundamentals. Watching guys like Zach (Crabtree) over there at right tackle from Oklahoma State. He’s unbelievable with the pass set. So I’m trying to learn as much as possible from him. I feel like I’ve already got the run scheme down out here with the zone, it’s just the pass set is just so much of the game. I need to keep reppin’ it, reppin’ it, reppin’ it and get better with it.
DN: We were talking about your mobility and your foot speed, which has always shown up on tape. But it was noticeable when the offensive linemen were racing earlier in practice, that you beat everybody. Do you take that personal, being faster than everybody else (laughs…)?
Toth: (Laughs)…Uh, I would actually say it’s pretty close. You get Greg (Senat) from Wagner, he was giving me a run for my money.
DN: Best of luck man and congratulations on a great career.
Toth: Yes sir, thank you.
DN: Thank you.
-DN Staff reports, East-West Shrine practices, Day 2