The East-West Shrine Game is one of the largest showcases of NFL Draft prospects there is. These players use this game and week of practices as an opportunity to showcase their talents to scouts.
Former University of Arizona Wildcats Paul Magloire Jr. and Trey Griffey did just that in Saturday’s 10-3 victory by the West team.
Magloire is hoping to transition from playing safety in college to linebacker in the NFL and this game was a big first step, as Pro Football Focus graded him as the top linebacker in the game.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller now has Magloire listed as the 162nd best player on his NFL Draft Big Board, which would make him a mid-fifth round prospect.
The 6-foot-1, 227 pound Magloire is considered undersized for an NFL linebacker, but that hasn’t stopped recent safety-to-linebacker converts, such as Arizona Cardinals’ Deone Bucannon (6-foot-1, 211 pounds) and Los Angeles Rams’ Mark Barron (6-foot-2, 213), from having success in this role.
Magloire also reportedly had a good week of practices prior to the game.
“I leave Shrine practices getting a lot more from Magloire than I ever expected. He displayed himself as a complete, three down defender who did well defending the run and was exceptional in pass defense,” Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com said.
In two seasons at Arizona after transferring from Arizona Western College, he made 153 tackles, including a team-leading 81 in 2016. Magloire also recorded 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks for the Wildcats.
While Magloire may be undersized, Griffey is a fairly large wide receiver prospect at 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds.
The son of MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. showed his natural ability by catching three passes on a game-high seven targets for 34 yards in the Shrine Game.
Griffey accumulated 79 receptions for 1,241 yards and six touchdowns in 25 games with the Wildcats. Last season, he finished the season with 23 catches, 382 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His relatively weak stats in 2016 can at least be partially explained by the fact that Arizona as a whole only passed for 2,137 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The 23-year-old receiver is currently expected to go undrafted, according to Miller’s Big Board.
Although most of the prospects at the Shrine Game are not the premier talents taken at the top of the draft, there is a history of participants going on to have successful NFL careers.
For instance, last year’s game included prospects who would go on to start for playoff teams as rookies in Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown, New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney and Detroit Lions guard Graham Glasgow.
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