Shrine Bowl 2020: 11 Players to Watch
The 2020 edition of the East-West Shrine Bowl will take place on Saturday, January 18. While this game doesn’t get as much attention as next week’s Senior Bowl, there is still plenty of talent for scouts to watch. The game allows for a good mix of players from different levels of college football, giving small-school players a chance to show they can play with the bigger schools. Some players from this game may play well enough to earn invites to next week’s game. Here are the guys I’ll be watching on Saturday. Many of them fit the small-school narrative.
Raequan Williams DL, Michigan State
I might be a little biased with this one because I’m an MSU alum and Raequan is one of my favorite players. However, all reports from this week’s practices say that he’s been dominating. He’s a good run-stuffer with a decent pass rushing ability. I expect his draft stock to start rising, and he could earn an invite to next week’s Senior Bowl with a big game.
McTelvin Agim DL, Arkansas
Agim is a Day 3 guy I really like. From what I’ve seen, he can provide great penetration and pass rush along the interior of the defensive line and possibly slide out to the 5-technique on occasion. He’s quick and has good hands. In his career, he had 140 tackles, including 31 TFL and 14.5 sacks. I think he’s got great potential as a developmental prospect.
Derrek Tuszka DE, North Dakota State
Here’s the first small school prospect. By now, everyone should know how dominant of a program the Bison have. They just won their 8th national title of the last 10 years. Tuszka was a big part of that defense. The numbers he was putting up made me start to pay attention to him, but honestly, I was a little disappointed in what I saw. Then, he really jumped out at me in the championship. He’s got potential and the frame many NFL scouts look for, which gives him a shot to make it. This is his chance to prove it.
Dante Olson LB, Montana
Olson won the Buck Buchanan Award — which is given to the top defensive player in the FCS. He has been talked about as a draft sleeper since September, maybe even earlier. He had a monster senior season with 179 tackles, being named to several All-American teams and winning just about every award he could. With accolades like that, it should go without saying that Olson is an exceptional player who seems to always be around the ball. I like his football sense and look forward to watching how he does.
Kyle Murphy G, Rhode Island
I don’t know much about Murphy, but I’ve heard enough to make me want to watch and evaluate his play further. Coming from a small school, he will get a good test against some power conference d-linemen. Last year, Elon’s Oli Udoh was in a similar position entering the Shrine Bowl and turned it into a Senior Bowl invite. He would go on to have a solid week at the Senior Bowl and was drafted by the Vikings in the 6th round. It’s possible Murphy can do the same.
Calvin Throckmorton OL, Oregon
Oregon had an extremely talented offensive line this season. The Ducks had 3 or 4 offensive linemen that could be drafted this year, and Throckmorton is one of them. In the preseason, I saw him mocked as a possible first rounder. Now, he has been projected anywhere in rounds 2-5. This will be a big step for him to solidify a spot in the earlier rounds.
Casey Toohill LB, Stanford
Toohill played as an edge-rushing linebacker for the Cardinal, totaling 11.5 TFL and 8 sacks this season. It will be interesting t see how the NFL views him. He can absolutely play on the edge, but would he be able to contribute on teams that use different defensive schemes? Does he have the athleticism and cover skills to move to be an off-the-ball linebacker? I haven’t seen enough of him to know those answers. That’s what I’ll be looking for.
Luther Kirk S, Illinois State
Kirk is a name I’ve seen popping up in some draft talk lately, but I haven’t seen him play, which is why he makes this list. I’ve heard he has good potential. At 6’2″ and around 200 lbs, he’s got good size for an NFL safety. He had 5 INT and 3 PBU this season, which is pretty impressive. I’ll be watching to see if that shows up in this game and how he is in run support.
Kevin Davidson QB, Princeton
This is a guy who wasn’t on my radar earlier this week, but he started to show up in many tweets from reporters. He has been named by several as a big winner from this week’s practices and even labeled the most consistent by one. He even threw 7 TDs in a game this year, so he’s definitely got some talent. He’s not Tua or Burrow, but he could provide some late round value.
Marc-Antoine Dequay S, Montreal
Honestly, he’s on here because I’m intrigued to see a player from Canada in this game. There have probably been a few before, but I want to see how he stacks up. He’s the same size as Kirk, so he fits the bill of an NFL safety (at least from a physical appearance standpoint).
Khalil Davis DT, Nebraska
Khalil and his brother Carlos are both playing in this game, but Khalil has been the one attracting more attention. This season he was 3rd team All-Big Ten and had 8 sacks, which is a high number for a defensive tackle. I’ll be watching both Davis brothers, but Khalil has the more impressive college career.