Three Questions For The East-West Shrine Game
By Ken Scudero
1. Is Jordan Lynch a legitimate NFL quarterback prospect?
After two great seasons as the Northern Illinois starting quarterback, Jordan Lynch never had so much to prove. He’s thrown for 49 TDs and only 14 interceptions in those two seasons, while rushing for 3,735 yards and 42 TDs. He’s not as tall as you’d like your gunslinger to be (he's 6-feet even), but he’s shown gamesmanship which proves he plays bigger than his height. He can throw the ball down the field and has been pretty accurate, completing 62.6% of his passes this past season. But questions remain as to whether Lynch is a real NFL quarterback or just a Tim Tebow-type runner with a decent arm. This game, Lynch will be playing on the East team and it is huge for his draft status.
2. Can Jordan Zumwalt be the 2nd UCLA linebacker taken in the draft?
Zumwalt will be play at middle linebacker for the West team. He’s been overlooked most of his senior season, playing alongside top 5-pick Anthony Barr, star freshman Myles Jack, and the Pac-12's leading tackler from 2012, Eric Kendricks. But flying under the radar for most the season hasn’t stopped Zumwalt from compiling 91 tackles, 6.5 which were for loss, and two interceptions. With a good performance in this game, Zumwalt should solidify himself as the second UCLA linebacker to taken in the draft.
3. Which tight end prospect will emerge and improve his draft status?
Alex Bayer, Ted Bolser, and Crockett Gillmore are the three best tight end prospects in the game. Bayer and Gillmore are playing on the East, Bolser on the West. Bayer (Bowling Green) had his best season in 2013, with 37 catches, 593 yards, and 4 TDs. Bolser (Indiana) caught 35 balls for 320 yards and 6 TDs, while Gillmore (Colorado State) tallied 47 catches for 577 yards and 2 TDs. Bolser and Gillmore are nearly identical in size, both 6-foot-6 and just over 250 pounds. Bayer is slightly shorter (6-4) but still big (253). All three tight ends have great size, good hands and above-average blocking ability. A breakout by any three of these guys could bolster his draft stock, and and he could wind up sitting right outside the top 5 tight ends available in the draft.