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Jimmy Garoppolo lives up to hype in East-West Shrine Game


Jimmy Garoppolo didn't enter the East-West Shrine Game until late in the second quarter, but the Eastern Illinois quarterback quickly lived up to his lofty advance billing by leading a pair of scoring drives in a 23-13 win by the East.

Garoppolo hit Coastal Carolina wide receiver Matt Hazel for a 1-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, immediately injecting energy into what had been a lethargic start for both offenses at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Garoppolo (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) played five series, completing 9 of 14 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown, giving himself plenty of momentum heading into the Reese's Senior Bowl.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during the game he sees Garoppolo as a potential second-round draft pick right now, but would be taken by the third round at the latest, with a chance to use the Senior Bowl, combine and pro day to continue to boost his stock.

Showcasing an effective compact delivery, good velocity and solid footwork, Garoppolo should be among the most fascinating stories to watch next week.

Others who stood out included a pair of undersized wide receivers in Jeremy Gallon of Michigan (four receptions for 55 yards) and Chandler Jones of San Jose State (six receptions for 62 yards); Arizona State safety Alden Darby, who had two interceptions; and defensive linemen Ethan Westbrooks of West Texas A&M and Larry Webster of Bloomsburg.

Take a look at the future stars of the NFL as they compete in the East-West Shrine Game.

Webster brought pressure off the edge, reflecting his athleticism as an accomplished college basketball player. But Mike Mayock said scouts are asking Webster if he would consider moving to tight end, always on the lookout for the next Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham.

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch did not fare nearly as well, going just 2-of-7 passing for 3 yards with two interceptions. Lynch never looked comfortable as a passer, but he did add 14 rushing yards on three carries.

Mayock said before the game on "NFL Total Access" that he still sees Lynch playing quarterback in the NFL, but this performance will only reinforce the idea that he must move to running back or safety to have any chance of carving out a career at the next level.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.



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