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Jadar Johnson, Joe Williams among top Shrine Game standouts

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A week of practices is wrapping on Thursday here at the East-West Shrine Game. The annual all-star game produces plenty of NFL players, including some who go on to stardom in the league (you might have heard of one such player -- Tom Brady).


Watch the East-West Shrine Game on NFL Network at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, with host Andrew Siciliano, analysts Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah, and sideline reporter Alex Flanagan.


The game hosts more than 100 prospects who get a chance to make an impression with NFL evaluators watching. Here are 10 players that stood out to me during the week of practices, and ones I'll be watching closely during Saturday's game:

Florida Atlantic DE Trey Hendrickson: Hendrickson had an outstanding week. He won almost every single rep in the one-on-one periods and he was consistently disruptive in the team portion of practice. He has very quick hands and a good feel for what he needs to do to win as a pass rusher.

Drake TE Eric Saubert: Saubert generated a lot of buzz this week because of his speed and a few athletic catches he made early in the week. He isn't a physical point-of-attack blocker, but he has value as an athletic, flexed out tight end. He probably has the highest upside of any prospect in the game.

Washington State WR Gabe Marks: Marks was my favorite receiver during the week of practice. He lacks ideal size and top speed but he's very quick and savvy as a route runner. He tracks the ball naturally and he has soft hands. Every year there is a receiver at this game that ends up contributing right away at the next level; Marks would be my choice from this year's group.

Utah RB Joe Williams: Williams has an outstanding burst and he was a little bit thicker than I anticipated. He is going to be a mismatch in the passing game as he gains more experience. He looks like an ideal change-of-pace back at the next level.

UCLA CB Fabian Moreau: Moreau has excellent size and athleticism. He had a solid week in pass coverage. He has quick feet and he's a fluid athlete. He was very aware in zone coverage. I thought he really helped himself with his performance during the week.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 21
Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network


2017 NFL Draft coverage:

Clemson S Jadar Johnson: Johnson has an NFL frame and he got his hands on a lot of footballs this week. He needs to improve his ability to finish (he dropped a couple potential interceptions) but I was impressed with his instincts and quickness.

Arkansas DE Deatrich Wise, Jr.: Wise got better every day and showed some raw power as a pass rusher. He has an ideal frame as a defensive end and he used his hands very well in the individual drills. He has some stiffness, but he fits as a 4-3 defensive end at the next level.

Michigan RB De'Veon Smith: Smith has been very solid in every area during the week of practices. He runs with power and balance between the tackles and he was more effective in the passing game than I expected. He caught the ball easily and was a little quicker than he looked on game tape.

Vanderbilt OT William Holden: Holden had an up and down week, but overall, I thought he stood out as one of the best linemen at this game. He lost a couple one-on-one battles to Hendrickson, but I thought he was competitive despite moving back and forth from guard to tackle. He needs to improve his core strength, but he has some tools to work with at the next level.

Louisville DT DeAngelo Brown: I was impressed with Brown during Tuesday's practice. He flashed some quickness as an inside rusher and was very disruptive in the running game. He lacks ideal height, but he plays with excellent leverage.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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