The collegiate all-star games kick off this weekend with the East-West Shrine Game, where all 32 NFL teams have the opportunity to evaluate senior prospects on the same field (underclassmen are not eligible for the games).
The game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. EST at Tropicana Field and can be seen on the NFL Network.
Here are a few of this fans preferred offensive prospects that the Miami Dolphins could be focusing on toward the mid to late rounds of the 2013 draft.
Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech (6-4, 232, 4.47 40-yard dash)
Has been an underachiever who lacks discipline and has yet to mature. Is a huge wide receiver with explosive athleticism.
Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado (6-5, 260, 4.76)
A former defensive end who became a tight end to start his senior season. He tallied 25 receptions for 391 yards with three touchdowns. He possesses natural athleticism and receiving skills. He also displays his defensive mentality as a mean run blocker, though he has had health issues as a result from his days as a defensive end.
Jeff Baca, OG, UCLA (6-3, 298, 5.16)
An aggressive starting offensive lineman with quick feet who has versatility and extensive experience to man all five offensive line positions. He also displays a nasty demeanor. Though prone to penalties, Baca most definitely has the skill set to play in the NFL.
Rodney Smith, WR, Florida State (6-5, 219, 4.63)
Smith is an intriguing prospect due to his size, athleticism, good body control, and flexibility. Smith has the combination of size and speed that deserves a late round close look.
Manase Foketi, OT, West Texas A&M (6-5, 320, 5.30)
A starting left tackle for the Kansas State Wildcats in 2011. He was refused release from his scholarship in order to transfer to a different FBS school in 2012. Foketi ended up at West Texas A&M this past season and was a finalist for lineman of the year.
Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA (6-7, 255, 4.82)
Led the nation in touchdowns from the tight end position with 12 and is an excellent red zone threat.
Others to watch:
Zach Sudfeld, TE, Nevada
Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech
Mark Jackson, OL, Glenville State
Eric Kush, OL, California, Pa.
Earl Watford, OL, James Madison
Don't forget tight end DC Jefferson of Rutgers who is a former quarterback that made the switch to tight end as a freshman. I learned from listening to a radio interview that DC is a nickname that stuck from his quarterbacking days and is in reference to his quarterback hero Daunte Culpepper. Though his stats aren't anything to write home about, he has great potential. It's important to note that the tight end position wasn't a focal point of the Rutgers offense.
Here are a few of the defensive prospects:
Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse (5-9, 215, 4.39)
Per Dane Brugler of CBS:
"Thomas plays the game with reckless abandon and loves to throw his body around on the field, seeking big hits against the ballcarrier. Thomas plays too aggressive and too often bites on fakes, finding himself constantly playing from behind. A willing and tough run defender, he has a future at the next level if he can stay loose and disciplined with his coverage responsibilities."
Josh Evans, S, Florida (6-1, 200, 4.54)
The free safety teammate to highly-touted strong safety Matt Elam, who is a guaranteed first round selection. Evans is projected to be a fifth round pick. Evans is a rangy, physical player that led the Gators in tackles this past season and had three interceptions and six passes defensed. He is also very aggressive around the line of scrimmage. His NFL future isn't quite as bright to that of his collegiate counterpart Elam, but he is every bit as aggressive and tough.
Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa (6-1, 190, 4.53)
Somewhat of a technically raw cornerback/safety tweener that exhibits excellent football awareness in reading the quarterback and displays top grade instincts and ball skills.
Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue (5-11, 195, 4.49)
Had a strong senior season, leading the conference in passes defensed in 2012 with 19. Johnson, a three year starter for the Boilermakers, wrapped up his collegiate career with a 2012 season that saw him finish third for Purdue with 65 total tackles (59 solo stops and three for losses). He also led the team with 16 passes broken up, three fumbles forced (one recovered), and three interceptions. He isn't an elite athlete, but is extremely aggressive and confident. He possesses the speed to blanket receivers in single coverage has good coordination. Johnson looks comfortable on an island in man coverage. He does a nice job playing his man, and also locating and making plays on the ball.
DeVonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina (6-2, 241, 4.64)
A versatile defender. Holloman lined up as the "spur" on South Carolina's defense, which is basically a hybrid weak side linebacker/strong safety position. He is a talented athlete with smooth movement that allows him to make plays all over the field. He uses his read and react skills to diagnose and attack. He is also an aggressive run defender. Although he still needs to improve his consistency in coverage, he has improved well in this area, leaving South Carolina with seven career interceptions, including a team-high three in 2012. Holloman played mostly strong safety in a Gamecocks uniform, but he has really bulked up over the past 18 months and probably projects best as a weak side linebacker in the NFL (according to Dane Brugler of CBS).
Duke Williams, S, Nevada (6-1, 200, 4.46)
A prospect who flashes early-rounds potential at times, but then at others he looks like "just another guy". He has good size and length for the position, and he also has the speed to close in a flash. Williams is a big-time hitter, though he sometimes lacks technique in leading with the shoulder for the big hit rather than intelligently wrapping up the target. His coverage skills are raw and ball skills can be streaky at times.
Keep a close eye on Keith Pough, OLB at Howard, who ranks among the best as an athlete in size, speed, and strength. Also keep an eye on Cooper Taylor, S at Richmond, who is 6-4, 229, and displays great range with a 4.57 forty.
Others to watch:
Demontre Hurst, CB, Oklahoma
Earl Wolff, Safety, NC State
Melvin White, CB, La-Lafayette
The College All Star Senior Bowl will take place next Saturday, which includes prospects that the Dolphins will target from day one of the 2013 draft. A Senior Bowl prospect summary will be offered on Friday the 25th.
Thanks for an open minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view : ) !!
Hope you're able to watch the game, GOFINS!!