Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. was intercepted twice in Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
The game and result itself do not matter in the long run, but Ward's two first-half interceptions (both made by St. Francis CB Lorenzo Jerome) stand out nonetheless, particularly given that there are already concerns as to whether he will be able to stick at quarterback in the NFL. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder could switch to wideout as the process unfolds. We like that as a better pro-fit for the Houston magician, particularly given that Ward already has experience playing wideout with the Cougars.
New Mexico RB Teriyon Gipson accounted for 96 total yards and a touchdown in Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Gipson rushed for 64 yards and added three catches for 32 additional yards in Saturday's early draft prepper. This past season, the 5-foot-7, 168-pounder turned in his best all-around collegiate campaign, rushing for 1,269 yards (8.8 YPC) and 13 touchdowns. During the draft process, he will have to answer for some off-the-field shenanigans, as he was arrested last January on marijuana and firearm charges. He kept that information from the New Mexico coaching staff, but this being the year 2017, the team found out midway through the season. Gipson should be considered a longshot to be drafted this spring.
Virginia RB Taquan Mizzell rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on nine carries in Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Fantastic work by Mizzell on Saturday, as the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder averaged 10.66 YPC for the day. This past season, the Virginia standout rushed for 940 yards (5.0 YPC) and five touchdowns while catching 52 passes for 404 yards and two additional scores. He hauled in a total of 195 passes during his Cavaliers career and should he land at the pro level this spring, it is that kind of receiving ability which would make him a palatable third-down option for a needy team. He might have to find his way as a street free agent, though. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline does not see Mizzell being drafted at this juncture.
Texas Tech fired OL coach Lee Hays.
Hays had been on staff with the Red Raiders for the past four seasons. Prior to joining Texas Tech in 2013, Hays worked as offensive line coach at Houston in two separate stints (2012, 2010). In-between those jobs with the Cougars, he served as offensive coordinator at Tarleton State.
During Saturday's broadcast of the East-West Shrine Game, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Western Michigan QB Zach Terrell could carve out a backup role at the next level.
"When you dig into his background, he was a three-year captain in college, also a three-year captain in high school," Jeremiah said. "When I watched him, I saw a little bit of Colt McCoy in his play." Terrell failed to impress in the Shrine Game itself, completing just 4-of-9 passes for 33 yards. While Jeremiah believes he could eventually develop into an NFL backup, Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline just doesn't see it. During the Shrine practice week, he wrote that Terrell "does not possess the tools to be an NFL passer."
Central Michigan QB Cooper Rush completed 11-of-17 passes for 94 yards in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game.
Rush's East team was unable to score a touchdown in the game, but for what it's worth, he led his squad in completions, attempts and yardage. The 6-foot-3, 227-pounder threw for 75 touchdowns in his final three seasons with Central Michigan, but he shouldn't be viewed as a player with true NFL potential. The arm just isn't there. He also failed to complete more than 60% of his passes this past season.
Michigan RB De'Veon Smith rushed for 23 yards on 11 carries in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game.
As far as number of carries in an all-star event go, Smith's 11 are downright prolific. Alas, he did nothing with them, averaging a paltry 2.1 YPC. 13 of his 21 yards came on just one carry. The 5-foot-11, 228-pounder is a tough runner and knows his stuff in terms of pass protection -- always a major smittening point for NFL teams -- but explosiveness and shifty burst just aren't a part of his game. It would be a surprise if Smith is drafted before Day 3 this spring.
Illinois QB Wes Lunt completed 11-of-14 passes for 101 yards in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game.
Lunt was on point with his completions and averaged a respectable 7.1 YPA. His 101 yards passing led all quarterbacks in the contest. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder was injury-prone during his collegiate career with the Illini, but it's not inconceivable that he could see late-round draft interest as a potential backup developmental project.