2016 East West Shrine Game Recap (Offense)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2016 East West Shrine game was this Saturday and kicks off the beginning of the NFL draft season. Most Shrine game players won’t end up in the NFL but there are a handful of participants every year who go on to have solid NFL careers.

There are too many NFL players that are Shrine game alums to list, but to give you an idea how much talent has come through this game, here are some Pro Bowl players who played in the Shrine game: Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Cameron Jordan, Kam Chancellor, Greg Jennings, Emmanuel Sanders, T.J. Ward, Altarruan Verner, Terron Armstead and two guys still playing this weekend, Panthers CB  Josh Norman and Cardinals WR John Brown.

In the last few seasons, there have been plenty of useful players like Alfred Morris, Micah Hyde, Allen Hurns, Crockett Gilmore, Justin Britt, Zac Stacy, Jimmy Garopppolo, Preston Brown, David Andrews, Jake Ryan, David Perry, and Bene Benwikere.

Unfortunately the Bears haven’t had as much luck with Shrine game players. They have drafted a few of them, like Brandon Harden (3rd round 2013) and Evan Rodriguez (4th round 2013) who were released within two years and signed UDFAs like DeDe Lattimore (2104) and Ryan Groy (2014) who were off the roster within a year. The Bears have been able to find at least two useful players from the Shrine game in the last two seasons in slot corner Bryce Callahan and starting left tackle Charles Leno Jr.

Here is my list of 2016 Shrine game offensive players who helped their draft stock either during the week of practice or Saturday’s game and how they could help the Bears in 2016.


The Bears may be looking for a QB of the future to develop behind Jay Cutler or may just be looking to upgrade the backup position over David Fales. Here are a couple of interesting QB prospects who helped their draft stock over the last week.

Vernon Adams Jr, Oregon – Wow. Adams put on a clinic at the Shrine game throwing for three touchdowns including a Shrine record, 93 yard bomb. He also had a couple of nice runs when no receivers were open. Even more impressive was that most of Adams’ throws came from inside the pocket. For the day Adams was 6/9 for 191 yards, and three TDs. His lack of size is an issue, he’s just 5’10, but Adams has an NFL arm and was by far the best QB at the Shrine game.

Adams was considered a day 3 pick at best coming into the game and didn’t do much to hep his cause during the week of practices, but the Shrine game MVP proved he was a worth another look. His stats were impressive, but the way he controlled defenders with his eyes and well-timed pump fakes stood out. Adams showed that he knows how to play the quarterback position and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t hear his name called during the draft.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Nate Sudfeld, Indiana – One of my favorite draft sleepers who was the best QB in practices all week, but had a rough Shrine game. In the red zone, Sudfeld threw two out routes that bounced a few feet before the receiver. It’s surprising to see Sudfeld under throw receivers that badly when he has as good of an arm as any QB in the draft.

His inconsistency was an issue throughout his college career, Sudfeld has a tendency to make spectacular plays but follow them up with mistakes. All the physical tools are there though and some team will take a chance on Sudfeld in the middle rounds. He didn’t do much in the game to boost his draft stock, but his week of practice should.