Several hit the ground running and made every effort to take advantage of their opportunity.
No one did it better than South Carolina defensive end Devin Taylor. The big man was a terror in the backfield, and he was constantly being singled out for his impressive skill set.
Take a look at why Taylor and these other prospects solidified or improved their draft stock after their East-West Shrine Game performance.
Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State
Bumphis is coming off of a career year for the Bulldogs, and he continued that success in St. Petersburg by leading all receivers with four catches and 92 yards. That includes a big 54-yard touchdown connection with quarterback Matt Scott.
He made several big plays, fighting defenders and hauling in contended passes. The biggest strength he displayed is his ability to move quickly out of his cuts and find open space in coverage.
Prior to the game he was thought of as a late-round prospect, but Bumphis could be a second-day guy with a strong follow-up at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Devin Taylor was largely overshadowed by teammate Jadeveon Clowney this season. Luckily for him there were no players even close to Clowney’s skill level on the field at the East-West Shrine Game.
That, coupled with some lacking offensive line talent, allowed Taylor to wreak havoc on the opposing team’s backfield. The monstrous 6’8” defensive end forced two fumbles, had multiple sacks and was constantly pressuring the quarterback.
He was ranked as the 10th-best defensive end by NFL DraftScout.com, but this solid performance certainly improved his draft stock.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
An NFL team official said running back Christine Michael was evaluated as a second-round talent, according to ex-NFL scout and NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
That evaluation came after a week of impressive practices from the outgoing Aggies back.
Michael didn’t do anything to hurt those evaluations during the game, either. He posted just a 3.2 yards per carry average, but he also got into the end zone on a nice 6-yard run in the fourth quarter.
He strongly finished runs and delivered blows rather than absorbing them. That helped him pick up some yards in situations where there was no room to run.
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