College All-Star games for the NFL Draft officially began on Saturday with the Shrine Bowl. The Senior Bowl starts this week with practices beginning on Tuesday. Last season, the Rams drafted players like Kobie Turner, Ochaun Mathis, Tre Tomlinson, and Desjuan Johnson from the Shrine Bowl. It’s likely an event that they will have a close eye on as the draft process begins. Here are standouts from the East and West teams on the first two days of practice.
iOL Mason McCormick - South Dakota State
One of my favorite interior offensive line players so far in Frisco at the Shrine Bowl has been South Dakota State’s Mason McCormick. He had a very impressive weekend in the first two days of practice and will look to carry that momentum into the week. At 6’4, 310-pounds, McCormick’s size and strength have been on display, especially in the run game. When he lands, it’s very difficult for defenders to break away from him. In one-on-ones, he’s shown a good anchor as well.
South Dakota State’s Mason McCormick is such a strong player.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Slowly becoming one of “my guys”. The guard/center versatility is something teams will value in a depth player. Love what he’s done this week! pic.twitter.com/yGouTFQ8KU
McCormick has guard-center versatility which is something that teams will value along with experience. He started 57 games with the Jackrabbits. Again, he’s been especially stout in the run game and at the very least is a depth option that can be had late on day three of the draft.
CB Qwan’Tez Stiggers - Toronto Argonauts
The early story of the Shrine Bowl has been Qwan’Tez Stiggers. Stiggers didn’t play college ball, but started in the Fan Controlled Football League where he caught the eye of the CFL. Last season, he was the Rookie of the Year for the Toronto Argonauts. He finished with 53 defensive tackles, three special teams tackles, and five interceptions.
Stiggers with another PBU. He showed over the weekend that he can compete at this level. Love what he’s been showing at CB!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Eyes on the QB, comes over the top of the WR and plays through the hands. pic.twitter.com/igXREJ9qPs
Some of his professional experience in the CFL has been on display in Frisco. He’s a physical and aggressive player and consistently gets his hands on the ball. Stiggers has done a nice job, especially in zone, reading the quarterback and then coming up and through the hands of the wide receiver to get the pass breakup. Stiggers has at least shown that he should get some NFL consideration.
WR Tahj Washington - USC
Washington has without a doubt been one of my favorite players throughout the first two days of the Shrine Bowl. He just looks like a Rams wide receiver. He is smaller at 5’9, 177-pounds, but his routes are extremely crisp and he play much more physical than his size.
Really good body control and playing through contact from Tahj Washington.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Again, probably my favorite receiver that I’ve watched at the Shrine Bowl. Consistently making plays. pic.twitter.com/BmctVGrh4s
The Rams were unable to bring back Brandon Powell last offseason and Washington fits a similar mold and he brings value on special teams as a kick returner. Washington has done a good job creating separation and finding the soft spots in zone in drills at the Shrine Bowl. His quickness is as-advertised and he’s simply a tough player that the Rams like in their wide receivers.
EDGE Grayson Murphy - UCLA
Both Murphy brothers are at the Shrine Bowl and while both have had positive moments, Grayson Murphy has stood out slightly more from what I’ve seen. In team drills on Tuesday, he put left tackle Dylan Grable on his back and then in one-on-ones, he’s shown off impressive moves like the one below.
UCLA’s Grayson Murphy isn’t messing around at the East-West Shrine Bowl. Busts out a cross-chop here. pic.twitter.com/mRGXLK8w2s— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) January 27, 2024
It will be interesting to see if the Rams consider drafting an edge player on day three. If that’s something that they do consider, Murphy is certainly option.
iOL Matt Lee - Miami
Lee doesn’t possess the same size as a player like McCormick from above. He’s only 6’3, 288-pounds. However, he had a good first two days of practice at the Shrine Bowl. Lee has shown positive moments in pass protection and has shown good ability to block in space downfield.
Miami center Matt Lee was a winner on Day 2. Good pass pro rep.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Allows Kedon Slovis to step into the pocket and make a nice throw. pic.twitter.com/XhBl8Ebfkp
This past season at Miami, Lee helped lead one of the best offensive lines in the country after transferring from UCF. He was Pro Football Focus’ third-highest graded center this past season. At some point, the Rams would be smart to draft a center. Again, Lee is a bit on the smaller side, but should be someone on LA’s radar.
DL Khristian Boyd - Northern Iowa
Arguably the most impressive defensive linemen in Frisco this weekend was Northern Iowa’s Khristian Boyd. His power was consistently on display in one-on-ones and then in team drills he showed that he could make an impact in the run game as well.
Khristian Boyd immediately gets in the backfield and makes the play!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Love what he’s done this week. pic.twitter.com/IdVWouM4Wo
The Rams could use some defensive line depth and Boyd is an explosive player with a high motor that they usually like. Boyd is a little on the small side at 6’2, but at 320, he has plenty of power in his lower body. We’ll see if he can keep it going over the next two days.
iOL Christian Mahogany - Boston College
Mahogany is a player that many were excited about coming into the Shrine Bowl and at time he has been exactly as advertised. There’s a chance that he goes as high as the third round, but he could drop into day three.
.@BCFootball OG Christian Mahogany (73) paving the way for a big run up the middle on a combo block. Moved his man and walled off the LB. His power already standing out after one practice pic.twitter.com/W0KAzLjMkw— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) January 27, 2024
In Frisco, Mahogany has thrived in the run game and been a standout on the East roster offensive line. His power has been on display where he’s consistently been moving defensive linemen.
EDGE Xavier Thomas - Clemson
Again, we will have to see how the Rams address the edge rusher position in the draft. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to add somebody, but they also draft Nick Hampton and Ochaun Mathis last season on day three of the draft.
Xavier Thomas is an intriguing option on the edge. Athletically gifted, strong explosive…has had a good first few days at the Shrine Bowl! pic.twitter.com/YP1X6Cnxw6— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Clemson’s Xavier Thomas has been a standout at edge through the first two days of practice at the Shrine Bowl. His athleticism is consistently on display as well as his strength and explosiveness. He was especially impressive in one-on-ones on day two. I’ll be excited to see what he does over the next few days.
LB Easton Gibbs - Wyoming
Unfortunately for players like Edgerrin Cooper who many were excited to see, he’s been unable to practice. However, that has opened up opportunities for players like Easton Cooper out of Wyoming. The Rams need a linebacker to line up next to Ernest Jones. With that said, it’s likely that player isn’t draft until day three or is an undrafted player.
Easton Gibbs is a fun player at LB.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
Reads the QBs eyes and gets the red zone interception! He was a safety in high school and natural in coverage. Could be just what Rams need next to Ernest Jones. pic.twitter.com/1liejgfZnH
Gibbs had a red zone interception that would have been a pick-six in a live-game setting. He did a great job reading the eyes of the quarterback and making a play on the ball. Gibbs is natural in coverage as he was a safety in high school. That’s exactly the type of player that the Rams need to pair next to Jones. Gibbs will be somebody to watch on days three and four of practice.
CB Renado Green - Florida State
This offseason, the Rams will be looking to re-build the secondary and that will mean taking a flier or two on defensive backs on three. Simply put, the Rams need playmakers and guys that can get their hands on the ball.
Renado Green might be my favorite CB on the East roster. Very physical and competitive player.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 28, 2024
Nice job coming from behind and playing through the hands of the WR. pic.twitter.com/nWTqRWSRI3
Florida State’s Renado Green had a strong first day and is my favorite cornerback right now on the East roster. He’s an extremely physical and aggressive/competitive player and that’s consistently been on display despite being 5’11, 187-pounds. Those are the types of players that the Rams like at cornerback. The play above comes from a ‘best on best’ type drill and it’s Green that comes out with the win.