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East-West Shrine Game 2018: Defensive prospects to watch for

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Here are the defensive prospects you should keep your eye on this Saturday including Chad Thomas and Poona Ford.

Oklahoma v Texas Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The East-West Shrine Game is the first chance for NFL scouts to get a look at some of the draft prospects for the upcoming draft in action.

The game doesn’t bring in the top talent, but there have been some talented players who have participated in this game. It is also a game where the teams run drills at practice to show off each player’s talents for scouts, and it really is the first chance to hear from scouts if a player is rising or falling in stock.

Here is a list of defensive prospects you should keep your eye on during the East West Shrine game Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.

East

  • Chad Thomas (DE), Miami

At 6’5 and 275 pounds, Thomas is the prototypical defensive end in the NFL. He had 8.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks last season, but there has been some criticism of his instincts on the field. Thomas will be able to put his physical abilities on display though during the one-on-one drills, but he will be a late pick in the draft unless he does well in interviews with teams.

  • Jason Cabinda (ILB), Penn State

Cabinda had a down year last season totaling only 88 tackles after reaching the 100 tackle milestone the previous two seasons. Still he has impressed scouts so far at the East East Shrine practices. He needs to show some speed during the game and at the combine in order for him to be a quality pick for the Bengals, but right now he is expected to be there on day two or three if the Bengals haven’t already addressed the position.

  • Kentavius Street (DE), N.C. State

Add Street to the name of defenders who have impressed scouts so far at the East West Shrine practices. Street only had 3.5 sacks last year as a senior, but he could develop the physical tools to develop into a solid NFL defender. He has a good first step, but his power and tackling leaves plenty to be desired. He is rated as a third day pick at this point.

West

  • Poona Ford (DT), Texas

Ford was the Big 12’s Defensive Lineman of the Year last season as he helped lead one of the best run defenses in college football. Ford had eight tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks last season. He was also a captain. At 5’11, Ford is a smaller defensive tackles who uses great leverage to get the job done against bigger offensive linemen. He may slide due to that size though, but he could be a steal for whoever ends up taking him.

  • Kenny Young (ILB), UCLA

Young finished as an All-PAC-12 Football First Team player. He had 101 tackles including 8.5 for a loss. He was sixth in the nation with solo tackles as well. If Young shows the ability to cover the nation’s top prospect he could be a nice addition to the Bengals’ linebackers who need some depth at that position.

  • Godwin Igwebuike (S), Northwestern

Igwebuike gets labeled as a great open-field tackler, but that shouldn’t overshadow his great ball skills. He had nine pass breakups last season to go along with two interceptions. The Bengals need more depth at the safety position, and if Igwebuike slides far enough, he could be a steal as a third safety for the team.