Anytime you throw together a bunch of star athletes with limited practices, the results can be iffy, at best. Such is usually true in the all star games during the NFL Draft scouting process, where the games can be sloppy due to the last-minute creation of rosters and minimal practices as a team.
On Saturday, the NFLPA Bowl, a rising newcomer on the scouting scene, took place with the National Team beating the American squad, 27-0. In the six-year history of the bowl game, the National Team has gone undefeated and their unit was quite impressive this weekend.
The East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine are all known as the top events in the scouting process, but the NFLPA Bowl has been gaining recognition as an important event. In fact, the Bengals have tapped this game for a number of late-round an undrafted pick-ups in recent years.
Earlier this week, we listed some players to watch, and here’s a look at some others who happened to impress in front of a national audience.
Lorenzo Jerome, Defensive Back, Saint Francis: The kid out of a small school in Pennsylvania had a big day, racking up two interceptions. He’s a bit undersized as a safety at 6’0”, 195 pounds but he opened some eyes with his athleticism. He had the most interceptions in FCS history, so he could rapidly move up draft boards, especially after grabbing MVP honors. In addition to playing safety, Jerome was a star return man in college, which will certainly be another area teams will want to look at with him.
Teriyon Gipson, Running Back, New Mexico: If the last name sounds familiar to Bengals fans, it’s because his older brother, Tashaun Gipson, used to play safety for the Browns. Tashaun’s younger brother had a good game in the NFLPA Bowl as well, racking up 96 total yards from scrimmage (64 rushing, 32 receiving), including a touchdown catch.
Sean Maguire, Quarterback, Florida State: The Seminoles’ successor to Jameis Winston had a good game on Sunday, throwing the touchdown to Gipson. He barely played in 2016, but his performance in the NFLPA Bowl provided a nice audition for NFL teams.
Taquan Mizzell, Running Back, Virginia: The little-known prospect had a great day against the American team. Mizzell had 96 yards on just nine carries, including a touchdown run. Mizzell is a bit undersized at 5’10” and 195 pounds, but he really made a name for himself as a big-play guy in the NFLPA Bowl.
Isaiah Irving, Linebacker, San Jose State: It’s unclear how teams will view Irving, who could be one of those “‘tweener” linebackers who can rush off of the edge. After getting seven sacks in 2016, Irving also had a critical fumble recovery and return for a touchdown on Saturday.