Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10 Players to Watch at Shrine Game

Ten players to keep an eye on when the East All-Stars take on the West in the Shrine Game in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

Two quarterbacks are among players to keep an eye on when the East and West all-stars play in the Shrine Game on Saturday.

The annual East-West Shrine Game is scheduled for Saturday, January 17 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The features some of the best college seniors in the country and will be aired live at 4 p.m. on NFL Network. Here are 10 players to keep an eye on:

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OFFENSE

West: C BJ Finney, Kansas State (6-4, 312)
Projected round: 4-5
Finney was a four-year starter and is one of three players in Kansas State history to earn All-Conference honors in each of his four seasons. He has good size for a center, desirable mobility and is durable – he started 52 straight games in college.

East: G John Miller, Louisville (6-2, 321)
Projected round: 4-5
Miller is considered to be one of the best technical offensive linemen playing in the Shrine Game, though reports question his athleticism. He started 34 games at Louisville and is a better pass protector than run-blocker.

West: RB Malcolm Brown, Texas (6-0, 228)
Projected round: 5
Brown is north-south runner with 4.5 speed and great quickness. He sees the field and follows his blockers well. Brown finished No. 9 on Texas' all-time rushing list and ran for 708 yards and six touchdowns as a senior.  He can also return kicks.

West: QB Cody Fajardo, Nevada (6-2, 216)
Projected round: 5-6
Fajardo and Colin Kaepernick are the only two FBS quarterbacks to throw for 9,000 yards and rush for 3,000 in a career. He is an excellent runner but avoids taking unnecessary hits. Fajardo has a quick release but can be somewhat inconsistent with his mechanics. He threw 193 passes without an interception, a Mountain West Conference record.

West: QB Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion (6-1, 205)
Projected round: 7
Heinicke threw for 5,076 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2012 and won the FCS Walter Payton Man of the Year award. His numbers declined his final two seasons, throwing for 4,022 yards in 2013 and 3,476 in 2014.  Heinicke has been impressive in the week leading up to the Shrine Game. "In two practices this week, Heinicke has showed excellent timing and rhythm with his footwork and release, displaying proper ball velocity and spin off his hand," Dan Brugler of CBS wrote.

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DEFENSE

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West: DT Tyeler Davison, Fresno State (6-2, 309)
Projected round: 4
Davison was a three-year starter at Fresno State and was primarily used at nose guard. Known for his stout play against the run, he flashed some pass rush ability as a senior, recording eight sacks.  

West: LB Ben Heeney, Kansas (6-0, 230)
Projected round: 4
Heeney, an inside linebacker, is aggressive, cerebral and is a great tackler. He led Kansas in tackles in 2013 and 2014. Heeney has average speed; his best-recorded 40-yard dash time is 4.72 seconds and he has been clocked as high as 4.92.

East: CB Cam Thomas, Western Kentucky (6-1, 190)
Projected round: 4
Thomas has a big, long frame and is an excellent run-stopper. He has good speed (4.43) and led Conference USA in passes defended (15) and interceptions (5) as a junior in 2013. This past season he recorded 45 tackles and intercepted two passes.

West: S Jordan Richards, Stanford (5-11, 208)
Projected round: 3-4
Richards might be the best player on either side of the ball competing in the Shrine Game and is considered to be one of the five best safeties in the country. He plays his best on bigger stages; this season, he recorded 10 tackles and forced a fumble against USC and 13 tackles and a pass breakup against Oregon. Richards won the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award as a senior, just the 12th player in Stanford history to do so.

East: P Spencer Roth, Baylor (6-5, 220)
Projected round: 7
Roth is considered to be the second-best punter in the country behind Michigan State's Mike Sadler.  He averaged 43.4 yards per punt in four seasons as Baylor's primary punter.SUGGESTED

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