Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Defensive Players to Watch at Shrine Game

A few defensive players to keep an eye on during the 2017 East-West Shrine Game.

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The complete roster for the East team at the 2017 Shrine Game.

  1. LB Hardy Nickerson, West**
    By name recognition alone, Nickerson deserves a spot on this list. His father, who goes by the same name, was one of the most prolific defenders in Buccaneer history. Despite his father's success, Nickerson's play has established a name for himself. He finished his college career with 353 tackles, which were the sixth-most in the country for active players when he graduated. He led Illinois with 107 tackles during the 2016 season. He also recorded 5.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery.

2. S Xavier Woods, East
Woods is one of the top overall prospects playing at the Shrine Game and could be selected in the first three rounds of the draft come April. He was a key contributor for all four of his seasons at Louisiana Tech and finished his career with 272 tackles, 20.5 of which were for a loss, along with two sacks 14 interceptions, 18 passes defensed and six forced fumbles.

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The complete roster for the West team at the 2017 Shrine Game.

  1. DE Karter Schult, East**
    Schult led the NCAA, both FBC and FCS, in sacks with 17 and recorded at least one sack in every game he played. For his efforts, Schult was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year for Northern Iowa, while also being named the top defensive player in the FCS. Schult was second in the FCS with 24 tackles for a loss and 20 quarterback hurries. At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, he's on the smaller side for a defensive lineman and could potentially be signed as an undrafted free agent if he isn't picked up in the later rounds of the draft.

4. DT Jason Carr, East
The 6-foot-6, 305-pound defensive tackle from West Georgia was a four-star prospect at defensive end coming out of high school with offers from LSU, Alabama, Nebraska, Mississippi and Tennessee and committed to play for the Vols. Carr ultimately left Tennessee after his sophomore season and landed at a junior college before continuing his career at West Georgia. He had 28 tackles, 5.5 of which were for a loss, and three sacks in 2016.

5. CB Fabian Moreau, West
Moreau recorded 149 tackles during his career at UCLA, 99 of which were solo. He also knocked away 21 passes, recorded three interceptions and forced two fumbles. Going into his sophomore season, his head coach called him a first-round talent, according to NFL.com's draft profile.

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