Thursday is the last day of practice before Saturday's East-West Shrine Game, and several NFL Draft hopefuls have raised their stock before the big day. It is unusual to see too many Ivy League players at the next level, but there is at least one player from a brainiac school that could be making waves this weekend, according to the National Football Post's practice report.
That player is Mike Catapano, a 6'3, 270-pound defensive end out of Princeton:
Able to consistently beat the offensive tackle around the corner and inside allowed him to regularly pressure the quarterback in every drill. Not only productive rushing the passer, his ability to defeat run blocks allowed him to make plays against the run at him and away. His strong week of practice has put Catapano in position to be a third round pick if he continues to perform well the rest of the spring.
A big game for Catapano could be the first major stepping stone toward solidifying that third-round status or better.
Another name mentioned for the East defense was 5'11, 195-pound cornerback Brandon McGee out of Miami:
Although a number of cornerbacks came to Tampa viewed as better prospects, McGee clearly had the best week of practice of any cornerback. In every practice his quick feet and agility showed up in his ability to transition and close fast on passes on front of him.
McGee is only rated as the 24th-best cornerback available by NFL Draft Scout as of now, but he has been one of the biggest risers during practice. A big game and a strong showing at the combine could make him one of the best sleepers of the 2013 NFL draft.
The East-West Shrine game is Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. EST in St. Petersburg, Fla.