ST. PETERSBURG - The East team in the 2013 East-West Shrine Game took the field at Shorecrest Prep in full pads for their third day of practice. I spent the first part of practice focusing on the offensive and defensive lines while head coach Jerry Glanville had his guys going through pass rushing drills. There was some up and down play across both sides of the line, but two players in particular stood out to me.
Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: The small school left tackle looked fluid in his kick step much of the day and didn't allow defenders to get into his body. He seemed to show adequate strength when defensive ends tried to bull rush him and was able to fan some of the pass rushers wide in drills. I don't know if Armstead will be a starting left tackle in the NFL, but for teams looking for a swing tackle he could be a very interesting player. Armstead might be a candidate to kick inside and work as a pulling guard as well.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina: The "other" defensive end for the Gamecocks, often overshadowed by Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney had a nice day of practice. The first thing you notice with Taylor is he's enormous at 6'8" and almost 270 pounds. He was once "the guy" at end for South Carolina, but kind of fell through the wayside. In one-on-one drills Taylor overpowered a lot of the tackles, including flat out throwing one to the ground on the drill. Taylor is a bit stiff in his hips and doesn't seem to have that bend you look for in an end, but if he shows he's strong enough might interest teams as a strongside end at the NFL level.
Trent Steelman, WR/RB, Army: The former Army quarterback looked much better than I anticipated making the switch to wide receiver. He was quick in and out of his cuts and showed no fear catching the ball over the middle. Steelman did a surprisingly good job catching the football with his hands as well. He obviously needs a lot of refinement, but you can tell he's a "football player" to put it as a cliche. Steelman has run some wildcat, thrown a couple halfback passes, and even lined up as long snapper for the East team. He drew a lot of interest from scouts after practice as well.
Trey Wilson, CB, Vanderbilt: The SEC corner had an up and down day, but the biggest thing I noticed is he seemed to take to coaching willingly and apply what he was being taught quickly. Wilson messed up his coverage on one play, the coach explained to him what he should have done, and then a few plays later applied what he was taught and nearly picked the football off.
Lucas Reed, TE, New Mexico: Reed is an interesting tight end to watch and gets down the field well. He catches the ball well and can get open, but he leaves a bit to be desired in the blocking department, especially in-line. He could be a candidate to be a joker or move-tight end that a lot of NFL teams have been looking for. He also offers a big target for quarterbacks at 6'6".
Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh: The Panthers running back is clearly the best back in St. Petersburg and continues to play well each day. Graham's career at Pitt was up and down but he looks like he can contribute to an NFL team right away as at least a third-down or change of pace back. He routinely pulls away from defenders and gets down the football field.
Emory Blake, WR, Auburn: Blake continues to have solid practices, showing why he was one of Cam Newton's favorite targets during their time together at Auburn. Blake runs very nice routes and utilizes head fakes to get open down the field and gain separation. He's been one of the better overall wide receivers I've seen thus far.