ST. PETERSBURG - The West team in the 2013 East-West Shrine game took the field in shells only, no padded practice on Tuesday afternoon. It wasn't a very uptempo practice for the second day of the week, but there was still competition at certain positions, especially between two of the West team quarterbacks.
Matt Scott, QB, Arizona: Scott displays a good amount of arm strength with by far the best arm of the West roster. While Scott has a big arm and can make all the throws, he is a bit erratic at times, especially on timing routes. Scott seemed to excel however throwing down the sideline, hitting on some deeper routes. The former Arizona quarterback also has some mobility at his disposal, though he hasn't showed it in practice just. With more teams looking to run read-option and pistol formations in their offense, Scott could be an interesting player in the late rounds for a team looking to groom a quarterback for that.
Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan: Carder is the other interesting quarterback at the game that could intrigue a team in the later rounds as a developmental long-term backup type player. Carder seems to be quick with his decisions and gets the ball out relatively quickly. Carder has excellent touch on his throws and is good on the timing routes but struggles to go down the field. He doesn't necessarily have a weak arm, but he labors to hit some of the deeper outs and on downfield throws that need to muscle on them. Carder's best fit is probably in a West Coast offense where he can learn as a backup.
Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse: Thomas is a player I'm going to keep an eye on during the week because I loved watching him during Syracuse games. Unfortunately, outside of his athleticism in individual drills he wasn't really all that noticeable. Guys like Zeke Motta and Duke Williams seemed to be more noticeable.
Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame: Like most of the Notre Dame defenders, Motta's draft stock took a "shock value" hit at the hands of being dominated by Alabama in the BCS National Title game. One thing people need to remember to do however come draft time is to isolate the player, and when you do that there is a lot to like about Zeke Motta. In one-on-one drills, Motta showed a good enough ability to man up with receivers, even muscling away an interception from Keenan Davis after getting inside position. Teams that like to bring their safety up in the box or even man up on a tight end might be interested in a player like Motta.
Keenan Davis, WR, Iowa: The Iowa wide receiver didn't really live up to what most thought he would, but some of that was due to playing with quarterback James Vandenberg, who's quite frankly not any good. Davis however had a nice day of practice and I was told be some others there he had a nice showing on Monday. Davis has good size to play the outside receiver position and adequate speed to get down the field. Davis attacks the ball rather than letting it into his body and tracks it downfield well. Teams looking for a possible third receiver might keep an eye on Davis, especially at his 40-yard dash time.
Keith Pough, LB, Howard: The small school linebacker is a fun player to watch, mainly because he talks the entire time he's on the football field. The first thing you notice with Pough is that he's huge for a linebacker at 6'3 and nearly 240 pounds. I wasn't expecting him to move as well as he did in space, but he looks like a player that could find a role as a strongside linebacker in 4-3 defense. Pough didn't look uncomfortable in coverage and ran downfield well with tight ends.
Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa: The Hawkeye cornerback is an interesting player to watch, because many feel that he can transition to the safety position like some other Iowa corners have done at the next level. In one-on-one drills, Hyde did a nice job in press coverage, turning his hips and running with receivers after the jam. The biggest question for Hyde is his top-end speed, but his best NFL fit might be on the inside as a nickel corner or a third safety.