The West beat the East, 14-10, in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game, an NFL draft prospect showcase in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The game-winning play: a 34-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes from Texas Tech’s Nic Shimonek to Houston’s Steven Dunbar.
The game offered almost nothing in the way of standout offensive performances, including from Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, the highest-profile player in the game. Barrett was 5-of-13 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown for the East.
Barrett’s touchdown pass:
Memphis’ Riley Ferguson split time with him and played much of the middle of the game. Barrett returned at the end of the game but couldn’t lead a comeback drive after Dunbar’s TD.
The West’s quarterbacks were Shimonek, Colorado State’s Nick Stevens, and Sam Houston State’s Jeremiah Briscoe. Nobody on either side was able to move the chains much. Some takeaways from around the draft world, on an NC State defensive end:
Good week and good game for Kentavius Street.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 20, 2018
And a Northern Iowa receiver:
The UNI WR Daurice Fountain really was outstanding this week. NFL size, 6'2" 210 and 34" arms. Supposedly going to be a workout warrior too. Just under 14 YPR career in college #ShrineGame— Justin (@afc2nfc) January 20, 2018
Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay had 12 carries for 51 yards for the West. Oklahoma receiver Jeff Badet led that side with five receptions and had 42 yards. Dunbar, who caught the game-winner, had 52 yards on his three catches.
On the East team, UNI’s Daurice Fountain had a team-high 61 yards receiving on three catches. Old Dominion’s Ray Lawry and South Florida’s D’Ernest Johnson both rushed for over 5 yards per carry, which represented an offensive explosion.
The Shrine Game was also a defensive struggle in 2017, which the West won, 10-3. It turns out it’s hard to run an offense with a bunch of players who’ve never played together before and mostly never will again.
The draft begins April 2. The biggest event on the pre-draft calendar is the league’s scouting combine, beginning Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.