Mountain West Players Excelling at East-West Shrine Game Practices

One of the last bits of college football is this week with the East-West Shrine game and there are a few Mountain West players that are attempting to improve their draft status.  Utah's David Reed and BYU's Dennis Pitta seem to be doing very well and like by the scouts, as has UNLV's Tevasaeu.

BYU's Max Hall is looking all right but the scouts want to see more out of him.

Chris Thomas S 5-10⅛ 207 Air Force
Max Hall QB 6-0¼ 202 BYU
Jan Jorgensen DE 6-2¼ 260 BYU
Dennis Pitta TE 6-4⅛ 245 BYU
Klint Kubiak S 6-0½ 204 Colorado State
Cole Pemberton OT 6-6⅞ 318 Colorado State
Shelley Smith OG 6-2½ 301 Colorado State
Marshall Newhouse OT 6-3⅛ 326 TCU
David Reed WR 6-0¼ 188 Utah
Robert Johnson S 6-2⅛ 197 Utah
Stevenson Sylvester OLB 6-2 225 Utah
Jason Beauchamp OLB 6-2⅝ 243 UNLV
Martin Tevaseu DT 6-1¼ 329 UNLV

 

Expected to Play:

TE Dennis Pitta, BYU
Pitta's lack of elite speed likely will keep him out of the first two rounds of the draft, but his uncanny route-running instincts and reliable hands will get him drafted shortly thereafter. Pitta can help his draft stock this week by proving he's a capable inline blocker versus tougher competition.

Something to prove:

OT Zane Beadles, Utah
Although Beadles possesses brute strength and is an effective inline blocker, scouts are concerned about whether he has the athleticism and foot quickness to be a tackle. How Beadles holds up protecting the edge this week could very well determine whether he will remain at tackle or project as a guard at the next level.

Day one practice notes:

BYU TE Dennis Pitta wasted little time in showing why he has the potential to quickly develop into a productive receiver at the NFL level. He used his hands to get a clean release off the line, showed above-average burst, caught the ball in stride and looked smooth turning upfield after the catch during the team period.

BYU QB Max Hall headlines the crop of West quarterbacks and turned in a solid first day. He is accurate when he throws in rhythm and has an above-average sense of timing. It comes as no surprise that he hooked up with former teammate Pitta on a corner route during the team period. He did a nice job of anticipating Pitta's break and allowed him to catch the ball in stride. Hall appears to lack ideal overall arm strength, which brings up concerns about his ability to push the ball downfield.

Day two practice notes

DL Martin Tevaseu, UNLV
Hard to believe the 6-2, 340-pound Tevaseu could go unnoticed, but he was being overshadowed by some other players until today. He's stout against the run and does a good job of extending his arms and getting a good push. On inside run period, he got underneath Washington State OL Kenny Alfred and walked him 3 yards backward. He is raw as a pass-rusher, but he can collapse the pocket. He's a little too big right now and he'll need to lose a few pounds or conditioning will be an issue, but he has the tools to be an excellent 2-gap defender.

He is a squatty guy who has a really thick build. The 6-2, 340-pounder was tough to get movement on and anchors well. While he doesn't have elite foot quickness, he has enough quickness to make plays. He uses his hands well and right now he is really tough to block. He's a two-game guy worth keeping an eye on.

WR David Reed, Utah
No other receiver has helped his stock as much as Reed so far. He made a big impression early when he caught a pass over the middle, was leveled by Oregon State OLB Keaton Kristick, held on to the ball and popped up off the ground. He continued to play well, showing great suddenness in his routes and attacking the ball with his hands instead of letting it to get to his frame.

TE Dennis Pitta, BYU
Pitta could emerge as the top player drafted from this year's East-West Shrine Game. He is a bit lean, has room to improve as a blocker and lacks elite top-end speed. Still, his separation skills as a route runner are uncanny and he is a vacuum when the ball is in the air. There will be a handful of tight ends at the combine who look better than Pitta at the weigh-in, run faster than Pitta in the 40-yard dash and jump higher than Pitta in the vertical. But the team willing to ignore the measurables and take a chance on the Pitta in the late-second to early-third round range will eventually be rewarded.

Day three practice notes

Coach's pets
Kennan McCardell, a 16-year NFL veteran whose coaching the WRs this week, apparently has taken a liking to Utah's David Reed and SMU's Emmanuel Sanders. Both Reed (6-feet, 190 pounds) and Samuel (6-feet, 183 pounds) are smaller receivers, like McCardell was when he played. He's been giving them little tips like using their elbows to push off a bit instead of sticking their arms out where the ref could see it. He's showing them how to get off the ball, and off coverage, little things that smaller receivers can do to be successful.

And one other note, as good as Reed was yesterday is how good Samuel is playing today. They are stealing the show here. Both guys are quick and both have good hands, but Samuel is the quicker of the two, while Reed has the better, stronger hands.

UNLV LB Jason Beauchamp lacks a little on the instinct front. He is a bit late filling downhill. By not filling in time, he's making the tackle 4- or 5-yards downfield.

Colorado State OT Cole Pemberton did a nice job of locking out Kansas State DT Jeff Fitzgerald. Pemberton better be careful with his hands though and keep them inside the DE because he could have been flagged for holding there. We like his upper body strength and ability to lock on the defender, but he has to watch his hands.

BYU QB Max Hall: He needs to show something. The third practice is usually when the most team drills are done and this is where he needs to excel.

Utah WR David Reed: Just can't get enough of him and want to see if he keeps up his great play.

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