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2022 East-West Shrine Game Preview

Take a look at the MWC players participating this week.

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Fresno State Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 college football season is over, but post-season bowls will be occurring over the next few weeks. Mountain West alums are taking part in the Tropical Bowl, the Hula Bowl, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl the East-West Shrine Game, and the Senior Bowl. This post will focus on the Shrine Game.

These events are used primarily as camps with a game at the end. Invited players get officially measured and weighed upon checking in. Then, there are a few days of practice with NFL coaches. The practice time for players is really at the heart of these events.

This is due to the time players and coaches can spend together honing their craft collaboratively. It gives the players a chance to be looked at by coaches who know the NFL game. What better way to understand where and how to improve than to hear it from the source. Receiving this feedback can give the players an edge as they head into their training for the NFL Combine or their respective Pro-day.

Finally, and somewhat related, this gives players a chance to stand out. If a player was overshadowed on his team by other talented individuals, wasn’t featured in his offense, or in the case of those in this article, playing in a Group of 5 conference, they have the opportunity to open the eyes of the coaches with their play and jump onto the radar before draft time. While the combine and pro-days are also good opportunities for this, the more chances of coaches seeing one play and compete, the better position they put themselves in.

This year, there are four players from the Mountain West is participating in the Shrine Game. Below we will provide a brief description of each player and illustrate what kind of showing they need to improve their draft stock.

A note about this year’s game:

East/West Shrine Game Schedule (all times Pacific):

Friday, January 28

  • 12:00-1:00PM Shrine Bowl Press Conference
  • 1:30-5:30PM Media Access to Players

Saturday, January 29

  • 7:30-8:15AM Media Access to Practice
  • 8:15-9:45AM East Team Practice
  • 10:00-11:30AM West Team Practice
  • 12:00-12:30PM Shrine Bowl Post-Practice Press Conference
  • 2:00-5:00PM Media Access to Players

Sunday, January 30

  • 7:30-8:15AM Media Access to Practice
  • 8:15-9:45AM West Team Practice
  • 10:00-11:30AM East Team Practice
  • 12:00-12:30PM Shrine Bowl Post-Practice Press Conference
  • 2:00-5:00PM Media Access to Players

Monday, January 31

  • 7:30-8:00AM Media Access to Practice
  • 8:00-9:30AM East Team Practice
  • 10:00-11:30AM West Team Practice
  • 12:00-12:30PM Shrine Bowl Post-Practice Press Conference
  • 1:00-4:00PM Media Access to Players

Tuesday, February 1

  • 7:30-8:00AM Media Access to Practice
  • 8:00-9:30AM West Team Practice
  • 10:00-11:30AM East Team Practice
  • 1:00-4:00PM Media Access to Players

Wednesday, February 2

  • 10:00-12:00AM Media Day featuring Shriners Children’s Patients:
  • 6:00-9:00PM Hall of Fame Banquet:

Thursday, February 3

  • 5:00-8:00PM 97th East-West Shrine Bowl: Allegiant Stadium: NFL Network

The Players:

P Ryan Stonehouse (Colorado State)

Provided by Lute Moss

Stonehouse is as good as they get in the punting game. Unless you play in the Mountain West there’s a guy over at SDSU that had arguably the best punting season in the history of college football. But don’t overlook Ryan Stonehouse. While Matt Araiza for SDSU had the highest punt average in the nation, Stonehouse came in at a close second trailing by only .28 average yards per punt. He’s also a master at the coffin corner and putting the ball within the 10 yard line. Punters usually don’t get drafted, but Stonehouse could very well sign on as a free agent somewhere and be a solid punter for an NFL franchise for a long time.

RB Calvin Turner (Hawaii)

Provided by Jeremy

One of the most versatile players in Hawaii football history, Turner Jr. played wide receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback, and returned kicks and punts for the Warriors. In the past, Turner’s size might’ve scared teams off at 5’11” 195 lbs, but in an era where Tyreek Hill, Diontae Johnson, Marquise Brown types have a role in offenses, Turner Jr. can catch on somewhere. He is shifty, and has top-end speed to pull away from defenders. Needs to clean up the fumbling issues, but overall Turner Jr. can help at both running back and wide receiver. He can help his draft stock by showing being sure handed and catching every catchable pass that comes his way.

OL Zach Thomas (San Diego State)

Provided by Tyler

The 6’5, 300lb lineman is part of an offense that had the third-best run game in the Mountain West, averaging 174.9 yards per game and over 5 yards per play (5.1) this season. Thomas is a versatile lineman as he played both right and left tackle throughout his career at SDSU and specializes in run blocking. His size and quickness are eye-catching and can be a solid asset to any offensive line. To improve draft stock, he will have to be stronger with opponent’s pass rush and make decisions on when and where to help others. Showing balance and overall strength will be key in proving he is NFL-ready.

OL Jack Synder (SJSU)

Provided by Vic

Snyder’s size, talent, body of work and persona will put him on many NFL teams’ radars. Prototypical in the physical sense, Snyder is agile laterally and in space. As an ironman starter for the Spartans, he played a school-record 57 games and garnered second-team, first-team and honorable-mention the last three years, respectively. Snyder can adjust and track well in pass protection and run sets. He’ll need to reach the next-level of strength to realize his potential and he can certainly get there. So, it’s not a stretch to see him as a perennial future starter. What makes Snyder that much more appealing is everything he is in a cerebral sense. Snyder’s business administration major, master’s degree pursuit and dean’s list and scholar-athlete recognition only says there’s a lot upstairs to help handle the mental rigors of the NFL.

TE Derrick Deese Jr (SJSU)

Provided by Vic

Baseline for Deese: great hands, deceivingly good speed and senses and anticipates space well. He’s a smooth operator, especially in high pressure situations. He was a go-to commodity for SJSU in many key moments in each of his two seasons. It will really depend on his pre-draft testing where he can be a potential late round pick, but UDFA seems more likely. Deese also not only has enough physical tools for further upside, but he also comes from pedigree NFL stock in his father Derrick Deese Sr. Deese Sr. was an All-Pro tackle with the 49ers (1992-2005, primarily with the Niners). It’s all a good beneficial intangible for Deese Jr. Overall, Deese would be a great “low-risk, high reward” bet. He’s grade-A coachable and can complement many NFL-level passing schemes.

Note: The weaknesses or questions describing each player below aren’t necessarily the views of the contributors or site, but rather what could be questions or concerns NFL scouts or talent-elevators or the media have about them, which are still worth discussing as they can have ramifications.