The Casino Del Sol game will kick off tonight at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN 3. The game, as it’s currently known, is in its second year of existence.
Last season’s contest produced six NFL draft picks, including Gino Gradkowski who was taken 98th overall by the Baltimore Ravens. Sixty-one other players from the contest made their way onto training camp rosters in July.
The 2013 teams look to be the most talented thus far for the game. We’ll take a look at some of the prospects that we will be watching with a careful eye.
Troy Stoudermire I CB I Minnesota I 5-10 I 195
Mr. Versatility. Stoudermire was a receiver turned cornerback. But his primary function at Minnesota was as a returner. It may just be his special teams acumen that has an NFL team take a shot on him. Stoudermire is a technically raw cornerback but there are signs of him being able to contribute at the position. He has excellent ball skills but his awareness leaves a bit to be desired. Stoudermire could use a standout game tonight to draw the attention of NFL scouts.
Aaron Tipoti I DT I Cal I 6-2 I 280
Tipoti didn’t do himself any favors this season. He will play the five-technique in the NFL and already has experience at the position from his days in Clancy Pendergast’s 3-4 defense. Tipoti was hampered by injuries this season and when he played was fairly ineffective. That said, there’s some upside with Tipoti but he will need to show it tonight against a fairly talented East offensive line.
Preston Hadley I CB I BYU I 6-0 I 200
Hadley is nice sized corner with surprising athleticism. He was overshadowed this season by the play of Kyle Van Noy and Ezekiel Ansah which could be good news for scouts. Hadley has the talent to be drafted and could be the first player off the board from the Casino Del Sol game.
Justin Tuggle I OLB I Kansas State I 6-3 I 237
Tuggle was a former Boston College quarterback turned KSU OLB. Tuggle is the son of Jessie Tuggle, five time Pro Bowl linebacker. Tuggle was the top dual threat QB coming out of high school. Tuggle proved this season that he has the goods to make an impact as a pass rusher at the next level. He will need to show well throughout the pre-draft process as he only has one year of tape playing linebacker.
Larry Black Jr. I DT I Indiana I 6-2 I 294
Black is officially one of my sleepers for the 2013 NFL Draft. He jumps off the tape in every game you watch. The problem is that he’s a flash player that just doesn’t have the size to impact at the point of attack on a consistent basis. His first step quickness is off the charts and is a constant disruption in the backfield. Black has a future as a penetrating 3T in the NFL.
Terence Garvin I OLB I West Virginia I 6-2 I 221
Garvin spent two seasons as a starter at the spur safety spot for WVU and made the switch to star linebacker this season. He was hampered early on by offseason knee surgery but progressed well as the season wore on. Garvin has an enormous amount of physical talent but will have to make the transition to an NFL scheme after spending his WVU days in the 3-3-5.
Austin Holtz I OT/OG I Ball State I 6-5 I 300
Holtz was a standout tackle at Ball State but may be making the transition inside at the next level. He was a first-team All MAC performer this season and has the skill set to be an effective guard in the NFL. Holtz looks like he will play tackle tonight but his future is on the inside. He’s a heavy handed athlete that struggles with edge speed.
Mike Shanahan I WR I Pitt I 6-5 I 228
Shanahan could be another player headed for a position change at the next level. He was used primarily as a big receiver at Pitt. It’s likely that NFL teams may eye Shanahan as a flex TE. He possesses tight end size but lacks in-line abilities. Teams may like his ability as a possession receiver as well. He uses his body well to control position and has very reliable hands.
Roderick Tomlin I OT I Murray State I 6-5 I 300
I stumbled upon Tomlin while checking out Casey Brockman, the Racers star QB. Tomlin has made 41 career starts between right and left tackle. He was a major component to one of the top scoring offenses in the FCS. He won’t be a guy that teams will pony up a draft pick for, but he could be a solid camp invite that sticks on a practice squad.