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It was only a year ago that a lesser known cornerback from Coastal Carolina stood out enough for our Panthers to draft him in the 5th round. In my third and final look at this year's Shrine Bowl prospects, I will share seven of my favorite players, one of which could very well be the Josh Norman of the Panthers' 2013 draft.
2013 East-West Shrine Bowl
Where: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida
When: Saturday, January 19 at 4pm(Est)
Click on the following link to view some first hand insight from Alfie Crow, who takes a look at some more prospects who stood out on Wednesday.
CB Micah Hyde 6'1" 190 lbs Iowa
-1st team All-Big Ten
-3 year starter
-Average speed for a corner
-Exceptional run defender
-Above average instincts and route recognition
-Displays the ability to turn and locate the football in the air
-Excellent length to defend larger receivers
-Better in zone coverage than man coverage
-Could switch to free safety
Hyde has flashed well at times during this week's practice, and so did Josh Norman last year. However, Norman was unable to translate those strong practices into a solid performance on game day. If Hyde can produce a breakout performance on game day, I could see him going as high as the 3rd round. However, if he struggles like Norman did, he might still be available in the 5th, where we should consider taking him.
CB Terry Hawthorne 6'0" 194 lbs Illinois
-Was a Parade and USA Today All-American receiver coming out of high school
-Also had a 44.8 punting average in high school, which speaks to his amazing versatility and athleticism
-All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Senior Season
-Displays outstanding footwork, fluid backpedal, and is able to stay low, which is more difficult for a corner his height
-Very physical corner who isn't afraid to lay the big hit
-Looks to have legitimate 4.4 speed
I absolutely love Hawthorne's game. I personally think he deserved more recognition than honorable mention in the Big Ten this season. I think he has great potential as a lock-down man corner in the NFL, and his size/speed combination has scouts salivating. Unfortunately, we don't have a third round pick(for now), which is where I would be willing to spend a pick on him. Otherwise, if he is still there in the 4th, this pseudo GM might just grab him, unless, of course, a more coveted player is still on the board.
Hawthorne shows his hustle and speed at the beginning of this video, which subsequently led to Illinois making a goal line stand, and ultimately, driving 99 yards for a touchdown .
SS Jhaleel Addae 5'11" 200 lbs Central Michigan
-Thickly built safety who can lay the wood
-Shows great range by making plays all over the field
-3 time All-MAC
Here is another guy that I think translates well to the NFL. So far this week in St. Petersburg, he's shown the same high motor energy he manifested while at Central Michigan. Addae plays with reckless abandon, but it's all poetry in motion from a football perspective. I'd strongly consider Addae in the 5th round, where I think he would be a steal.
SS Cooper Taylor 6'4" 230 lbs Richmond
-Capital One Academic All-American
-Very physical big hitter
Plays a bit upright at times, which is common for a player his height
-Atlanta native, who transferred from Georgia Tech to Richmond after his sophomore season
-Solid closing speed
Cooper will be one of the highest FCS players taken in this draft. Scouts love his intelligence and play-making ability, and so do I. He will likely be gone by the 4th/5th round, but if he is still there, I would select him in a heartbeat.
WR Jasper Collins 5'10 183 lbs Mount Union
-Smooth route runner, in fact, he's one of the best route runners in this draft class
-Excellent quickness and acceleration in and out of breaks
Collins is following in the footsteps of fellow Alums, Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts III. When I watch him on tape, he reminds me of Deshean Jackson, in large part because of his size and versatility as a punt returner. I will be interested to see what Collins can do after he gets in an NFL strength and conditioning program. As it stands, I believe by the end of this weekend, Collins will have moved from UDFA status to 6th and 7th round consideration.
Collins showing his dynamism on a punt return.
WR Keenan Davis 6'2" 215 lbs Iowa
-Nice size and strength combination
-Can high point the football well and has above-average body control
-Soft hands, but occasionally drops a pass here and there
-Average receiver speed and burst, but is still able to gain separation due to his deft route running
-Can run entire route tree
-Tough to tackle
-High character prospect who was able to learn a new and complicated offense quickly
Davis has looked good this week in practice. Although he never put up huge numbers while at Iowa, that may have been influenced by some spotty QB play and an overall lack of opportunity. Davis would be a solid 5th or 6th round pick.
WR Anthony Amos 5'11" 183 lbs Middle Tennessee State
-Former walk-on who earned a scholarship for his senior season
-1st Team All-Sun Belt
-Legendary one handed catch for a TD(see video) in win over Georgia Tech this past season
I had to add Amos not only because he has stood out this week, but because he is from Fayetteville, NC. It is easy to fall in like with Amos simply because of how hard he has worked to get to this point after being a former walk-on at Middle Tennessee State. I believe he is just scratching the surface of what he can become at the next level, but that may take some time. With a nice showing on Saturday, Amos could, like Jasper Collins, move into 6th or 7th round consideration.
Be on the look out next week for my/our coverage of the Senior Bowl, which will be played in Mobile, Alabama(as usual) on Saturday, January 26.
Which of these seven prospects would you most like to see playing for the Panthers in 2013 and beyond?
CB Micah Hyde (39 votes)
CB Terry Hawthorne (44 votes)
SS Jhaleel Addae (27 votes)
SS Cooper Taylor (46 votes)
WR Jasper Collins (18 votes)
WR Keenan Davis (23 votes)
WR Anthony Amos (17 votes)
214 total votes