2023 NFL Draft: 5 Players to Watch in Shrine Bowl
Every team has a very intriguing quarterback, and this game can do a lot to prove they belong in the NFL. It’s also a great example of the two types of prospects I talked about above because these players have a lot to prove, and for very different reasons.
In the East you have Aidan O’Connell from Purdue. O’Connell was easily coming off his best season in 2021, and expectations were high. Unfortunately, he had an extremely inconsistent year which saw his stats drop from the previous season. His completion percentage dropped nearly ten percent, his touchdowns also went down, and his turnovers went up. It was a drastically different feel to his junior season and it was shocking to see.
This year was a great opportunity for him to become QB1 in this draft class as the whole position was pretty wide open for most of the year so his stat drop really hurt him. If he can perform this week at the level expected of him, he can put his name in the mix as a very good mid-round quarterback pick.
In the west is UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a quarterback entering the game at the other end of the plot spectrum. He’s easily coming off the best season of his college career and his excitement level is very high. What he showed during the season made everyone realize how dangerous his skills are, both in the air and on the ground. This being the high point of his career, leaves a lot of questions yet to be answered, so playing this game could propel him even further.
Right now, however, he would be a perfect replacement for teams like Arizona or Philadelphia, which already have quarterbacks with the same skills.