2020 East/West Shrine Game Preview: Offensive Line

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We are a little over a week away from the postseason all-star game circuit. It all starts with the annual East/West Shrine Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

In years past, there have been a plethora of players to participate in the event. Last year alone, Cole Holcomb and Jimmy Moreland were two of the more noteworthy names that went on to have success at the next level. Who can have a similar trajectory? We, at TDN, will give you everything you need to know for the Shrine Bowl, starting with a preview of the offensive linemen participating in the event. 

It’s an intriguing group full of players that have the potential to be selected from the second-round and onward in April’s draft.

Here's a full list of every offensive line prospect scheduled to participate:

  • Jake Benzinger, Wake Forest
  • Branden Bowen, Ohio State
  • Cohl Cabral, Arizona State
  • Gage Cervenka, Clemson
  • Cameron Clark, Charlotte
  • Daishawn Dixon, San Diego State
  • Kevin Dotson, Louisana
  • Jack Driscoll, Auburn
  • Yasir Durant, Missouri 
  • Jake Fruhmorgen, Baylor
  • Alex Givens, Mississippi
  • Steven Gonzalez, Penn State
  • Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
  • Charlie Heck, North Carolina
  • Tyler Higby, Michigan State
  • Jared Hilbers, Washington
  • Cordel Iwuagwu, TCU
  • Luke Juriga, Western Michigan
  • Evin Ksiezarczyk, Buffalo
  • Frederick Mauigoa, Washington State
  • Kyle Murphy, Rhode Island
  • Carter O'Donnell, Alberta
  • Michael Onwenu, Michigan
  • Darrin Paulo, Utah
  • John Phillips, Boston College
  • Sean Pollard, Clemson
  • Drew Richmond, USC
  • Jon Runyan, Michigan
  • Zach Shackelford, Texas
  • Tre'Vour Simms, Missouri
  • Simon Stepaniak, Indiana
  • Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon
  • Darryl Williams, Mississippi State
  • Matt Womack, Alabama

Top Talent: Darryl Williams, Mississippi State

After Elgton Jenkins’s successful rookie season with the Green Bay Packers, teams are beating down the doors down to see the talent in Starkville, Mississippi. Over the past few seasons, there have been a number of prospects who have gone on to experience success at the next level. Darryl Williams is the next in line of a long lineage of Bulldogs. He has a skill set that is very similar to Jenkins and isn't a mauler or player that will blow defenders off of the ball with force. Rather, Williams stays in front of his assignment and just gets the job done. There's rarely ever a time that he's beaten cleanly, and that type of playing style translates well to the next level. Many eyes will be on him throughout the week of practice.

Most Potential: Cameron Clark, Charlotte

Edge rusher Alex Highsmith and running back Benny Lemay are the most notable names from Charlotte. Both are also playing in the Shrine Game, but the least talked about prospect from the bunch has been left tackle Cameron Clark. The anchor of the 49ers offensive line played in a school-record 48 career games with 33 starts. Clark is a wide-bodied but nimble offensive tackle who possesses quick feet for a man on the perimeter. His game earlier in the season against Clemson was one of his better performances of the year. In that matchup against a top-ranked opponent, he stymied the Tigers throughout the entirety of the game in pass protection and generated plenty of movement as a run blocker.

Late Round Steal: Kyle Murphy, Rhode Island

After starting his career at left guard, Kyle Murphy has gained experience at both tackle spots. During the 2019 season, Murphy went on to start all 11 games at left tackle, but an ankle injury sidelined him for the final two contests. His future home may come along the interior. Murphy’s athleticism, nastiness and high football IQ pop off the screen quickly, but what NFL teams will like the most is his versatility and ability to fill in at any spot while not losing playing speed or operating levels. Murphy could prove to be a depth piece early on in his career, but as he continues to develop, he will likely turn into an integral part of a team’s offensive front after a few years.

Most To Prove: Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon

Calvin Throckmorton is a four-year starter who has manned many positions up front for Oregon’s offensive line. He started in all 52 games of his career logging snaps at right tackle, left tackle, center and right guard. He is as reliable as they come and only allowed one sack through in his final three years. Despite his impressive resume, it may come as a slight that he's only playing in this game and didn't receive an invitation to the Senior Bowl. As a result, though he's proven plenty during his collegiate career, Throckmorton has a lot to prove to evaluators.