Last Saturday, some of the nation’s top seniors took part in the East-West Shrine Game, the penultimate college All-Star game of the draft season. Many NFL scouts attend the game, as upperclassman get one of their final chances to show their skills in in-game action. The West came out on top by the score of 14-10 in a defensive battle. As a result, many of the game’s breakout performances came on the defensive side of the ball.
As the Vikings look to reload through the draft, there are key positions that they should be looking to bolster. Despite last week’s heartbreaking loss, they still have one of the better rosters in all of football. But even the most stacked of units could still use improving, and the Vikings are no exception.
Here are a few standouts from the East-West shrine game at positions of interest for the Vikings.
Abdullah Anderson, DT, Bucknell
Anderson is a pass-rushing defensive tackle with good size at 6-foot-4 and almost 300 pounds. With Tom Johnson likely leaving in free agency, the Vikings could use a pass-rushing tackle next to Linval Joseph. Anderson showed off his good hand-fighting skills in the Shrine Game, recording a strip sack. However, his greatest feature is his tremendous jump off the ball, as seen in the below video. Though he played at a smaller school, Anderson is beginning to get eyes from the league and could be a late-round pick.
#40 is Bucknell DT Abdullah Anderson.Not listed 6-4, 295 but quick off snap. Consistently wins gap, also gets under OL pads for leverage. pic.twitter.com/iC3a7lXVzz
— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) December 4, 2017
Justin Lawler, DE, SMU
Lawler is just a wreaker of havoc. Though his SMU teams have been middling throughout his career, Lawler has found a way to stand out. He led the team in sacks with 9.5 in 13 games in 2017 and added another in the Shrine Game. He can use an array of pass rush techniques, can shed blocks in the run game and even drop into coverage on occasion. Simply put, Lawler does not like to be blocked.
Justin Lawler Sack pic.twitter.com/nWWDssAhBq
— Steelers Depot 🏆👑 (@Steelersdepot) January 20, 2018
Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa
Fountain took home offensive MVP honors for his performance in the Shrine Game. He recorded three catches for 61 yards as well as 40 punt return yards in the game. With Marcus Sherels getting older and coming off a relatively lackluster season, Fountain could be in the running to take over return duties. Plus, Fountain has the size and strength at 6-foot-2, 210 to be a difference maker in the passing game sooner rather than later, though he did drop a pass in the Shrine Game.
— UNI Football (@UNIFootball) January 20, 2018
Jacob Alsadek, OG, Arizona
Alsadek has tackle size at 6-foot-7, 325 pounds and tackle technique as a pass-protector. However, he will enter the draft as a guard, by all indications. As a run-blocker, he is good at getting to the second level and frequently gets a strong push up front. However, at times, he gets too far out over his feet, allowing defenders to shed his blocks. For the most part, he excelled against fellow seniors in the Shrine Game, as his length and balance were too much for most pass-rushers.
Folorunso Fatukasi, DT, Connecticut
Fatukasi is another pass-rushing tackle with great size and incredible burst. He has tremendous speed for a man his size, and uses it to scoot around slower guards with ease. Though he did not record a sack in the Shrine Game, he was a frequent disruptor, constantly in the backfield. His performance last week may have propelled Fatukasi into the third or fourth round range.
— Top Pick Scouting (@TopPickScouting) June 5, 2016
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