College Gridiron Showcase Recap – Sports Illustrated

After news broke that the NFL combine was going to be canceled this season, college football players looking for places to showcase their talent had to find a spot to do just that. Prospects have had the ability to join bowl games like the Senior Bowl, Hula Bowl, Tropical Bowl and more that are dedicated to giving the NFL, CFL and other scouts a chance to evaluate them.
The pandemic has certainly affected the draft process and everything that comes with it. The College Gridiron Showcase has once again been a fulfilling event that has allowed college prospects to be evaluated by NFL scouts. It was founded in 2015 and was the first college football all-star event to carry an OTA-style format for eligible NFL Draft prospects. Not only does the CGS get prospects ready for the draft, it prepares them for their first few months of NFL life, as most OTA’s are just a month after the draft.
Inside the League president Neil Stratton serves on the advisory board for the CGS event. The pandemic put a lot of strain on setting the event up, but that didn’t affect the way it went. We asked Neil about the event and the atmosphere surrounding it. He said, “These days, it’s natural to have questions about how an event that attracts hundreds of people from all over the country will be received, but I think we were all pleasantly surprised.”
The turnout was a big reason for the event’s success. Stratton said, “We had more than 100 NFL scouts and hundreds of players, along with untold agents and staff members, but I think everything went perfectly. We made a lot of concessions to the virus, and hopefully, we won’t have to next year, but I think everyone agreed we were responsible and provided an invaluable platform, especially given that there’s no combine and pro days are uncertain for so many schools.”
Let’s take a look at the offensive weigh-in results at the CGS and some players that stood out. For more information on the CGS, CLICK HERE
6003ft, 220lbs, 8 7⁄8 hand, 32 3⁄8 Arm, 76 6/8 Wingspan
As one of the smaller school players at the CGS, it was an important week for McCrary to showcase his talents to NFL scouts after not having a season in 2020. He is a speedy running back that can put his shoulder down and run through someone. He rushed for 1060 yards and 10 touchdowns in the 2019 season.
5095ft, 225lbs, 9 3⁄8’ Hand, 32 3⁄8’ Arm, 75 6/8’ Wingspan
The Ball State backer was arguably one of the best offensive players in the MAC in 2020. He rushed for 437 and six touchdowns in just three games, which is a lot of production for such low volume. His big lower body matched with his quick cuts and great vision will have NFL teams excited to draft him in the mid-rounds.
5104ft, 204lbs, 9’ Hand, 30 2/8’ Arm, 72 4/8’ Wingspan
One of the more notable names at the CGS, Funk had a big season in 2020 after an ACL tear in 2019. He rushed for 516 yards and three touchdowns in only four 2020 Big Ten games. The most impressive part of Funk’s game is his ability to move in space. He is tough to tackle in the open field and is willing to lower his shoulder. He’s a name to watch on day two or three of the 2021 NFL Draft.
6032ft, 217lbs, 9 6/8 Hand, 33 6/8 Arm, 79’ Wingspan
There is no question that Tarik Black has the prototypical size for an NFL wide receiver. After a transfer out of Michigan for the 2020 season, Black ended up at Texas where he had only 10 receptions and 240 yards. He struggled with injuries for much of his career, which in turn hurt his production at both Texas and Michigan. It was clear that he was not a good fit in that Longhorn offense, but expect NFL teams to take a chance on him as a possible undrafted free agent. He has traits like agility and speed that some teams will certainly bet on.
6017ft, 216lbs, 9’ Hand, 31’ Arm, 74 2/8’ Wingspan
After a transfer from Indiana, Northwestern QB Peyton Ramsey was arguably a top 5 QB in the Big Ten in 2020. He showed a ton of mobility in the pocket with decent arm strength as well. His accuracy was also impressive with a 61.0% completion percentage. He’s a name to look for on Day 3 of the Draft as a potential sixth or seventh-round pick.
6076ft, 335lbs, 10 7⁄8 Hand, 88 6/8 Wingspan, Arm Length 37’
As an SEC stand out this season, Eiland is a big-bodied offensive tackle that is sure to turn some heads at the CGS this week. His size may be impressive but he is also technically gifted. He provides the perfect amount of nastiness that you want to see in an NFL offensive lineman as well.
6046ft, 256lbs, 10’ Hand, 34 6/8’ Arm, 84 2/8 Wingspan
After a shortened season, there’s a chance that Harrington may go undrafted, but he will certainly be a hot commodity on the free-agent side of things. He’s a big-bodied pass catcher that can block extremely well. His big hands and arms will be valuable at the next level when blocking defensive ends. He’s a name to watch for as the NFL Draft creeps up.
6065ft, 248lbs, 9 1⁄2’ Hand, 32’ Arm, 77’ Wingspan
It’s not very often that a starting tight end is also the team’s punter, but it’s true in Davidson’s case. He was a premier pass catcher for the Mules, with 40 receptions and 15 touchdowns in the 2019 campaign. He also averaged over 20 yards a catch, which is rare for a tight end. Many scouts project him to be a late-round draft pick, as his size and production are impressive and something an NFL team can build on. 

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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