Texans Draft News: Players Who Stood Out at the Shrine Game & Senior Bowl

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Last Thursday and this weekend checked the box for two events on the scouting list, the East-West Shrine game, and the Senior Bowl. Both games give players a chance to stand out from the field and be broadcast on a national stage. Both events also have the players work with NFL coaching staffs and every year we see players rise up draft boards and improve their stock.

This year the Shrine game was a low-scoring affair, as the West All-Stars defeated the East All-Stars 12-3. All 12 points were scored by West kicker Jake Moody who was also named the Offensive MVP. The Senior Bowl featured much more offense and scoring, as the National team defeated the American team 27-10.

After reviewing the games, several players should be on the Houston Texans’ radar and deserve a deeper look. Whether they are taken as late-round picks, fly up draft boards during the combine and workout phase, or end up being undrafted free agents, they were the standouts of the weekend and should be watched closely.

Shrine Game:

Dante Stills, Defensive Lineman, West Virginia

Stills was a constant presence during the game and flashed throughout the week of practices. Sporting career stats of 137 tackles, 53 TFL, 24.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and an interception, the production playing in the Big-12 is there to back up the talent. He played with a high motor and would plug in nicely as a rotational interior defensive lineman.

Draft Projection: 7th Round

Jose Ramirez, EDGE, Eastern Michigan

Ramirez showed explosiveness and got a strip sack during the game. In three seasons at Eastern Michigan, he produced with 80 tackles, 33 TFL, 20.5 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles. He is raw and will need to develop but an explosive edge rusher would be a great late-round addition.

Draft Projection: 6th Round

Nic Jones, Cornerback, Ball State

The Shrine game couldn’t have gone much better for Jones, as he was one of the best players. He was consistently involved and had a few pass breakups. To top it off, he got a pick in the 4th quarter. He looks like a solid late-round defensive back who can add depth and play in the slot.

Draft Projection: 5th Round

Trey Dean III, Defensive Back, Florida

A corner that made the move to safety, he was a three-year starter at Florida. His play in the Shrine Bowl included an interception and culminated with him being named the Defensive MVP. With a career line of 255 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions, he would complement Jalen Pitre and could push Jonathan Owens at Strong Safety.

Draft Projection: 4th – 5th Round

Jake Moody, Kicker, Michigan

It’s not often that you see a kicker named the MVP of anything. Well, Moody was a perfect 4/4 in the Shrine game, making two kicks from 51 yards out and scoring all his team’s points. In his college career, he was perfect when kicking extra points (148/148) and he sported an 82 FG%. Ka’imi Fairbairn should have the kicking job secured, but it never hurts to have depth and competition, especially during camp.

Draft Projection: Undrafted Free Agent

Senior Bowl:

Evan Hull, Running Back, Northwestern

Easily the best-looking running back in the game. He showed off both power and quickness gaining 74 yards on ten carries. He looked like a great back for Houston to consider pairing with Dameon Pierce.

Draft Projection: 4th – 5th Round

Payne Durham, Tight End, Purdue

The Texans really need to upgrade the tight end position, possibly both in the draft and through free agency. Payne Durham would be an excellent addition, as he is a well-rounded prospect. He showed off his hands at the Senior Bowl and is a capable blocker. He could very well be the safety net for whoever is the starting quarterback next season.

Draft Projection: 3rd Round

Michael Wilson, Wide Receiver, Stanford

The only receiver to really stand out during the Senior Bowl, he finished with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Possessing ideal physical attributes, his biggest downside is that he has been injury prone in his college career.

Draft Projection: 5th Round

Daniel Scott, Safety, Cal

The safety played well and almost made a terrific interception. He broke quickly on a ball in the endzone but just couldn’t get his feet down in bounds. He’s shown a knack for interceptions as he has 7 in his playing time at Cal.

Draft Projection: 6th – 7th Round

Aubrey Miller Jr., Linebacker, Jackson State

Miller was a tackling machine, finishing with seven tackles. He also laid a huge hit on running back Evan Hull which was one of the highlights of the game. A developmental player at the linebacker position.

Draft Projection: 7th Round – Undrafted Free Agent

Jake Haener, Quarterback, Fresno State

The MVP of the Senior Bowl. He was easily the best quarterback of the group, going 12/19 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Regardless if Houston uses the second overall pick on a quarterback or brings in an established veteran, it’s never a bad thing to have depth at the position. The 49ers had it with Brock Purdy, and the Eagles did it by drafting Jalen Hurts while having Wentz.

Draft Projection: 4th – 5th Round

Clayton Tune, Quarterback, Houston

Tune played well, going 9/12 for 70 yards. He showed poise and made smart decisions. The physical upside is there, and he would project well as a draft and stash player. You never can have too much talent at the quarterback position.

Draft Projection: 5th Round

Isaiah Land, Linebacker, Florida A & M

Isaiah Land made the most of his opportunity and got his name out there in the national spotlight. The linebacker finished with 2 tackles, 1.5 TFL, and a sack.

Draft Projection: 6th Round

Anthony Johnson, Cornerback, Virginia

Johnson had one of the highlights of the game with a pick-six. He showed off his instincts and would play well in a zone scheme.

Draft Projection: 4th Round