The Minnesota Vikings recently announced that defensive coordinator George Edwards will coach in the annual East-West Shrine Game.
The season may be over for the Minnesota Vikings, but for the front office and coaching staff, much of the work is just beginning. In the next several months leading up to the draft, the Vikings will have their hands full researching and evaluating hundreds of draft-eligible prospects.
Fortunately, it appears that the Vikings will have a leg up in the draft preparation process. Defensive coordinator George Edwards will coach the West team at the annual East-West Shrine Game.
For those unfamiliar with the Shrine Game, it’s an annual event that features some of the best under-the-radar prospects in the upcoming draft. While it doesn’t have the star power of the Senior Bowl, the Shrine Game features many underrated players and small-school prospects that might otherwise be overlooked.
In general, Shrine Bowl participants tend to be mid-to-late round selections in the draft or undrafted free agents. Given the fact that the Vikings traded away their first-round pick for this year, hitting on prospects in the later rounds will be key.
With the Edwards getting an up close and personal look at the prospects in this game, the Vikings should be able to zero in on some players to target.
Aug 1, 2016; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards talks with players during drills at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
While these prospects usually don’t hear their names called right away in the draft, that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been some incredible talent to come out of the Shrine Game.
Tom Brady, Josh Norman, Kam Chancellor, Emmanuel Sanders, and Joe Flacco are just a few examples of recent alumni from the game. On average, over 265 Shrine Game alumni make NFL rosters each year, according to the game’s official website.
The game should be an excellent opportunity for Edwards and the Vikings to scout the next wave of NFL players. To take a look at the rosters, go to shrinegame.com.