All-Star Games Set For Saturday

For any fans that have access to the NFL Network and the new NBC Sports Network, they can get a jump on the 2012 NFL Draft by watching a pair of post-season all-star games on Saturday.

At 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon on the NFL Network is the East-West Shrine Game, the granddaddy of all-star affairs. It’s being played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

At 5 o’clock Saturday on the NBC Sports Network (used to be Versus) is the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl from Carson, California. This is a first-year game begun by the NFL players union. Coaching one of the teams there will be former Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil. The other head coach is former Raiders head coach and Chiefs QB Tom Flores.

And there are a host of former Chiefs players and coaches taking part in the NFLPA game and serving on the staffs of Vermeil and Flores: Martin Bayless, Billy Long, Steve Ortmayer, Tony Richardson, John Bunting, Ray Crockett, Carl Hairston, Eric Hicks, Priest Holmes, Terry Shea, Bob Saunders and Will Shields.

When it comes to draftable players, the Shrine Game has it all over the NFLPA game. Here are the rosters that will play in St. Petersburg and here’s the link to rosters for the teams that will play in Carson.

Among the local schools there are four players participating in the Shrine Game and two in the NFLPA game. Here’s a look at those players:


  • Defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton, 6-5, 305 pounds, Missouri

The Texas native turned in his best season at Mizzou in 2011, finishing with 56 total tackles, 7 TFL and 3 sacks. He missed spring ball ’11 rehabbing a broken foot he suffered in the second half of the 2010 season. Over the last four years for Gary Pinkel, Hamilton played in 46 games with 32 starts at DT with 104 total tackles, 10.5 TFL and 4 sacks. Back in December, he earned his bachelor’s degree. His long arms allow him leverage at the line of scrimmage and he did a very good job of playing against the run, while he needs work on his pass rushing skills. Hamilton’s physique and skills will fit into the 3-4 or 4-3 defense, increasing his draft day value.

  • Safety Tysyn Hartman, 6-2 ½, 201 pounds, Kansas State

The Hays native arrived in Manhattan as a quarterback but moved to the secondary in 2008 and quickly became the starting free safety in the K-State defense. He ended up playing 50 games with 45 starts on the back line. Hartman had 258 total tackles with 10 interceptions. He was elected team captain in 2010 and 2011, and was named Academic All-America in the ’11 season. He’s not particularly fast, but his smarts get him into position more often than not.

  • Linebacker Steven Johnson, 6-1, 237 pounds, Kansas

The Jayhawks linebacker out of Pennsylvania led the Big 12 Conference in tackles with 124 in 12 games. Johnson had 66 solo tackles, 6 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception. Not bad for a walk-on who rose to the status of team captain.

  • Kicker Greg Zuerlein, 6-0, 190 pounds, Missouri Western

He was a first-team Division II All-America kicker for his performance in the 2011 season with the Golden Griffons. Zuerlein broke an NCAA record with 21 straight FGs, nine of them at 50 yards or more. He was 23 and 24 overall on FGs. He was 38 of 40 on PAT kicks. He started his college career at Nebraska-Omaha but the school dropped football after the 2010 season and he had one more year of eligibility. Zuerlein accuracy and leg strength could make him the first kicker selected in the 2012 NFL Draft.

NFLPA All-Star Game

  • Right tackle Dan Hoch, 6-7, 321 pounds, Missouri

A three-year starter for Mizzou, he became the first true freshman to get any playing time along the offensive line in the Gary Pinkel Era. Hoch earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in both 2010 and 2011 and started 39 games at right tackle. The Iowa native earned his bachelor’s degree in December ’11.

  • Right guard Austin Wuebbles, 6-4, 290, Missouri

The Troy, Illinois product started 39 games for the Tigers first at left guard and then the last two years at right guard. Wuebbles earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing back in May ’11 and he was named to the first-team All-Big 12 Academic squad in each of the last four years.

5 Responses to “All-Star Games Set For Saturday”

  • January 21, 2012  - Chuck says:

    Would dearly love to hear from you guys as to what “position” we will select with our first round pick??? I bet if Pioli gets the chance he will try to trade down. That seems to be his mantra. Iam not a believer at all in the theory that more lower picks is better. I actually believe in the other way around.

  • January 21, 2012  - el cid says:

    Enjoy the games but do not fall in love this one kid in one game. It is the entire history that counts. Remember T. Jenkins and Savii, both cases coaches just “had” to have them based on seeing them in post season.

    To trade down you need a partner. More likely Pioli will get the player he values. I lean toward ALA RB Richardson. But OL would be ok, not so interested in a G with first pick, maybe a T.

  • January 21, 2012  - David says:

    I can see the wisdom of either holding onto your scheduled picks or trading down. To me, you hang on to your picks if you have a roster that is pretty well loaded with talent. Stand firm and take the best available with your selection. Of course only a few top echelon teams ever fit that description.

    If a team is like most, with a goodly number a pressing needs, I like the idea of sliding back a few spots and getting another pick (at least if the pick is third round or higher).

    Look at last year. We only had to drop back from the 21st to 27th slot in round one to get Cleveland’s #6 pick in round three. By all accounts, we still drafted the first rounder we wanted (Baldwin) and we pick up a hell of a bonus with the third rounder (Houston).

    Do that enough and you soon become a playoff regular.

  • January 21, 2012  - Niblick says:

    David- Good post with the fact we got an extra pick and used it to get Houston. It doesn’t always work, but like you said the decision realy depends on your talent level. Also it’s easier now to trade down than it used to be because of the new rookie wage scale. I’m not sure this about this year. I guess it may be based on who is still left when our pick comes.

  • January 22, 2012  - James says:

    The NFL is a copycat league. So what do the perennial winner’s do in the draft, they take the BPA. If it fits a need, that’s a bonus. Whether they stand pat or trade down, can almost guarantee the Chief’s will go OL. Unless Richardson is there when they pick.

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