Shrine Game Notes - Monday

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The league’s 32 teams descended upon St. Petersburg, Florida, for the 2019 version of the East-West Shrine Game. The Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers had large contingents on hand to scout the talent, but there was news off the field as well. Here are Monday’s notes from Shrine practice:

- The New York Jets introduce Adam Gase as their new head coach today, but the situation surrounding Matt Rhule has been a topic of conversation at Shrine practice. It’s been well-documented that Rhule refused to take the job when the Jets front office informed the him they would be picking his assistants or would at least have final say on who the coaches will be. The bizarre part of the story spoken about in St. Pete is that many tell me Rhule was the Jets' top candidate as the 2018 season was winding down, and many wonder why this all came to a head so late in the process.

- I’m told right now six teams are in the race for Joe Flacco once the Ravens release him. Three of the teams are the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars. 

- I never graded Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams as a top-10 selection and have said so publically. In fact, I project him at guard in the NFL rather than left tackle. Williams is superb fundamentally but lacks the athleticism, agility and footwork to stay at left tackle on Sundays. Since the national title game, I’ve spoken with at least a dozen insiders and scouts to see if I was off base, yet they all agreed with me. The earliest grade I’ve received on him is the mid-first round, while some project him as a second-round selection. Everyone I’ve spoken with projects Williams to guard at the next level.