The 96th annual East-West Shrine Bowl will look a little different from the way it has been done in the past. There will be no actual game played due to the COVID-19 situation but that won’t stop teams like the Minnesota Vikings from getting a look at the talented young players who could be selections in the 2021 NFL Draft.
According to the official website of the Vikings, offensive quality control coaches Christian Jones and AC Patterson as well as defensive quality control/assistant linebackers coach Nick Rallis will be part of what is being called the Professional Development Opportunity.
The Professional Development Opportunity will feature virtual training and informational drills that could help some players catch the eye of teams looking ahead to the draft. Having three members of Minnesota’s staff on hand could help them find a diamond in the rough, much like the Vikings have been able to do in the mid to late rounds of the draft or as undrafted free agents.
In addition to the Professional Development Opportunity, some players will join virtual experiences with young patients at the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which is a nice reminder of what the Shriners are all about.
Some notable players from the East-West Shrine Bowl over the years that Vikings fans should be very familiar with are quarterback Cheap Brett Favre Jersey, Cheap Ed White Jersey, Hugh McElhenny, and Cheap Alan Page Jersey. Each of those players has spent time with the purple and gold and are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the East-West Shrine Bowl Hall of Fame.
WACO, Texas– Defensive tackle Cheap James Lynch Jersey was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the 120th pick overall, on day three of the draft.
Lynch is just the 11th Bear at his position to be drafted and the first since nose tackle Andrew Billings went in the fourth round to Cincinnati in 2016.
He is just the fifth to be drafted to Minnesota out of Waco and the first since linebacker Ray Berry 1987.
Lynch earned unanimous All-America honors in 2019, the first Bear since 2015 and just the 10thBear overall to earn the prestigious honor. The junior was only the fourth Bear from the defensive side of the ball to be a consensus All-America honoree.
Lynch was the 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (AP and coaches) and Big 12 Lineman of the Year (coaches), leading the conference with 13.5 sacks, good for sixth-most nationally and a single-season Baylor record. He also ranked second in the conference with 19.5 tackles-for-loss on the year, good for third-most in program single-season history. His three forced fumbles were second-most in the Big 12 and his two fumbles recovered were fifth most. Overall, through 14 games played, the Round Rock, Texas, native amassed 41 total tackles.
Lynch was also a finalist for the Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s top defensive lineman and was on the preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy and the Bednarik Award. He was named the Dave Campbell Texas Football Texas Colleges Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Big 12 honoree. In addition to his consensus All-America honors, he also earned First Team All-America honors from ESPN and The Athletic and Second Team All-America honors from Sports Illustrated.
In three seasons in Waco, Lynch set a new Baylor record with 22.0 total sacks and ranks seventh with 33.5 career tackles-for-loss. He finished his collegiate career with 101 total tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks.
Lynch is the second Bear to be taken in the 2020 draft, following wide receiver Denzel Mims’ second-round selection to the New York Jets. The two draft picks so far are the most since 2016 for the Bears.
BAYLOR DEFENSIVE TACKLES ENDS IN THE NFL DRAFT (Since 1970)
1970 – Walter Groth – 13thRd (332th), New York Jets
1970 – Earl Maxfield – 17thRd (433), Washington
1980 – Gary Don Johnson – 7th(168), Cincinnati
1985 – Pat Coryatt – 10th(273), Chicago
1992 – Marcus Lowe – 10th(260th), Cleveland
1995 – Steve Strahan – 6th(188th), Carolina
1996 – Daryl Gardener – 1st(20th), Miami
2003 – Ethan Kelley – 7th(243st), New England
2011 – Phil Taylor – 1st(21st), Cleveland
2016 – Andrew Billings – 4th(122nd), Cincinnati
2020 – James Lynch – 4thRd (130th), Minnesota