It’s report card time! Yes, this early in the NFL season. This is a look at what All-Star Game participants made NFL 53-man rosters. No, I am not going to list them all individually, but rather give you totals, game by game. So first, let me explain the process and criteria.
The numbers you will see below are based on official NFL rosters that were printed up the week of Sept. 9th. My Rookie count for this report is based solely on Rookies who have made those 53-man rosters. Players on Reserve Lists and Practice Squads are not included in these numbers. NFL rosters are fluid based on injuries and other factors. For instance, highly regarded Rookie QB DREW LOCK, of the BRONCOS, was not included in my numbers because he is on IR, for now. Yet we know that sonly because of a per-season injury.
In cases where Rookies appeared at multiple All-Star games, they are counted multiple times. The best example to illustrate this is SIONE TAKITAKI of the BROWNS. At one point in time last January, he was listed as being at all three main All-Star venues, though he eventually played in the Senior Bowl only. So he is counted for each game in the totals you see below.
There is another unusual situation, and that is of 2018 Senior Bowl participant BRETT TOTH/OL/ARMY. He was not in the League last season because of military obligations. However, this summer he worked out a deal with the Army to play in the NFL. He is currently on the CARDINALS roster, and I gave the Senior Bowl credit for him in their count this year, since he played in last year’s game in Mobile, but was out of football in 2018. As an official Rookie this season, I counted him in the mix.
At this time, only 3 All-Star venues are included in the rankings: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, East-West Shrine Bowl (recent name change), and the Senior Bowl. Several other star game ventures have appeared in recent years, but overall they tend to come and go like the wind.
Last item before we get into 2019 details. The reigning champion for 2018 is the Senior Bowl, as I hope most of you had previously read about at this website. Now lets look at the 2019 All-Star Rookie count!
NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL
14 players from this game made NFL active rosters this year. The highest Draftee amongst those 14 was QUINCY WILLIAMS/LB/MURRAY STATE, who was taken in Round 3, Pick 98 by the JAGUARS. WILLIAMS earned hisself a starting job in pre-season. He happens to be the brother of Top 10 draftee QUINNEN WILLIAMS of the JETS. 6 of their 14 players were drafted, while the remaining 8 were Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (URFA).
This game lost its previous scouting group to the AAF and XFL leagues last year, which no doubt hurt them in their player procurement process. So, the end result is that that count of 14 places this game at No. 3 of 3. Last again, and seemingly not gaining much, if any, ground. It should also be noted that this is the youngest of the big three games, by quite a margin.
EAST-WEST SHRINE BOWL
A new name, but in reality the oldest of the All-Star games, as sponsored by Shrine International with proceeds going to Shriners’ Children’s Hospitals. 2019 was the 10th game since moving to Florida. The Shrine 2019 venue provided 33 players to NFL active rosters this September. The highest Pick from this game was CODY BARTON/LB/UTAH by the SEA HAWKS with Pick 88 in Round 3. 24 of the 33 players to make rosters were drafted, the other 9 URFA’s. The actual highest pick from their roster was SIONE TAKITAKI/LB/BYU, who’s taken at Pick 80 by the BROWNS, but he never played in this game, heading on to the Senior Bowl instead. This game also had another player taken in the first 3 Rounds in TREY PIPKINS/OT/SIOUX FALLS at Pick 91. The Shrine also had 3 players who were “called up” to the Senior Bowl for their game, so to speak. They were DAYLON MACK/DT/TEXAS A&M, JIMMY MORELAND/CB/JAMES MADISON, and OLI UDOH/OL/ELON. A nice showing for the Shrine, but not even close to moving out of 2nd Place.
REESE’S SENIOR BOWL Winner & still champion!
The Senior Bowl outdid themselves, having 87 players make NFL opening day rosters. That is about 75% of their total player count for their game, and there are even more on Reserve and Practice Squad lists. Their top player picked was DANIEL JONES/QB/DUKE with the 6th overall pick in the entire Draft. Overall, they had 10 players taken in Round One. They had another 14 taken in Round 2. You get the picture. I think it’s safe to say that it was an auspicious debut in Mobile for new Game Director JIM NAGY.
A big factor in favor of the Senior Bowl has been the yearly presence of full NFL coaching staffs for each team. Players and their agents see real value working under actual pro coaching staffs for a week in January. In recent seasons, the League has begun to provide NFL assistant coaches from miscellaneous teams at the Shrine venue for its coaching staffs.
It should be noted, and remembered, that currently these games are only open to senior players, and a few players who have been out of high school for 3 years and already have a degree from a college. However, that still leaves roughly 100 underclassmen who declare for the Draft and are not eligible for these games.
A few more factoids:
The highest number of Star Game rookies to make individual team rosters was 7 players. Four teams had 7 players. They were; CARDINALS, JAGUARS, VIKINGS, and RAIDERS.
Only 1 team had NO players from the All-Star game trio; DA BEARS.
The BILLS, COWBOYS, and RAMS had only 2 Star Game players each.
It’s just my opinion, but I seriously doubt that either the Shrine or NFLPA games looks like it is close to catching up with the Senior Bowl unless something totally surprising happens with the Senior Bowl’s fortunes. And I cannot imagine what that circumstance would even be. So congrats to all the Star Game ventures, and hail to the chief… Reeses Senior Bowl!