Mock, Thomas boosting stock

The majority of the players in the Las Vegas All-American Classic are late-round and free-agent prospects.

Originally Published: January 20, 2005
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
LAS VEGAS – What began as the Paradise Bowl hosted by St. George, Utah, has since transformed into the Las Vegas All-American Classic.

The good news? The talent level in the game has improved in each of its three years in existence, and there is obviously a much bigger draw -- for players and NFL scouts alike -- now that the game has been moved to Vegas. Founder Darry Alton does a good job of catering to NFL officials' needs, and his idea to run a "scouting combine" on Monday of game week gives players who aren't invited to February's National Scouting Combine in Indianapolis an opportunity to work out for scouts.

The bad news, though, is the talent level still leaves a lot to be desired. By comparison, the Vegas Classic has to rank fourth behind the Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl in terms of quality prospects. It does provide an adequate replacement for the Blue-Gray All-Star Game, which has been cancelled two of the last three years. But the majority of the players participating in this game are late-round and free-agent prospects.

We scout the game nonetheless, because you never know when a lower-tier player will rise up. Here are some notes from the first couple of days of practice. We'll follow up Saturday's game with notes on prospects who helped or hurt their draft chances the most.

East practice notes:

  • Marshall QB Stan Hill has done nothing to improve his draft value during practice this week. His lack of height has been a problem in terms of finding throwing windows, and he has been entirely too erratic in terms of his accuracy. Hill does show NFL arm strength but he may lack the size, consistency and ability to read coverages that it takes to make it in the NFL.

    Todd McShay

    ESPN Senior Writer