NFL Draft: 11 risers from the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl

Juice Scruggs (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Juice Scruggs (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
3 of 11
NFL Draft
A.T. Perry (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Wake Forest pass catchers: AT Perry (6-3, 195)/Blake Whiteheart (6-4, 249)

The best wide receiver and tight end at the Shrine Bowl both came from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. With Flowers not participating much, AT Perry took advantage and looked like the most gifted receiver on the field while Blake Whiteheart managed to put together one of the most complete weeks of any prospect.

Perry was just moving at another speed compared to every prospect not named Kei’Trel Clark. The fluidity and suddenness he possesses for a receiver of his size is jaw-dropping and it gave cornerbacks all kinds of issues. Maybe the most impressive part of his week was the nuance he showed with his release repertoire and route running; he proved he’s more than just a ball-winning X-receiver.

His biggest moment came on a vertical where he slow-played his release, stacked the cornerback, and tracked the ball to perfection before hauling it in for a touchdown. He looked every bit the part of a top-100 pick.

As for Whiteheart, he didn’t come into the Shrine Bowl with the hype his college teammate did, nor was he even the consensus top tight end in attendance. But it didn’t take long to see he was the most well-rounded tight end in Vegas.

Whiteheart showed more than enough willingness as a blocker and played with strong hands and leg drive to move defenders in the run game. Despite not being the biggest tight end, he made up for it by playing with good leverage and sustaining blocks.

As a pass catcher, Whiteheart kept creating separation with his frame and stem work and showed natural ball skills. He wasn’t the most explosive athlete but showed a good understanding of how to create space. This type of performance could put him in the conversation to be a top-15 tight end.