College all-star games are an opportunity for players who might look like they’re not a good fit in the NFL to show scouts that they can perform against the best of their peers. And no player did a better job of that in Saturday’s Shrine Game than former Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams.
Adams has a lot going against him in the eyes of the NFL: He’s only 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. He played only one season of big-time college football after transferring from Eastern Washington to Oregon, and he got hurt that year. He hasn’t played in a pro-style offense.
But Adams was outstanding on Saturday, completing six of nine passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns, and also adding two rushes for 24 yards. Former Falcons head coach June Jones, who coached the West team in the Shrine Game, said on NFL Network after the game that he believes Adams has NFL talent.
“Everybody says he can’t play in the NFL. Well, he can play in the NFL and somebody’s going to give him an opportunity to do that. Now whether he makes it or not, it’s up to him. He has all those things that the great ones have. He gets better as the game goes on,” said Jones. “He’s going to have to fight the size thing more than he ever has, but I think if everything’s equal when you see the production, his completion percentage in practice was unbelievable, and again tonight, you saw what he can do when he looked one way and threw the other way. He has all the things that the great ones have.”
NFL Media’s Mike Mayock believes Adams could be a fit for the 49ers. Although Chip Kelly didn’t coach Adams at Oregon, the Ducks continued to run an offense similar to Kelly’s, and when Adams was healthy he played very well in that offense.
“If you’re Chip Kelly, you’re taking a look at Vernon Adams and seeing what he can do,” Mayock said.
Several teams will take a closer look at Adams after the way he played on Saturday.