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Why a former NFL QB says Utah’s Tyler Huntley may have helped his draft stock at East-West Shrine Bowl

The former Ute quarterback led two scoring drives — a touchdown drive in the first half and a field-goal drive in the second — while accounting for 92 yards of offense in the East-West Shrine Bowl

West quarterback Tyler Huntley, of Utah, throws a pass against the East during the first half of the East-West Shrine football game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Chris O’Meara, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Much like he did throughout his senior season at Utah, former Ute quarterback Tyler Huntley displayed passing efficiency and his scrambling ability during the East-West Shrine Bowl on Saturday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Huntley led two scoring drives for the West team, including a touchdown drive in the first quarter and a field-goal drive in the second half in an eventual 31-27 East team victory.

Huntley started at quarterback for the West and completed 6 of 8 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown while also showing off his running ability, rushing for 45 yards on seven carries.

Former pro quarterback and current NFL Network analyst David Carr was impressed from what he saw from Huntley.

“What I saw today was a very accurate passer and a guy who can move really well. Lamar Jackson has done a lot for some of these guys that can move and create. I think it might have helped his draft position, and then he went out and played well in an all-star game,” Carr said during the NFL Total Access show following the East-West telecast on NFL Network.

Huntley led four drives during the all-star game. After a three-and-out on his first series, Huntley got his team on the board, leading a 75-yard touchdown drive. He completed 3 of 4 passes for 27 yards on the scoring drive while also rushing for 16 yards — including a 19-yard scamper — before capping the drive with a fourth-and-goal 7-yard touchdown pass to Parker Houston into a tight window.

“It’s got to be cool for him to finally play a game in Florida after heading West. (He) has 50 members of his family, including him, here today,” NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano said during the game telecast.

Huntley returned to the game in the second half, leading the West to its first lead with a field goal-scoring drive. He completed both of his pass attempts for 20 yards and had three carries for 19 yards on the drive before Utah State’s Dominik Eberle hit a 26-yard field goal to put the West up 20-17 with 13:37 to play.

Huntley’s final drive ended in a three-and-out. No matter, though, as his overall work in the game and during the week made a strong impression.

“He’s a late-round pick, potentially priority free agent,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said during the game telecast. “He’s got a chance to make a team. What he can do athletically to complement your offense and some of that read-zone stuff you’re seeing more and more in the league, I think he’s got a shot.”

Other locals in the East-West Shrine Bowl

Dominik Eberle, K, Utah State: Eberle hit field goals of 28 yards and 26 yards while making three field-goal attempts for the West.

Darrin Paulo, OT, Utah: Played at left tackle as a reserve for the West.

Austin Lee, S, BYU (Alta High): Played extensive snaps on defense and special teams and unofficially had four tackles.

John Penisini, DT, Utah (Snow College, West Jordan High): Started at defensive tackle for the West and played extensive snaps while unofficially making two tackles.

Branden Bowen, OT, Corner Canyon High: Played in reserve at left tackle for the West.

Locals in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Dayan Ghanwoloku, S, BYU (Northridge High): Stripped the ball on a 40-yard pass and recovered the fumble at the National 14 in the second quarter while adding a solo tackle in for the National team in their 30-20 win over the American team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl.

Tipa Galeai, LB, Utah State: Started at outside linebacker and had a half-sack for the National team on a fourth-and-4 play, sacking Nathan Rourke for a loss of 2 yards at the American 49 with 24 seconds until halftime.

Jonah Williams, DE, Weber State: Started and played both left and right defensive end for the American team and had a pass deflection on a third-down pass, forcing a punt in the second quarter, while adding a pair of tackles.