Shrine Game week a proving ground

The East-West Shrine Game is a chance for prospects to receive NFL coaching and prove themselves in front of NFL scouts. Barring any late changes to the rosters, here are a few players to watch this week.

Top five expected to play

DE Greg Hardy, Ole Miss
Hardy's roller coaster of a career at Ole Miss finished on a disappointing note considering he missed nearly five full games with multiple injuries. It also is widely known in NFL scouting circles that Hardy comes with baggage, including a questionable attitude and poor work ethic. He is healthy now and needs to show scouts that he is rounding back into form. A healthy, determined Hardy could dominate the competition in this game. He needs a strong week to help his plummeting draft stock.

DE Lindsey Witten, Connecticut
Witten's senior season couldn't have gone much better, as he had his best year at UConn and finished tied for ninth in the nation with 11½ sacks. At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, Witten is an undersized end and might be asked to move to linebacker in the NFL. He needs to prove this week that he's strong enough to hold his ground against the run and fluid enough to drop into underneath coverage. A strong showing in Orlando could land Witten a spot in the third round of April's draft.