Three former Boise State football players have spent this week under the watchful eye of NFL scouts and decision-makers and will play in all-star games Saturday.
Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. will play on the West team in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. (2 p.m., NFL Network) Center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe will play on the American team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif. (4 p.m., ESPN2)
Its been really good, going against some really good competition, Leno said. It was good exposure for me, I believe.
Leno is the only of the three players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine so far. Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who opted to leave after his junior year, wasnt eligible for the all-star games but likely will be invited to the combine.
The all-star games include a week of practices those, not the games, draw the NFL personnel and a chance to interview with NFL teams.
Leno wanted to show his physicality, athleticism, technique a little bit of everything, he said.
The NFL isnt a lifelong dream for him. Its something that became a goal after his sophomore year at Boise State, his first as a starter.
I put a lot of stress on myself to get to this point and get to this opportunity, he said.
Tjong-A-Tjoe and Paradis competed against each other at times this week at the NFLPA practices. Theyve tried to avoid those matchups.
I beat him a couple times. He beat me a couple times, Tjong-A-Tjoe said. Its always been like that.
Said Paradis: I think the scouts have enough film of me and Ricky going against each other. Weve had some good battles (over the years).
Tjong-A-Tjoe compared the overall experience at the NFLPA event to fall camp, when team activities surround the practices.
Were staying busy, he said. I keep trying to get better and measure up with everybody else.
Paradis, a former walk-on turned two-year starter from Council High, hoped to show scouts he can hold up despite the knock that hes undersized at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds.
I wanted to show that I am physical enough and strong enough to play against some of these bigger defensive linemen, he said. I feel like Ive practiced really well. Weve got good coaches here who have helped me with a lot of good direction.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat