Former Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley and former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett are among four Tom Shaw Performance Camp players who could be drafted in the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday.
Barkley, Barrett, Tyquan Lewis and Will Dissly are among the draft prospects who’ve spent the last three months working with Shaw at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in preparation for the NFL Draft, where all four are expected to be early-round selections.
Barkley could actually be the first player chosen overall, giving Shaw 11 overall No. 1 picks and 146 first-round selections. Barkley (6-0, 233 pounds) recorded 1,903 yards from scrimmage and 23 touchdowns last season for Penn State and also scored twice on kickoff returns.
“He is the most competitive athlete that I have ever been around,” said Bert Whigham, sports performance trainer at Tom Shaw Performance Camp. “He is a difference maker. He has the legs of a power lifter, but he runs like a track star. He is extremely coachable, he gets it the first time and is a huge believer in trusting the process to improve in all aspects of the game.”
Barrett finished his career at Ohio State with some impressive accolades. He led the Buckeyes to a 38-6 record, the 2015 College Football Playoff national championship and is the only player in school history to be voted a three-time captain.
Whigham, who has worked with coach Shaw since 2010, says Barrett (6-1, 224 pounds) could also be an early-round choice.
“He’s too smart and too much of a leader to not be a successful quarterback in the NFL,” Whigham said. “When you ask him a football question or any question, he comes back with the right answers, which as a coach, I really like. You have to be really smart to play quarterback in the NFL, and J.T. is a really smart guy. You’ve got to be able to make plays on the fly and improvise, and this young man can do that. He’s a winner and a tremendous leader.”
Lewis (DE, Ohio State) and Dissly (TE, Washington) also have early-round draft potential.
“Lewis is an elite athlete with freakish explosion,’’ Whigham said. “He is the former Big 10 Defensive Lineman of the Year (2016). He will fit nicely into a 4-3 scheme. He is an old-school defensive end who can rush the passer, play the run and has the body type of former NFL All-Pro DE Julius Peppers.”
Said Whigham about Dissly: “Will is a hard-working, blocking tight end who can also catch the ball. He gets down the field looking for defensive ends and linebackers to take on. His agility improved tremendously while he was here and he’s got a chance to be a good pro player.”
Prior to establishing his own performance camp at Walt Disney World Resort, Shaw was on the strength and conditioning staffs for Florida State University, the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints. Current NFL players who Shaw has trained include Dallas Cowboys starting QB Dak Prescott, Oakland Raiders LB Khalil Mack, Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher, Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry and Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting QB Jameis Winston.
Shaw has worked with 145 NFL first-round draft choices, 10 No. 1 picks and 11 Super Bowl MVPs.