Senior Bowl: What you need to know before the game
2016 Senior Bowl
Date: Saturday, January 30, 2016
Time: 1:30 PM Central Time
Venue: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
TV Channel: NFL Network
Online Streaming: NFL Network Online
North Team Roster
Coaching Staff: Dallas Cowboys
South Team Roster
Coaching Staff: Jacksonville Jaguars
Top Players to watch on the North team
QB- Carson Wentz (ND State)
- The FCS QB has flown up draft boards after a great showing all week at practice. A good game will cement him as a 1st Round pick, possibly overtaking Jared Goff from Cal as the No.1 QB taken.
RB- Kenneth Dixon (Louisiana Tech)
- Easily the best receiving back in the draft, I want to see what he does in space once he gets his hands on the ball.
WR- Braxton Miller (Ohio State)
- Just like Wentz, Miller is having himself a week, playing his way into the early rounds of the NFL Draft. A solid Senior Bowl will continue his ascent on draft boards.
TE- Nick Vannett (Ohio State)
- The 6’6 TE has shown great versatility, making some impressive grabs and holding his own in blocking drills. In a weak TE class, Vannett could be one of the first taken behind Hunter Henry.
OL- Cole Toner (Harvard)
- Toner is no joke, dominating a lot of Senior Bowl drills. His 6’7 300lb frame is backed up by grit and toughness. Toner has made himself into a possible Day 2 pick.
DL- Vernon Butler- (Louisiana Tech)
- This 325lb behemoth moves a lot faster than his frame suggests, impressing scouts all week with his versatility on the line.
LB- Tyler Matakevich (Temple)
- Matakevich has had a remarkable college career, but appears to be undersized and lacking key physical tools to have a long NFL career. But he’s a football player, and a great one to watch, who gives 100% effort on every down. A future special teams warrior.
CB- Tavon Young (Temple)
- Young has been overshadowed much of his career, but shows up in the biggest games, and this All-Star game is no different. He is a play-maker.
S- Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah)
- Killebrew showed all week at Senior Bowl practices why he is deserving of a No.1 pick. Keep an eye on this small-school product as he will make a play or two in the game.
Top Players to watch on the South team
QB- Brandon Allen (Arkansas)
- Not one QB stood out on the South team like Wentz did on the North, but Allen is a solid signal caller who has all the physical tools to be a NFL QB. It’s putting them together that has been a struggle.
RB- Kenyan Drake (Alabama)
- I see Drake as a better pro than his teammate and Heisman winner Derrick Henry. He offers agility and elusiveness that you look for in a home run threat. He will need to work on mental mistakes and pass blocking, two things he struggled with at practice this week.
WR- Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma)
- Shepard who was a great WR for the Sooners, showed great hands and crisp route running at the Senior Bowl this week, and I expect at least on dynamic play from him during the game.
TE- Glenn Gronkowski (Kansas State)
- Another Gronk. This one, named Glenn is a versatile H-back/TE who can make an impact at multiple positions on the field. He made impressive catches all week, and looks to be able to handle his own blocking against bigger lineman.
OL- Evan Boehm (Missouri)
- A solid offensive lineman, Boehm won’t ‘wow’ you, but comes in does his job and leaves. Take a moment to watch him during the game, he is a solid player who rarely gets beaten 1-on-1.
DL- Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky)
- The former Ohio State Buckeye has his fair-share of off the field incidents, but his play on the field show why is worthy of an early pick. His speed off the edge was causing headaches to opposing lineman during drills, and I expect that to continue later today.
LB- Reggie Ragland (Alabama)
- Ragland was a great ILB for the Crimson Tide, but has shown scouts versatility being able to put his hand down and rush the passer. He is a legitimate first round pick candidate.
CB- Jonathan Jones (Auburn)
- This four-year starter at Auburn has flown under-the-radar a bit, not being as flashy as some of the other DB’s at the Senior Bowl this week. But don’t let that fool you, Jones can match up against some of the best.
S- Jeremy Cash (Duke)
- Consensus All-American at Duke, transferred from Ohio State after Jim Tressel left. He will pack a punch with his pads, but was able to show sideline-to-sideline speed to scouts who thought he was a step below average in that department.