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Senior Bowl Week: What you need to know

Posted Jan 22, 2018

Schedule, players to watch, and more as prospects gather at the Senior Bowl: 


The Senior Bowl is the largest and most prestigious of the collegiate All-Star Games taking place after college bowl season. The game takes place the Saturday before the Super Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The game will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. ET this Saturday on the NFL Network.

Former Browns General Manager Phil Savage, the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl, invites players based up on their performance during the season. Only seniors and fourth-year juniors who already graduated can participate in the game. Eighty-five players from the Senior Bowl were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, more than a third of all players drafted. 47% of all players picked rounds two through four played in the Senior Bowl.

The two teams are coached by NFL coaching staffs determined by the Senior Bowl in conjunction with the NFL. The game is usually offered to the teams with the lowest winning percentages the previous season and are retaining the majority of their coaching staffs. This season the two teams are being coached by the Broncos (North Team) and Texans (South Team) staffs. The Browns declined the opportunity to coach one of the two teams since they do not yet have a complete coaching staff.

The game itself features specific rules that help ensure player safety and a better evaluation opportunity by limiting what teams are allowed to do. Personnel packages, blitzes, fronts (4-3 only), coverages and blocking below the waist are limited. Intentional grounding is allowed. The full rules adjustments can be found here: https://www.seniorbowl.com/playing-rules.php

While the game might be the main event for fans, the true evaluations by NFL front offices come during the week leading up to the game. They get to watch top prospects compete against one another in practice in NFL schemes. There are also measurements and interviews that take place during the week. It is the final time NFL teams get to see these players do anything with pads and helmets against competition before they are drafted in April.


Below is what we will keep an eye on this week as we provide wall to wall coverage on Giants.com:

Monday
The players arrive and there is a press conference in the late afternoon with Executive Director Phil Savage and a pair of players.

Tuesday
Measurements: The official Senior Bowl weigh-in happens first thing on Tuesday morning. The entire NFL will be interested in the height (and hand size) of Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Some believe he might only come in at six feet tall.

Media Day: The media has a chance to talk to the players between 10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Practice: The teams practice separately, with the South Team going first from 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. and the North Team practicing between 3:30 and 5:00. Players speak to the media for 15 minutes after practice.

Interviews between clubs and players take place in the evenings.

Wednesday
Practice: The North Team goes from 12:30-2:30 and the South Team from 3:00-5:00. Players speak to the media for 15 minutes after practice.

Thursday
Practice: The North Team goes from 12:30-2:30 and the South Team from 3:00-5:00. Players speak to the media for 15 minutes after practice.

Saturday
2:30 p.m. -- Reese’s Senior Bowl – NFL Network

Throughout the week, Dan Salomone and I will give you details from practice and we’ll talk to some of the prospects, coaches and other national draft experts in attendance. Stay tuned to Giants.com for coverage all week long.

Here are some players I’ll be watching this week at the Senior Bowl:

QB Baker Mayfield: The Heisman Trophy Winner will have the chance to move up higher in the first round with good measurements, interviews, and practice in a NFL style system. He did not play under center much at Oklahoma, so that will be an adjustment for him.

QB Josh Allen: Wyoming’s Allen will have the chance to play with players from bigger programs at the Senior Bowl. Scouts love his physical tools and the Senior Bowl should give him an opportunity to wow people with his physical gifts. Both Allen and Mayfield will be coached by the Broncos coaching staff.

LB Shaquem Griffin: Out of Central Florida, Griffin has been making plays on defense all year long with one hand. He had his hand amputated when he was only four years old but it hasn’t stopped him from garnering interest from NFL teams.


DE Marcus Davenport: Despite playing for the University of Texas-San Antonio, Davenport has garnered attention from NFL teams. At 6-6 and 250 pounds, he had 8.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss this season. He is raw but has all the traits of a top pass rusher.

TE Dallas Goedert: Another small school player from South Dakota State, Goedert finished the season with 72 catches, 1111 yards and 7 touchdowns. At 6-4 and 260 pounds, he has the size and athleticism to translate to the NFL. Many consider him the top TE in the class.

RB Rashaad Penny: Penny rushed for over 2,000 yards as a senior at San Diego State. He averaged 7.8 yards per carry and will have a chance to show his chops against players from bigger schools. He should be at least a Day Two pick.

WR Michael Gallup: From Weston Richburg’s alma mater, Colorado State, he caught 100 passes for 1,413 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. He is on most top 10 wide receiver lists and could work his way up with a good showing in Mobile and the Combine.

WR Tre’Quan Smith: Another Central Florida kid, he caught 59 passes for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He averaged a ridiculous 19.8 yards per catch, and NFL teams could value his ability to get down the field.

OT Brian O’Neill: Mel Kiper has O’Neill as his second best offensive tackle on the board and, in his most recent mock draft, has him going 16th to the Ravens.  

OG Austin Corbett and OG Will Hernandez: These two players could be the second and third guards off the board. Corbett played for Nevada and Hernandez played for UTEP.