The Senior Bowl has finalized its 2019 roster.
Under the direction of Jim Nagy, who took over for Phil Savage this past summer after spending 18 years as a scout in the NFL, the Senior Bowl added its final eight players over the weekend: Alabama offensive lineman Ross Piersbacher, Ole Miss offensive lineman Javon Patterson, Texas A&M center Erik McCoy, linebacker Alaka Otaro and defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine, Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin, and UC-Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss.
“After a very thorough process that actually began last summer, we are excited to finalize the rosters for our 70th annual Reese’s Senior Bowl game,” Nagy said in a statement. “Our main objective is to provide the 32 NFL member clubs with the best rosters possible and this collection of players truly represents the best that college football, at all levels, had to offer this year.”
The Senior Bowl is an annual showcase of the best senior collegiate football players entering the draft. The staffs of the Oakland Raiders (North Team) and San Francisco 49ers (South Team) will coach them throughout the week of practices and in the game, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
“We tried to build this a lot like an NFL personnel department, really,” Nagy said on “Senior Bowl Live” in partnership with Yahoo! Sports. “We cut the country up into five areas. I took the Southeast, and we had four veteran scouts. It’s the first time we’ve really had four veteran scouts on the road. They’ve got 69 years of experience between the four of them, so we were hitting games every week, watching tape all week. We put the board together, and then the week of Thanksgiving I got on calls with 17 teams in the league and just went down the board – basically, ‘Here’s who we’ve invited, here’s the next group of guys we want to invite, and here’s our cut line. … Who do you guys want to see?’ Because we’re trying to build this for them. This is the NFL’s game. We’re trying to get the rosters for them. So the input from the teams was a huge part of it.”
The 2019 Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando a day after the Senior Bowl, fitting timing for the two all-star games that Giants.com will be covering on location (so stay tuned). Seventeen former Senior Bowl standouts were named to the Pro Bowl this season, including Aaron Donald, Philip Rivers and Von Miller. The Giants drafted three Senior Bowlers this past April: UTEP guard Will Hernandez, N.C. State defensive lineman B.J. Hill and Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta, the MVP of the 2018 game. It was the second year in a row the Giants drafted the Senior Bowl MVP. In 2017, they selected Cal quarterback Davis Webb.
As is always the case around draft season, much of the focus will be on the quarterbacks. This year’s crop of Senior Bowl invitees includes eight players at the position: Daniel Jones (Duke), Ryan Finley (N.C. State), Will Grier (West Virginia), Drew Lock (Missouri), Trace McSorley (Penn State), Gardner Minshew (Washington State), Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) and Clayton Thorson (Northwestern). Last year’s game featured No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, who was taken at No. 7.
“But this class, from top to bottom, it’s a really, really good group,” Nagy said. “Talking to my friends in the league, when you just look at the senior class … they all bring something to the table. When you talk to teams, you can basically shake them up and take names out of a hat and they’re going to come up with a different order. Everyone’s kind of got a different guy they’re locked in on during the week. So it’s really going to be a fun process for the league to come down to see these guys throwing in drills one after the other and who can build that momentum through the week.”
Senior Bowl Week begins on Monday, Jan. 21, and practices will be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The New York Giants hold the sixth overall pick in the draft, which takes place April 25-27 in Nashville.
Through the Years: Giants in the Senior Bowl
Photos of Giants who played in college football's annual showcase of top seniors declaring for the draft