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Giants Now: 2021 Senior Bowl Primer

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Everything you need to know about 2021 Senior Bowl

Ladies and gentlemen, we have officially entered Senior Bowl Week.

As it states on the Senior Bowl's official website, "The Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game and football's premier senior showcase event. It annually features the country's best senior collegiate football players and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the National and American that are coached by the entire coaching staffs of two National Football League teams."

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year's festivities will look a little different than normal. Unlike past years, Senior Bowl practices will be closed to the public. In addition, while some fans will be allowed at the game, the seating capacity for this year's game has been significantly reduced to comply with local and state government public heath orders.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 Senior Bowl:

DATE: Saturday, January 30, 2021

TIME: 2:30pm ET

WHERE: Mobile, Alabama

STADIUM: University of South Alabama, Hancock Whitney Stadium

TV: NFL Network

PRACTICE DATES: January 26-28, 2021

National Team: 11:30am-1:30pm

American Team: 2:00pm-4:00pm

COACHING STAFFS:

National Team: Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins coaching staff

American Team: Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers coaching staff

View photos of players to accept an invite to the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Pro Football Focus' top prospects on 2021 Senior Bowl roster

This year's list of Senior Bowl participants features plenty of prospects who are likely to hear their names called when it comes time for the 2021 draft just a few months from now.

The Senior Bowl is a chance for prospects from all across the college football landscape to showcase their abilities against the nation's top senior talent. While many players from big name programs may steal the headlines, this week serves as a great opportunity for prospects from smaller schools to show what they can do.

Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner took a look at the top NFL draft prospects who will be down in Mobile, Alabama this week. They may not all be playing in Saturday's game, but they will participate in other events throughout the week.

Here are Renner's top 15 prospects at the 2021 Senior Bowl:

  1. WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
  2. WR Kadarius Tooney, Florida
  3. EDGE Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest
  4. QB Mac Jones, Alabama
  5. OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
  6. S Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State
  7. QB Kyle Trask, Florida
  8. OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
  9. DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
  10. EDGE Payton Turner, Houston
  11. WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
  12. C Landon Dickerson, Alabama
  13. DL Marvin Wilson, Florida State
  14. EDGE Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
  15. RB Najee Harris, Alabama

Jim Nagy preview names to know for 2021 draft

There is no ice in Alabama, but Jim Nagy imported plexiglass to Mobile like he was hosting a showcase event for college hockey.

Such is reality for the executive director of the Senior Bowl amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nagy and his staff, who were set to take the game to the next level with expanded fan experiences as they moved into a new stadium, had to adjust to make the 2021 version as safe as possible for the players and NFL staff. His revised plans included retrofitting space for interviews, which are every bit as valuable to talent evaluators as what happens on the field during next week's practices and the game itself.

"We bought a lot of plexiglass for the event this year," Nagy said on the "Giants Huddle" podcast. "The guys are going to be distanced and masked and all that good stuff."

Nagy wouldn't be sitting in his chair if he didn't think the Senior Bowl had value every year, but he believes it takes on a greater significance given the current circumstances. The biggest reason is the status of the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine, which will not include any in-person activities.

"This might be all these players' only opportunity to get one-on-one face time with NFL guys that are going to be making decisions on their future, the guys that are pulling the names off the board in April, Nagy said. "The guys that are up the decision-making chain weren't out at games this fall because they couldn't go to a college game on Saturday and then re-enter their team's bubble and go to their game on Sunday. Most of those guys travel with the team and went to their team's game, so this will be the first opportunity those guys have to really lay their eyeballs on players, which is a really underrated part of the evaluation process – actually sizing up a guy in person and then sitting across from them. I think we're all getting used to Zoom calls by now, but I think there's something to be said for in-person, human interaction."

The 72nd annual Senior Bowl will be played at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama.

But the week of practices and interviews is when the critical action takes place as the nation's best senior collegiate football players gather to showcase their talents while being coached by NFL staffs. This year, the teams will be coached by the Panthers, who own the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Dolphins, who hold Nos. 3 and 18.. The Giants currently have the No. 11 pick.

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