The 64th edition of the Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 4:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast from Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on the NFL Network.
The Senior Bowl is an opportunity for scouts from every team in the league to eyeball talent for the upcoming draft. In the past, most of the very best collegiate football players signed up for the game.
The NFL Combine, scheduled for Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis, is now the top showcase for first-round draft choices. The rosters for the Senior Bowl are primarily composed of players who will be selected in the later rounds.
Brian Gardner, Director of Pro Personnel for the Houston Texans, will likely have a large contingent of his staff in Mobile. The Texans have a history of trading down on draft day. They could receive at least three late picks as compensation for the loss of Mario Williams, Mike Briesel and Joel Dreessen to free agency.
The 13-5 team that stumbled to a 2-4 finish ended the season with a variety of holes to fill. Most of the fan base is screaming for fleet-footed wide receiver.
Texans’ owner Bob McNair has heard them and concurs. In a Houston Chronicle interview from January 19th he stated, “We need another playmaker (at receiver). We want more speed at receiver.”
What McNair did not mention in the article was how the Houston defense was responsible for their gradual collapse over the last eight games. A weakened pass rush allowed mediocre quarterbacks such as Chad Henne and Jake Locker to throw for more than 300 yards.
The Bulls on Parade turned in their worst effort of the season against Christian Ponder. The Minnesota Vikings QB led his team to an inexplicable 23-6 defeat of the Texans that sunk their chances for the top seed in the AFC playoffs.
Most of the receivers in Mobile do not possess first-round potential, and the same goes for the defensive linemen. There is depth in the second round and beyond for these positions and the other areas that require attention.
Houston also has needs at ILB, DB, QB, and RT. Let us have a look at the top three Senior Bow prospects for each of these groups. The fourth player listed should be considered as a possible "sleeper."