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Senior Bowl 2014: Roster Breakdowns, Top Invites and Watch List

Dan HopeContributor IIIJanuary 21, 2014

Senior Bowl 2014: Roster Breakdowns, Top Invites and Watch List

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    South team quarterbacks David Fales (San Jose State), Derek Carr (Fresno State) and Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) are among the players to watch in this week's Senior Bowl.
    South team quarterbacks David Fales (San Jose State), Derek Carr (Fresno State) and Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) are among the players to watch in this week's Senior Bowl.John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

    Senior Bowl week is well underway in Mobile, Ala. Both the North and South teams began practicing Monday, and will continue to do so through Thursday, in advance of Saturday’s game (3 p.m. CT, NFL Network) at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

    Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage announced Monday, per Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com, that nine of the 2014 NFL draft’s top senior prospects opted out of the game voluntarily and 19 more invited seniors are out of the game due to injuries. Even so, this year’s Senior Bowl rosters remain full of talent and include plenty of potential early-round picks.

    There might not be any first-round locks at this year’s Senior Bowl but there are a number of seniors with a great shot to end up in Round 1 if they continue to perform well throughout the week. There are also many prospects who might not yet be household names but whose skill sets should catch the eyes of both NFL teams and fans watching the game at home.

North Roster

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    Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald and Baylor's Cyril Richardson are among the players going at it for the North team in this year's Senior Bowl.
    Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald and Baylor's Cyril Richardson are among the players going at it for the North team in this year's Senior Bowl.G.M. ANDREWS/Associated Press

     

    NamePosSchoolHtWt (lbs)
    Jared AbbrederisWRWisconsin6' 7/8"189
    Chris BorlandILBWisconsin5'11 3/8"245
    Chris BoswellKRice6'2"183
    Tajh BoydQBClemson6' 3/4"222
    Jonathan BrownLBIllinois6' 1/2"224
    Deone BucannonSSWashington State6' 7/8"216
    Michael CampanaroWRWake Forest5'9 3/8"191
    Will ClarkeDEWest Virginia6'6 1/8"271
    Kain ColterWRNorthwestern5' 10 3/4"199
    Pierre DesirCBLindenwood6'1 1/8"195
    Ahmad DixonSSBaylor5' 11 1/2"205
    Aaron DonaldDTPittsburgh6' 7/8"288
    Kadeem EdwardsGTennessee State6'4 1/8"309
    Shaq EvansWRUCLA6' 3/4"210
    C.J. FiedorowiczTEIowa6'5 5/8"262
    David FluellenRBToledo5'11 1/4"226
    James GayleDEVirginia Tech6'3 5/8"255
    Ra'Shede HagemanDTMinnesota6'6"318
    Seantrel HendersonOTMiami (Fla.)6'6 7/8"331
    Robert HerronWRWyoming5'8 7/8"193
    Ryan HewittFBStanford6'4"246
    Gator HoskinsTEMarshall6'1 1/8"244
    Josh HuffWROregon5'11"210
    Marqueston HuffFSWyoming5'11"198
    Jeff JanisWRSaginaw Valley State6'2 1/4"212
    Stanley Jean-BaptisteCBNebraska6'2 3/8"215
    Dontae JohnsonCBNorth Carolina State6'2"199
    DaQuan JonesDTPenn State6'3 1/2"323
    Christian KirkseyLBIowa6'1 3/4"234
    Tyler LarsenCUtah State6'3 1/2"317
    Nevin LawsonCBUtah State5'9 7/8"184
    Isaiah LewisSSMichigan State5'10"205
    Brandon LinderGMiami (Fla.)6'5 3/8"316
    Kareem MartinDENorth Carolina6'5 7/8"272
    Zack MartinOTNotre Dame6'4 1/8"305
    Jack MewhortOTOhio State6'5 5/8"306
    Stephen MorrisQBMiami6'1 3/4"208
    Trent MurphyDEStanford6'5 3/8"252
    Tyler OttLSHarvard6'2 3/4"252
    Jake PedersenTEWisconsin6'3 1/8"242
    Cyril RichardsonGBaylor6'4 1/2"343
    Weston RichburgCColorado State6'3 1/2"300
    Michael SamOLBMissouri6'1 5/8"260
    Michael SchofieldGMichigan6'6 5/8"303
    Charles SimsRBWest Virginia5'11 7/8"214
    Marcus SmithOLBLouisville6'3 1/2"258
    Dez SouthwardCBWisconsin6' 1/8"206
    Shamar StephenDTConnecticut6'4 5/8"308
    Brandon ThomasOTClemson6'3 1/2"316
    Logan ThomasQBVirginia Tech6'5 3/4"250
    Kirby Van Der KampPIowa State6'3 3/4"202
    Jimmie WardSNorthern Illinois5' 10 3/8"191
    James WhiteRBWisconsin5'9 3/4"206
    Jordan ZumwaltLBUCLA6'4"231

     

    All heights and weights were obtained by the author during Monday's Senior Bowl weigh-in.

South Roster

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    Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews is a playmaker for the South squad.
    Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews is a playmaker for the South squad.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

     

    NamePosSchoolHtWt (lbs)
    Walt AikensCBLiberty6' 5/8"205
    Antonio AndrewsRBWestern Kentucky5'10 1/8"225
    Jeremiah AttaochuOLBGeorgia Tech6'3 1/4"252
    Lamin BarrowILBLSU6'1 1/4"229
    Joel BitonioOGNevada6'4"307
    Terrence BrooksFSFlorida State5'11"197
    Derek CarrQBFresno State6'2 1/8"215
    Deandre ColemanDTCalifornia6'5"315
    Aaron ColvinCBOklahoma5'11 3/8"186
    Chris DavisCBAuburn5'9 3/4"201
    Mike DavisWRTexas6' 1/4"193
    Justin EllisDTLouisiana Tech6'1 7/8"342
    David FalesQBSan Jose State6'1 3/8"220
    Dee FordDEAuburn6'2 1/8"243
    Jimmy GaroppoloQBEastern Illinois6'2 1/4"219
    Ryan GrantWRTulane6' 1/4"197
    Jon HalapioGFlorida6'3 1/2"320
    Cody HoffmanWRBrigham Young6'3 7/8"218
    Adrian HubbardOLBAlabama6'5 7/8"255
    Gabe IkardCOklahoma6'3 1/4"302
    Gabe JacksonGMississippi State6'3 3/8"339
    Ja'Wuan JamesOTTennessee6'6 1/8"315
    Marcel JensenTEFlorida State6'5 3/8"264
    Wesley JohnsonOTVanderbilt6'5 1/4"290
    Christian JonesOLBFlorida State6'3 3/8"234
    Kenny LadlerFSVanderbilt6' 1/8"200
    Craig LostonSSLSU6' 3/8"214
    Arthur LynchTEGeorgia6'4 1/2"258
    Cody MandellPAlabama6'2 1/4"216
    Jordan MatthewsWRVanderbilt6'2 5/8"209
    Daniel McCullersDTTennessee6'6 7/8"348
    Keith McGillCBUtah6'3"214
    Jerick McKinnonRBGeorgia Southern5'9"209
    Morgan MosesOTVirginia6'6 1/8"325
    Aaron MurrayQBGeorgia6' 3/8"201
    Kevin NorwoodWRAlabama6'2"197
    Cody ParkeyKAuburn6' 1/4"189
    Solomon PattonWRFlorida5'8 1/2"179
    Jay ProschFBAuburn6' 3/4"256
    Caraun ReidDTPrinceton6'2 1/8"301
    Jalen SaundersWROklahoma5'8 3/4"164
    Chris SmithDEArkansas6'1 1/8"266
    Telvin SmithLBFlorida State6'2 7/8"218
    Ed StinsonDEAlabama6'3 1/8"292
    Bryan StorkCFlorida State6'3 1/2"306
    Will SuttonDTArizona State6' 3/4"315
    Travis SwansonCArkansas6'5"310
    Lorenzo TaliaferroRBCoastal Carolina6' 3/8"210
    Jemea ThomasCBGeorgia Tech5'9 1/2"190
    Jordie TrippOLBMontana6'2 3/4"237
    Billy TurnerOTNorth Dakota State6'5"316
    Brent UrbanDEVirginia6'6 3/4"298
    Kyle Van NoyOLBBrigham Young6'3 1/4"244
    Jaylen WatkinsCBFlorida5'11 3/8"194
    Lavelle WestbrooksCBGeorgia Southern5'11 3/8"195
    Marcus Woodside-HeitLSKansas State6'2 5/8"252

     

    All heights and weights were obtained by the author during Monday's Senior Bowl weigh-in.

    Note: Aaron Murray is unable to play football this week while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in November, but he is attending the Senior Bowl this week to participate in team meetings, weigh-in and other non-playing activities.

Top Players

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    Kyle Van Noy is the most complete player at this week's Senior Bowl.
    Kyle Van Noy is the most complete player at this week's Senior Bowl.Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    1. Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young

    One of the most complete players in the entire 2014 draft class, Kyle Van Noy isn’t far off from being this year’s top outside linebacker prospect. He is not a tremendously explosive athlete, but he can make plays all over the field.

    Van Noy is an instinctive player who is a very sound tackler and active run defender. His value is really bolstered by his pass defense versatility, however, as he is both skilled in rushing the passer off the edge and a playmaker when he drops back into coverage.

    2. Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State

    Billy Turner is frequently overlooked because of his small-school background, but the left tackle of the three-time consecutive national champion North Dakota State Bison has a real NFL skill set.

    Turner has the frame of an NFL left tackle while he possesses both very good feet and a strong power punch. He can drive defenders back off the line of scrimmage while he is also very good at pass-blocking out on the edge and at getting to the second level as a run-blocker.

    3. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

    Though his game is still technically raw, Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman’s upside should make him a first-round pick. He has an ideal combination of size and athleticism for an NFL defensive tackle, and he puts it to good use on the football field by exploding off the snap.

    Hageman has the versatility to play multiple spots on any NFL defensive line, but he needs to become a more consistent player in terms of leverage and hand usage. Nonetheless, he shows the ability to dominate blockers and make big plays in the backfield, and he could develop into a star.

    4. Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford

    Murphy’s measurables aren’t as impressive as many of the top edge defenders in this year’s draft class, but he has a very well-rounded game. He is an instinctive player and sound tackler who does a great job crashing in against the run but also has the athletic fluidity to make plays out in space.

    Murphy is also an explosive pass-rusher who possesses the ability to drop into coverage. He is a versatile three-down player who could find a role in any defensive scheme, but he is best suited to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

    5. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

    The best quarterback at this year’s Senior Bowl, Derek Carr could potentially be the first player drafted among those playing in Mobile because of the value of the position he plays.

    Carr has some issues with his mechanics and decision-making, especially under pressure, but he is coming off an excellent senior season and has the physical tools to be an excellent pocket passer. He has a strong arm and the ability to fit throws with accuracy and velocity to all levels of the field.

Players to Watch

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    Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Janis is a sleeper to watch in Mobile.
    Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Janis is a sleeper to watch in Mobile.Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    The following five players have greater questions left to prove than the top five, but if they do so, they have the potential to rise high in this year’s draft.

    Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

    Already drawing rave reviews from many onlookers including Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller after just one day of practice, Aaron Donald appears to be continuing the momentum of an outstanding senior season at Pittsburgh.

    Donald is an undersized defensive tackle, but he has great explosion off the line of scrimmage. His ability to generate power through leverage is impressive considering his size deficiencies, and his skilled hand play makes him tough to keep blocked.

    Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas

    While the top prospects at every other position in this year’s draft class are either underclassmen or not at the Senior Bowl, Arkansas’ Travis Swanson might be the best center in this year’s draft pool.

    A four-year starter at Arkansas, Swanson is a well-rounded interior lineman who blocks intelligently, packs a strong punch and moves his feet well for his size. He isn’t the only center to watch in Mobile, however: He could be challenged for the top spot by Colorado State’s Weston Richburg, Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard or Florida State’s Bryan Stork, all of whom are also competing in Mobile.

    Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

    He is no household name out of Northern Illinois, but he is arguably the third-best safety in this year’s draft class. Though he proved undersized for the position at Monday’s weigh-in, he has enough athleticism, instinctiveness and playmaking ability to make up for it.

    Ward has good ball skills on the back end, and he is a rangy playmaker who is usually in position and makes sound tackles all over the field. He has an opportunity to establish himself as a Day 2 draft pick this week.

    Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State

    Looking to become just the fourth-ever draft pick out of Saginaw Valley State, Division II wide receiver Jeff Janis wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl as a courtesy. A big, strong receiver with solid athleticism for his size, Janis has real potential as a Day 3 sleeper to end up developing into a solid NFL outside wide receiver.

    There are few prospects who need a strong week as badly as Janis, as a week of struggles would raise the doubts about his ability to make the jump in level of competition from Division II to the NFL. Yet if he makes big plays in Mobile all week, he has the chance to really rise up boards, as he had very good production in his collegiate career and shows the ability to make tough plays.

    Keith McGill, CB, Utah

    An impressive athlete for his 6’3” frame, Utah’s Keith McGill is a potential target for NFL teams looking for the next Richard Sherman-like tall cornerback. He needs to continue to prove himself after only one significantly productive season for the Utes, but he has the ball skills and enough technical prowess to emerge as a potential early-round pick.

    Size cannot be taught, but McGill needs to prove on the field this week he can utilize that size to potentially develop in a star cornerback.

     

    Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL draft Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

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