NFL

Senior Bowl 2014 Roster: Top Players Worth Following in Mobile

Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ford Field. Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Bowling Green Falcons 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2014

A handful of the top 2014 NFL draft prospects will take the field in Mobile, Ala. this weekend, site of the 2014 Senior Bowl.

While several elite non-senior prospects, including South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel will be nowhere to be found, the pre-draft showcase will allow not only coaches and scouts, but also fans to catch a glimpse of the future of the sport.

Here we'll run down the rosters for both the North and South and highlight a trio of stars worth following on Saturday afternoon.

 

Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014

Start Time: 4 p.m. ET

Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

Watch: NFL Network

Live Stream: NFL.com

 

Senior Bowl Rosters

North Roster
NamePos.SchoolHeightWeight
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
SeniorBowl.com
South Roster
PlayerPos.SchoolHeightWeight
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
SeniorBowl.com

 

Dee Ford, DE, Auburn, South

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles is sacked by defensive end Dee Ford #30 of the Auburn Tigers during the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on January 6, 2014 in Pasadena, Cal
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Auburn pass-rusher Dee Ford, who was named Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman during Senior Bowl practice, is one of the top defensive ends who will be available this coming spring. 

Ford isn't going to wow you with his height and weight (6'2", 240 pounds), but his elite pass-rushing skills, versatility as an end or a linebacker and overall instincts make him a coveted prospect. He ranked 12th in the nation with 10.5 sacks last season and finished the year with 14.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. 

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and Senior Bowl coach Gus Bradley had high praise for Ford during the week of practice leading up to Saturday's game, per NFL.com's Chase Goodbread:

Dee is exciting. I really like his personality. I like his spirit. He loves the game. He showcases that on the practice field. Any time a guy can come off the edge and show his ability to rush, it really stands out. For us in our scheme, the Leo spot, that's what we have it designed for -- guys like that.

Bradley isn't the only one gushing over Ford's abilities, though. Scouts seem to love him too, per Goodbread: "Said one scout of Ford: 'I haven't seen anyone block him all week.'"

But despite the attention he's garnered with his practice play, Ford isn't the least bit surprised about where he stands ahead of the 2014 NFL draft, per BuffaloBills.com

"Any time I get success, I think about all the work I put into it. Y'all have seen me grow from that little guy in 2009 to now. This is what I expected to do at this level, on this stage. It's what I expected."

After recording two sacks on Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston in the BCS National Championship Game, Ford will look to pick up where he left off in the 2014 Senior Bowl this weekend. 

 

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh, North

Sep 28, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) sacks Virginia Cavaliers quarterback David Watford (5) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There's no shortage of talent to watch for on the defensive side of the ball. For the North squad, Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald stands out as a player worth following in Mobile, Ala. 

Although he's a bit undersized at 6-foot, 288 pounds, the run-stuffing, pass-rushing monster has caught the attention of NFL scouts and coaches thanks to his lightning-quick hands and feet and relentless motor. 

Vaughn McClure, who covers the Atlanta Falcons for ESPN.com, reports that a "respected" group of scouts named Donald the Most Outstanding Overall Practice Player and says "Donald's motor is as impressive as any defensive tackle you'll see."

Atlanta Falcons head coach and Senior Bowl coach Mike Smith breaks down how Donald is able to overcome is lack of size, per Goodbread:

Donald is a very quick, athletic defensive tackle. He plays with great leverage and great hands. It's a low-man-wins mentality when you're playing offensive and defensive line. He does a great job playing with his hands inside the frame of the body.

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is also high on Donald, who recorded a shade under 30 sacks during his time with the Panthers, per McClure"He's extremely hard to block. He's very quick. He's an intelligent kid; uses his hands well. He's a playmaker." 

 

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois, South

STEPHEN HAAS/Associated Press

If you didn't watch a ton of FCS football in 2013, you'll want to pay close attention to South quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this weekend. The reigning Walter Payton Award winner (essentially the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy) is coming off a stellar performance in the 2014 East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 18., in which he completed 9 of 14 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. 

The Eastern Illinois signal-caller is rated as the sixth-best quarterback available in 2014, according to ESPN's insider rankings, and is coming off a season in which he threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns. 

At 6'2", 219 pounds, Garoppolo has the size and build to develop into a successful quarterback at the next level. And once you factor in his durability, poise, mobility, accuracy and arm strength, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better prospect under center. 

His lack of exposure has kept him under the radar thus far, but NFL scouts are certainly aware of his potential.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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