College Football

Senior Bowl 2014 Roster: Breaking Down Most Intriguing Players

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr looks to throw the ball against Southern California during the second quarter of the Royal Purple Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Cleveland)
David Cleveland/Associated Press
Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIJanuary 25, 2014

The Senior Bowl 2014 takes place Saturday afternoon and features a number of players who are going to have a big impact as professionals.

The Senior Bowl is a showcase. For some of these players, it can mean the difference between fighting for a roster spot or a cushy life as a first-round pick.

With so much talent on both the North and South rosters, we'll break down some of the most intriguing players in Saturday's game. 

North Roster

2014 Senior Bowl: North Roster
NamePositionSchoolHeightWeight
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

 

Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska 

Dave Weaver/Associated Press

B/R's own Matt Bowen, who knows a thing or two about the secondary, raved about Jean-Baptiste:

At 6'2", 215 lbs, the Nebraska product has the length/power to jam, reroute and impact wide receivers on the release from a press-man alignment.

Does he need to be coached up when playing from an off-man position? Sure. I could see that on the field when looking at his technique, eye placement and footwork at the top of the route stem.

But given the matchups NFL offenses can create outside the numbers to run inside breaking routes, finding a cornerback with size who can challenge receivers at the line of scrimmage is key. As one NFC scout told me on Jean-Baptiste, “Hard to miss that body, and he moves well for his size.”

Everybody's looking for the next Richard Sherman. Jean-Baptiste has the size and length to duplicate Sherman's skill-set. 

His size and speed will give him an excellent chance to enter the first round. In fact, it wouldn't be that surprising to see a team like the Seattle Seahawks to go after him. If Jean-Baptiste can shut down opposing receivers in Saturday's game, then he could find himself with a big payday.

 

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

If Aaron Donald was 6'3", he could be the No. 1 overall pick.

Instead, he's a shade under 6'1". That's a problem if you're a defensive tackle.

But Donald didn't let that stop him in college. He had a ridiculous 28.5 tackles for loss this past season and won multiple awards, such as the Chuck Bednarik award and Outland Trophy. 

Matt Miller of B/R raved about Donald's skill-set:

Donald's only real knock is his height, but during the week of practices against the best senior offensive linemen in the nation, he excelled at every stop. Donald used his lower center of gravity to fire off the ball and make himself a tiny target for the hands of interior blockers. And with his outstanding first-step quickness added onto his small target area, he was able to consistently get into the backfield and make plays.

For his part, Donald doesn't think his height will be an issue, as he told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun:

I got leverage, I got the quickness, I got the power. I can hold 600 pounds on a double team, I can shed blocks. I can do everything the others can do. I just come with a plus because I got the leverage. It is what it is. I can't get no taller, but I can just keep playing hard and getting better.

Most NFL teams crave the perfect measurables, but if you ask me, I want to see consistent production. If you can't have height, you need quickness. That's what Donald has.

A big game with a few blow-ups in the backfield could do wonders for those who doubt Donald. I think he will. 

 

South Roster

2014 Senior Bowl: South Roster
PlayerPositionSchoolHeightWeight
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

 

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Gary Kazanjian/Associated Press

Adam Caplan of ESPN believes that Derek Carr is the "cleanest" quarterback in the draft:

Carr, who threw for 5,082 yards, 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions this year, has a real chance to be drafted in the first round.

B/R's own Matt Miller was quite impressed with Carr, saying:

The most talented player at the 2014 Reese's Senior Bowl, Fresno State's quarterback was dominant throughout the week. He may have been helped by the poor talent level of the other quarterbacks in Mobile, but Carr took advantage and went to work.

The most impressive aspects of his week were shown both on and off the field. His velocity and accuracy were at the highest of levels. Even during a very cold and windy Tuesday practice, the California kid was able to excel in the elements.

Carr is going to have to fend off critics who think he's just a system quarterback. But with a big performance in Saturday's game, he can do that and rocket up the draft boards into the first round.

 

Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU

Cathleen Allison/Associated Press

Every team wants a dynamic pass-rusher, and that's exactly what Kyle Van Noy is.

Not only is he a strong pass-rusher, but as Peter Schrager of Fox Sports notes, he's also quite a smart player:

Van Noy had 17 tackles for lost last season and is a consistent and disruptive presence.  

In all likelihood, Van Noy will be a first-round pick. He's a perfect fit as an outside 'backer in a traditional 3-4 scheme, and he could find a home on a team like the New York Jets.

If he has a big game, then Van Noy could potentially sky-rocket to the Top 10.  

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