The Senior Bowl is one of the best opportunities for aspiring NFL stars to showcase their talents to professional football personnel, and this year is no exception.
As always, the Senior Bowl game (and the days of practice leading up to the game) makes or breaks plenty of players' draft spots. Some of the prominent names this year include Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews and Auburn defensive end Dee Ford.
Yet, despite the big names, the general consensus is that this year's Senior Bowl features possibly the weakest talent ever.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron's absence doesn't exactly help the talent pool, either.
Worse yet, CBS' Adam Hoge thinks McCarron hurt his stock by missing the game.
It also didn't help the talent pool that Georgia's Aaron Murray, another premier quarterback talent in college football during the last few seasons, will miss the game due to injury. But Murray isn't lacking for confidence about his NFL chances, according to Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples.
Yes, this year's Senior Bowl might not have talent that stacks up to that of previous years. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of interesting players to watch, as SB Nation's Jon Benne notes. Anyone who complains about the lack of talent this year should remember that the Senior Bowl features players who are fighting for their NFL lives. That means the competition is great, the matchups are interesting and you'll have a chance to witness the defining moments in the lives of many talented young athletes.
This year also features several interesting players who have yet to define themselves as NFL-worthy talent, despite showing otherwise at times throughout their college careers.
Boyd is a prime example of that type of player, and one NFL scout thinks he isn't fit for a high draft pick.
But remember, some of the NFL's best quarterbacks were drafted in the later rounds (see: Tom Brady, Roger Staubach). That leads to one of the most interesting aspects of the Senior Bowl, which is the emergence of previous anonymous talent, like Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo.
Also, the supposed lack of talent also didn't stop the Ryan brothers from making an appearance.
Indeed, the results of Saturday's game and the days of practices figure to go a long way toward determining the draft stock of a variety of senior prospects. While followers of the this year's game might not see the talent they're used to, that doesn't make this, by any means, a "boring" spectacle.
We'll have to wait until the May draft to see the results of the Senior Bowl take effect, but for now, just be excited to see potential future NFL stars taking the field.
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