Senior Bowl 2015 Roster: Highlighting Top NFL Prospects in College Showcase

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 19, 2015

LSU offensive tackle La'El Collins (70) and Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers face off in an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/David Quinn)
David Quinn/Associated Press

Many NFL hopefuls can secure an invite to a postseason collegiate all-star game, but only the best of the best make it to the Senior Bowl.

Reserved for the best standout upperclassmen in college football, the rosters are traditionally flooded with future NFL talent, and this year looks to be no different. Impact playmakers from the college football season are everywhere, but it takes a special breed to make the jump to the next level without many hiccups.

Coached by the coaching staffs of the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, the players will not only get a chance to work with NFL personnel, but they'll have the opportunity to impress the hundreds of scouts and coaches alike who will be watching closely.   

After the first practices on Tuesday, Bleacher Report NFL Analysts Matt Miller and Matt Bowen discussed their top takeaways:

Let's take a look at the complete rosters for both the North and South teams and analyze three future NFL stars.

North Team Roster: 2015 Senior Bowl
OffenseDefense / Special Teams
QB Bryce Petty (Baylor)CB Quandre Diggs (Texas)
QB Sean Mannion (Oregon St.)CB Doran Grant (Ohio State)
QB Shane Carden (East Carolina)CB Quinten Rollins (Miami Oh.)
RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)CB Eric Rowe (Utah)
RB David Cobb (Minnesota)CB Steven Nelson (Oregon St.)
RB Jeremy Langford (Michigan State)CB Josh Shaw (USC)
FB Tyler Varga (Yale)S Damarious Randall (Arizona St.)
TE Casey Pierce (Kent State)S Adrian Amos (Penn St.)
TE Ben Koyack (Notre Dame)S Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern)
TE Nick Boyle (Delaware)S Kurtis Drummond (Michigan St.)
WR Antwan Goodley (Baylor)DE Henry Anderson (Stanford)
WR Vince Mayle (Washington State)DE Deion Barnes (Penn St.)
WR Tony Lippett (Michigan State)DE Hau'oli Kikaha (Washington)
WR Ty Montgomery (Stanford)DE Marcus Hardison (Arizona St.)
WR Devin Smith (Ohio State)DE Za'Darius Smith (Kentucky)
WR Jamison Crowder (Duke)DE Nate Orchard (Utah)
WR Justin Hardy (East Carolina)DT Carl Davis (Iowa)
OT Ali Marpet (Hobart)DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa)
OT Trenton Brown (Florida)DT Danny Shelton (Washington)
OT Rob Havenstein (Wisconsin)ILB Hayes Pullard (USC)
OT T.J. Clemmings (Pittsburgh)ILB Jeff Luc (Cincinnati)
OT Jamil Douglas (Arizona State)OLB Zack Hodges (Harvard)
OT Donovan Smith (Penn State)OLB Mike Hull (Penn St.)
C Max Garcia (Florida)OLB Jordan Hicks (Texas)
C Chris Jasperse (Marshall)PK Tom Obarski (Concordia-St. Paul)
G Laken Tomlinson (Duke)PT Kyle Loomis (Portland State)
G Robert Myers (Tennessee St.)LS Joe Cardona (Navy)
South Team Roster: 2015 Senior Bowl
OffenseDefense / Special Teams
QB Garrett Grayson (Colorado St.)CB Lardarius Gunter (Miami)
QB Blake Sims (Alabama)CB JaCorey Shepherd (Kansas)
QB Nick Marshall (Auburn)CB Kevin White (TCU)
RB Cameron Artis-Payne (Auburn)CB Senquez Golson (Ole Miss)
RB David johnson (Northern Iowa)CB Imoan Claiborne (Northwestern St.)
FB Jalston Fowler (Alabama)CB D'Joun Smith (Florida Atlantic)
FB Connor Neighbors (LSU)S Clayton Geathers (Central Florida)
TE C.J. Uzomah (Auburn)S Cody Prewitt (Ole Miss)
TE Clive Walford (Miami)S Anthony Jefferson (UCLA)
TE Devin Mahina (BYU)S Jaquiski Tartt (Samford)
WR Phillip Dorsett (MIami)DE Markus Golden (Missouri)
WR Devante Davis (UNLV)DE Preston Smith (Mississippi State)
WR Josh Harper (Fresno St.)DE Trey Flowers (Arkansas)
WR Tyler Lockett (Kansas St.)DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (UCLA)
WR Sammie Coates (Auburn)DT Joey Mbu (Houston)
WR Donatella Luckett (Harding)DT Grady Jarrettt (Clemson)
WR Dezmin Lewis (Central Arkansas)DT Kaleb Eulls (Mississippi State)
WR Rannell Hall (Central Florida)DT Gabe Wright (Auburn)
OT Tayo Fabuluje (TCU)ILB Amarlo Herrera (Georgia)
OT Daryl Williams (Oklahoma)ILB Stepohone Anthony (Clemson)
OT Austin Shepherd (Alabama)ILB Denzel Perryman (Miami)
OT Ty Sambrailo (Colorado St.)OLB Martell Spaight (Arkansas)
OT La'el Collins (LSU)OLB Lorenzo Mauldin (Louisville)
C Reese Dismukes (Auburn)OLB Lyndel Trail (Norfolk State)
C Dillon Day (Mississippi State)LS Andrew East (Vanderbilt)
G Arie Kouandjio (Alabama)PK Justin Manton (Louisiana Monroe)
G Shaq Mason (Georgia Tech)-
G Tre Jackson (Florida State)-

Note: Team rosters are available at the Senior Bowl's official site.

Top NFL Prospects in Senior Bowl

Missouri DE Markus Golden (South)

John Raoux/Associated Press

Don't let the hype around Missouri Tigers defensive end Shane Ray distract you from the potential of teammate and fellow edge-rusher Markus Golden.

Golden came to Missouri as a linebacker but has made the transition to playing with his hand in the ground and done so magnificently. He finished fifth in the SEC in sacks with nine on the year and took down ball-carriers in the backfield as well as anyone in the conference with a whopping 20 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. 

He's attempting to emerge as a potential first-round pick, and the Senior Bowl is the perfect opportunity to do so, as he explained to David Morrison of the Columbia Tribune:

I know it’s a process. There’s a long time from now to the draft, where I can prove myself. Of course, I feel like I’m a first-round draft pick. I’ve worked hard enough, and I feel like my skills have me being a first-round draft pick.

I just want to keep on working, and whatever comes, I’m just blessed to say I have the opportunity to play in the NFL.

Ray has deservedly jumped up to the No. 6 overall player on the draft board of Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, but don't sleep on Golden, who is Miller's 13th-ranked defensive end in the class. This draft is loaded with elite pass-rushers, which means Golden should prove to be a fantastic value for a team in the second or third round.

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah (North)

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah has accomplished about all there is to accomplish individually at the college level. Now, it's a matter of transitioning to the NFL.

And nothing about Abdullah suggests that he will have much trouble in doing so. 

He's small for an NFL back at 5'9" but packs a major punch with a 195-pound frame that is capable of dragging the pile and breaking through would-be tacklers. With breakaway speed in space and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Abdullah should be high on teams' draft boards.

Few players in college football carried for more long gains than Abdullah in 2014, as Tony Gerdeman of The-Ozone.net noted:

Tony Gerdeman @TonyGerdeman

Pct of carries of 10+ yards in 2014: Ezekiel Elliott 18.6% Melvin Gordon 17.4% Tevin Coleman 17.4% Ameer Abdullah 17.0% David Cobb 15.3%

Those who kept up with college football are used to seeing Abdullah carve up opposing defenses, but continuing that effectiveness when going up against future NFL players is a different story.

He won't get his typical number of touches, but if Abdullah is able to make a similar impact in the Senior Bowl, NFL scouts will take notice.

LSU OT La'El Collins (South)

David Quinn/Associated Press

La'El Collins of LSU leads a star-studded pack of offensive tackles in the Senior Bowl who are set to crash the NFL draft party in a big way.

There might be a number of tackles in the Senior Bowl to come off the board in Round 1 come late April, with Colorado State's Ty Sambrailo and Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings being two names that will definitely be in the mix. But none are as much of a sure thing as Collins.

He is ranked as the second-best offensive tackle in the class, according to Miller, and it's not hard to see why. The 6'5", 321-pound tackle has always possessed the skill set to dominate, but he never truly showed his full potential until the 2014 season.

With that said, Joe Marino of DraftBreakdown.com isn't sold just yet:

Joe Marino @TheJoeMarino

Watched 3 2014 La'el Collins cuts this morning and I'm not sold that he is a plug & play OT that solves your issues right away.

The former LSU standout might not be a plug-and-play guy right away, but very few offensive linemen in any draft class truly are. What Collins does bring to the table, however, is an insane skill set and body type that NFL teams can work with to develop into a star offensive tackle.

But with a few other stars at his position in the Senior Bowl, the onus will be on Collins to prove that.