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January 19, 2014 @ 8:29 pm
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Senior Bowl Preview: Offensive Players To Watch

Written by Eric
Dellaratta
Eric Dellaratta

Eric
Dellaratta

Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The 53rd annual Senior Bowl game practices kickoff tomorrow afternoon in Mobile, Alabama. PewterReport.com will be there each day and offers this preview of some of the players we will be paying close attention to on the offensive side of the ball.
The Reese’s Senior Bowl begins this week and so does PewterReport.com’s coverage of the all star game. PewterReport.com will be bringing you all of the news from Mobile along with detailed practice reports and much more. In this two part breakdown, PewterReport.com will break down each position and let you know who to keep an eye out for during Reese’s Senior Bowl week.

Here are the offensive players attending the Reese’s Senior Bowl and some players to keep an eye on as the week progresses. 

QUARTERBACKS
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
David Fales, QB, San Jose State
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami (FL)
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Quarterbacks are always the talk of the Reese’s Senior Bowl and this year will be no different. With a jumbled group of quarterbacks ranked being the consensus No. 1 Teddy Bridgewater, the passers at the Senior Bowl will all be jockeying for draft position.

Derek Carr is the most notable player from this group off passers. He has a great arm and excellent accuracy and ball placement, but scouts and evaluators want to see his pocket presence, footwork, and ability to take the ball from under center. It could be a huge week for Carr.

Tajh Boyd and David Fales are ranked pretty close together on most pundits’ draft boards, but one of the two should separate themselves in Mobile at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Stephen Morris and Logan Thomas are both raw prospects that could impress with their athleticism and arm strength in Mobile, but both need significant work as passers.

Georgia’s Aaron Murray and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger were both slated to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl but each suffered an injury at the end of the season that will keep them from competing.

RUNNING BACKS

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina
Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
Jeff Scott, RB, Ole Miss
James White, RB, Wisconsin
Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

West Virginia’s Charles Sims is a knifing back who makes his money on the first cut, where he can use his excellent vision to get up the field. The senior ball-carrier is a long strider who consistently makes second level defenders miss. Sims is also a weapon out of the backfield as a receiver on screens and flat passes because of his solid hands and elusiveness. Sims looks like a third round selection in the mold of an Arian Foster/Matt Forte-type player.

Another back with some three-down potential is Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews, who loaded the stat sheet with 1,730 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. Andrews is a decisive, downhill runner that grinds out yards after contact on a regular basis. He runs with good balance and pad level, allowing him to fall forward and pick up extra yards. The senior running back doesn’t flash much top-end speed, but he has some blocking ability and caught 41 passes in 2013. 

WIDE RECEIVERS
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Robert Herron, Wyoming
Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane
Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU
Kain Colter, QB/WR, Northwestern
Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest
Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State
Mike Davis, WR Texas
Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama
Shaquelle Evans, WR, UCLA
Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor
Solomon Patton, WR, Florida

Jordan Matthews has been one of the most productive receivers in SEC history over the last four years. He’s a savvy receiver that can make catches all over the field in all kinds of situations. In many ways, Matthews reminds PewterReport.com of former Cal receiver and current San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen. He should be a second-round selection who has a great chance to contribute early in his career.

A sleeper receiver to keep an eye on is Tulane’s Ryan Grant, who has outstanding hands and body control. It will be interesting to see how he fares against top flight corners in Mobile, Alabama. If he can prove that he can gain consistent separation he could vault himself up draft boards.

TIGHT ENDS
CJ Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia
Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass
Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State
Jacob Pedersen, TE, Wisconsin
Gator Hoskins, TE, Marshall

Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz is a big inline tight end that is an NFL ready blocker. Fiedorowicz is a sneaky athlete who made plays in the passing game on a regular basis for the Hawkeyes. The Iowa senior isn’t a player that will blow you away with amazing qualities, but he’s a very solid player who will be an asset to an NFL team. Expect his name to be called somewhere between rounds three and five.

Two sleeper tight ends to put on your draft radars are Massachusetts’ Rob Blanchflower and Fresno State’s Marcel Jensen. Rob Blanchflower stands 6-foot-4, 260 pounds and is a feisty, finishing blocker. His drive and effort as an inline blocker will go a long way with scouts and evaluators. Blanchflower also offers some athleticism and playmaking ability from the tight end position. Look for him to potentially have a good week of practice. 

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State
Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada
JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee
Brandon Thomas, OT, Clemson
Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami (FL)
Michael Schofield, OT, Michigan

Jon Halapio, OG, Florida
Brandon Linder, OG, Miami (FL)
Kadeem Edwards, OG, Tennessee State
Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame
Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
Wesley Johnson, OG, Vanderbilt
Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor

Gabe Ikard, OC, Oklahoma
Travis Swanson, OC, Arkansas
Weston Richburg, OC, Colorado State
Bryan Stork, OC, Florida State

Teams are always looking for a mauling run-blocker at the guard position, and Baylor’s Cyril Richardson is a name that will pick up speed in Mobile. Richardson is a physically gifted guard who excels when asked to run block. He is excellent at sealing and move around lineman once he is engaged. Pulling is one of the Baylor lineman’s best attributes, and is an aspect of his game that will go a long way with NFL talent evaluators. Richardson is still somewhat of an underrated prospect, but he’s a potential first round pick that should generate plenty of buzz at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Tennessee’s Ja’Wuan James is a player who could have a great week of practice and vault himself into second round consideration, or a player that struggles in one-on-one drills and severely hurts his draft stock. James has excellent size (6-6, 318) and athleticism but sometimes struggles against strong pass-rushers. If he proves that he can hold up in the one-on-one drills against bull-rushers, he’ll be a hot name coming out of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

A sleeper to keep an eye on is North Dakota State’s Billy Turner, who is one of the most aggressive run blockers in the 2014 draft. Playing with extreme intensity on every play is something that NFL talent evaluators will love about the North Dakota State lineman’s game. Turner has all of the size and athleticism teams will be looking for from an offensive tackle, but his technique will be watched closely at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Turner’s footwork can get sloppy at times, and NFL caliber pass-rushers will expose that if he does not improve. He is a great candidate for a potential move to the guard position.

NOT PLAYING DUE TO INJURY/DECISION
Joe Don Duncan, TE, Dixie State
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

Last modified on Sunday, 19 January 2014 21:11
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    Wow.The article was over 1400 words long and there were about 59 players mentioned.This is what was said about Carr "Derek Carr is the most notable player from this group of passers. He has a great arm and excellent accuracy and ball placement, but scouts and evaluators want to see his pocket presence, footwork, and ability to take the ball from under center. It could be a huge week for Carr."
  • avatar


    Thanks Eric for the information. This will be a good game to watch.
  • avatar


    Can we focus our reporting on anyone else besides Derek Carr??
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