The Senior Bowl week of practices is an annual event that is growing in popularity. It is being more heavily attended by the media, the practices are now televised on NFL Network, and fan interest seems to be much higher now than in previous years. The first day of practices begin next Monday, and continue through the week, although the only ones worth watching occur on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The actual game will be played on Saturday, January 25th.
For Eagles fans, the Senior Bowl week of practice should be of particular interest, as the Eagles tend to draft a high number of players who have competed there. Since Howie Roseman took over as GM in 2010 (with the disclaimer that there is gray area as to who in the Eagles organization was actually picking the groceries), the Eagles have selected 18 players who competed at the Senior Bowl:
Some good, some bad, and some really bad.
Over the last 4 years, the Eagles have drafted more players who have competed at the Senior Bowl than any other team in the NFL, and by a fairly decent margin:
The Senior Bowl accepted invite list can be found here. Among those players, here are 10 players I will be watching closely (in alphabetical order):
1) Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (6'3, 242): Very athletic edge rushing prospect, but raw. Could take some time to develop, but he has a high ceiling.
2) Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (6'1, 225): Less than ideal size, but Boyd can run and would be an extremely interesting fit in Chip Kelly's offense.
3) Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State (6'1, 215): Punishing hitter who had 10 INTs the last two seasons. Bucannon also had 3 picks against Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks in 2011 and 2012.
4) Dee Ford, DE, Auburn, (6'2, 240): Less than ideal size, but was very disruptive as an edge rusher all season against very good competition, especially in the National Championship game.
5) Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami (6'7, 345): Mammoth offensive tackle who was a disappointment at Miami, but is athletic for his size. He is also a former top high school recruit, and the Eagles have an established history of acquiring former elite high school prospects.
6) Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (6'3, 205): Good size, and fast. As an added bonus, Matthews actually asked for tape of the CBs he'll be facing at the Senior Bowl. Love that.
7) Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford (6'6, 261): I'm not a huge fan, as he doesn't appear to be as athletic as a number of other top edge rushing prospects. I'll get a better idea about him in person.
8) Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State (6'3, 219): At the pro level, will he be an undersized linebacker, or a super-sized safety? Or do you just give him his own unique position? The Senior Bowl should offer some clues.
9) Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech (6'6, 254): Bad numbers at Virginia Tech, but he's a 6'6 bruising runner of a QB with a live arm. Soooooo... yeah, he'll have my attention, even if he's nothing more than a developmental project at QB or some other position.
10) Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU (6'3, 245): Polished, instinctive OLB who can rush the passer, play the run and drop into coverage. Need to see if he can be a quality NFL pass rusher, or another "jack or all trades" type like Connor Barwin, which obviously, the Eagles already have.