Sun, May 11, 2014
MOBILE, ALA. – Despite a record presence of 98 junior declares in this year’s NFL Draft, the Reese’s Senior Bowl had 84 of its players drafted in New York City over he weekend, including 47 on Saturday, the final day of the draft.
“What an exciting weekend for the Reese’s Senior Bowl,” said Phil Savage, the Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl. “The draft culminates an 11-month journey for our staff and these prospects as we evaluate and track their progress during the season and then promote them throughout the spring.”
The draft for the Reese’s Senior Bowl started with the St. Louis Rams selecting Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 13th overall pick and ended with the Rams using the 249th pick to select Missouri defensive end/outside linebacker Michael Sam, who is the first openly gay player to be drafted in the National Football League.
Seven players were first-round selections. Former Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin followed Donald’s selection, going to the Cowboys with the 16th selection. Former Tennessee tackle Ju’Wuan James went to the Dolphins at No. 19 and was followed by Auburn’s Dee Ford (No. 23 to Kansas City), Louisville’s Marcus Smith (No. 26 to Philadelphia), Washington State’s Deone Buccannon (No. 27 to Arizona) and Northern Illinois’ Jimmie Ward (No. 30 to San Francisco).
“Mobile continues to be the ‘rite of passage’ to the National Football League,” Savage said. “We are thankful for the support of our local community.”
The Reese’s Senior Bowl certainly left its mark on the NFL Draft, producing those seven picks in the first round, 11 in the second round, 19 in the third, 18 in the fourth, 13 in the fifth, nine in the sixth and seven in the seventh round. The 84 players selected is the second highest total since 2009, trailing only last year’s 94 selections.
Six of the game’s seven quarterbacks were selected, including Fresno State’s Derek Carr (2nd Rd./36th overall to Oakland) and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo (2nd Rd./62nd overall to New England), who was a late add after Alabama’s AJ McCarron declined his invitation. Georgia’s Aaron Murray was included as the seventh quarterback because he had accepted his invitation before injuring his knee and still came to Mobile to attend meetings, practices, participate in the National Scouting Weigh-in and interview with NFL clubs.
By position, 18-of-21 offensive linemen at the Reese’s Senior Bowl were selected, as were 16-of-18 defensive lineman, 11-of-13 cornerbacks, 4-of-6 running back, 3-of-6 tight ends, 10-of-16 wide receivers and 5-of-8 safeties.
The 84 selections from the Reese’s Senior Bowl make up 32.8% of the 256 players drafted. If you factor in the 62 juniors who were drafted (38 went undrafted), the Reese’s Senior Bowl accounted for nearly 44% of the seniors drafted.