Thu, May 22, 2014
In an effort to wrap up the 2014 edition of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Executive Director Phil Savage has put together his “official” review of this year’s draft class on a position-by-position basis. With 20 years of National Football League experience as a coach, scout, personnel director and general manager, his comments will communicate a professional feel to the discussion of these prospects and their quest to make an impact in the NFL.
31 of 32 NFL organizations selected at least one Reese's Senior Bowl prospect this year with a total of 84 being chosen over the draft weekend. Here is a breakdown of each round and the number of prospects selected:
|1||7||7 of 32||22%|
|2||11||18 of 64||28%|
|3||19||37 of 100||37%|
|4||18||55 of 140||39%|
|5||13||69 of 175||39%|
|6||9||77 of 215||36%|
|7||7||84 of 256||33%|
Ten of the sixteen wide receivers that participated in Mobile were drafted with the remaining six prospects signed as free agents.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews in the 2nd round with the #42 overall choice. Matthews is already the consummate pro when it comes to work ethic and mental toughness. With his natural size, route discipline and previous production, he should be able to plug-in and play as a rookie in Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme.
With more attention being paid to slot receivers and return specialists, Oklahoma’s Jalen Saunders took advantage of his week in Mobile and ended up as a 4th round pick for the NY Jets (#104 overall). Despite his slight build, he wins with outstanding athletic ability and quickness in space, which will be an added element to the team’s receiving corps.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose Mike Evans in the 1st round to pair off with veteran Vincent Jackson on the outside and that will give them the ability to play “above the rim” in 2014. In the 6th round, they added Wyoming’s Robert Herron who brings big speed to the table as a potential slot receiver. He had a very good week in Mobile and, with his instant acceleration, should be able to threaten the middle of the field and “drive it to the basket”.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, slot receivers were signed as undrafted free agents (see Wayne Chrebet and Wes Welker). Now, the position is actually listed on team draft boards and the Baltimore Ravens chose Wake Forest WR Mike Campanaro in the 7th round (#218 overall). As the school’s all-time leading receiver, he could be a real find as an instinctive and savvy performer in Gary Kubiak’s offense.
In the 7th round, the Green Bay Packers took Saginaw Valley State’s Jeff Janis with the 218th overall pick. He is an interesting Height/Weight/Speed prospect that stands 6’3/219 and ran 4.42 at the Combine. Every team in the league is anxious to see if he can polish his route running and become more confident with his hands.
Five more receivers were drafted and an additional six were signed as free agents. The draft picks included: Josh Huff/Eagles, Shaq Evans/NY Jets, Kevin Norwood/Seahawks, Jared Abbrederis/Packers and Ryan Grant/Redskins. Cody Hoffman/Redskins, Mike Davis/Raiders, Solomon Patton/Buccaneers, Kain Colter/Vikings, Eric Thomas/Colts and Bennie Fowler/Broncos all inked contracts post-draft.