news features


13 Senior Bowlers who could go 1st Rd

Sun, May 04, 2014

By Phil Savage

With the 2014 NFL Annual Selection Meeting set to begin on Thursday night with the 1st Round, here are thirteen prospects from the Reese’s Senior Bowl that have a chance to hear their name called within those initial 32 picks.

Listed alphabetically:

 Joel Bitonio     OT     Nevada                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Brings OT/OG versatility to the table along with a 4.97 forty and 33 7/8 arms. Under appreciated prospect that could be a possibility for Carolina at #28.

 Deone Bucannon       FS        Washington State                                                                   

Well-built safety who was a four-year starter, had major production in college and then ran 4.49 and jumped 105 at Combine. If Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor go off board in teens, could be an option for Denver at #31 or Seattle at #32. 

 Derek Carr     QB     Fresno St.                                                                                              

NFL teams seem divided on this talented passer who approached the pre-draft events with a mature attitude and showcased his skills in Mobile and on his pro day. He is likely to be selected somewhere between #7 Tampa Bay and #26 Cleveland with Arizona at #20 being a strong possibility.

 Aaron Donald                        DT       Pittsburgh                                                                    

The most decorated defensive player in college football this year, he put on a show in Mobile, then followed it up with an outstanding Combine…expected to be the first Reese’s Senior Bowl player off the board…Tampa #7, Detroit #10, Tennessee #11, NY Giants #12 and Chicago #14 are all possibilities for this terrific talent.

 Dee Ford                    OLB     Auburn                                                                                      

Continued the momentum of his late-season surge for the Tigers with a sterling performance in Mobile. Projects as an OLB in the 3-4 and Sub package DE, he could find a home in Arizona #20, Philadelphia #22, Cincinnati #24 or San Diego #25.

 Jimmy Garoppolo      QB       Eastern Illinois                                                                                                                                                       

Gained attention during the regular season when he won the Walter Payton Award as the FCS most outstanding player, elevated his status further in Mobile and at the Combine. If a team in need of a QB moved back into 1st, he could be a target.

 Rashede Hageman    DT       Minnesota                                                                                 

Has rare Height/Weight/Speed ratio at 6’6/310 and 5.02 in the forty. Miami #19 would be high-side for him with Cincinnati #24, New England #29, San Francisco #30 and Seattle #32 being other destinations.

 Zack Martin                OT       Notre Dame                                                                                

Dependable, trustworthy talent who may ultimately be able to play any of the five OL spots, has four years of starting experience at LT, but many feel he can be a Pro Bowl guard…could go as high as NY Giants #12 with Pittsburgh #15, Baltimore #17 and Miami #19 all being in play.

 Jordan Matthews      WR      Vanderbilt                                                                                 

Invited to New York City for the draft, someone must know something. A+ person with a professional approach already, he stands 6’3, weighs 212lbs and ran 4.46 at the Combine…will be considered in Green Bay #21, Philadelphia #22, Kansas City #23, San Diego #25, Cleveland #26, Carolina #28 and Seattle #32.

  Morgan Moses           OT       Virginia                                                                                      

This card-carrying giant is 6’6/314 with 35 3/8” arms…likely RT, but some teams think he may be OK on the left-side. Ccould be biggest surprise of 1st round if he goes to NY Giants #12, but more likely scenario puts him in Carolina #28.

 Marcus Smith                        OLB     Louisville                                                                        

Another prospect that has flown under-the-radar…American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, he is a hybrid-type OLB/DE that could be of interest to Arizona #20, Philadelphia #22, Cincinnati #24 or San Diego #25.

 Kyle Van Noy             OLB     BYU                                                                                             

Yet another versatile defender who can play multiple roles in the 3-4 or 4-3…FBS All-Independent Defensive Player of the Year could find a home in Philadelphia #22, Cincinnati #24, San Diego #25, New England #29 or Denver #31.

 Jimmie Ward             FS        Northern Illinois                                                                         

Raised in Mobile, AL -- home of the Reese's Senior Bowl. Earned All-MAC honors for the Huskies when he totaled 92 tackles and 7 interceptions, he provides coverage flexibility in the back end…Carolina #28, New England #29 and Seattle #32 are all logical fits for him.


Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.