Although many football fans believe that this is an off weekend for the National Football League, others know that in truth, there is a very important football game being played on Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Alabama. This game is affectionately known as the Senior Bowl and if you fancy yourself a football fan, it’s must-see TV.
The 2013 Senior Bowl will bring the top college football seniors together on the field in what has become a premier scouting event in the NFL, as scouts, personnel people and general managers from each team will be in attendance Saturday as some of the best players in the country showcase their skills.
If you are diehard fan you should not need a reason to watch this game. In fact, if you were a diehard fan, you would’ve watched the Senior Bowl practice sessions broadcast on the NFL network this week. Yet, if you missed any of those because you actually have a life or just need a few reasons to actually watch a college football all-star game, here are five reasons why you should tune in:
1. The Quarterbacks:
Whether it was Russell Wilson last year or Colin Kaepernick the year before or even Joe Flacco five years ago, there is usually a good quarterback or two playing in this game and this year is no different. In fact, there are a number of intriguing prospects this week at the quarterback positon beginning with North Carolina State senior Mike Glennon.
Some scouts feel Glennon has a lot of Flacco-like abilities and is similar in size and stature, standing 6’6 and weighing 238 pounds. He also possess a live arm and can make all the throws. There are some questions about his accuracy, especially after he completed under 59 percent of his passes this past season, but when all is said and done, he could very well be the first quarterback off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft.
There are also a number of other interesting quarterbacks prospects such as Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, who will be looking to help themselves with a good performance.
2. Eric Fisher:
In addition to being a great stage for quarterbacks, the Senior Bowl also provides offensive lineman a great chance to prove themselves against top-notch competition and after a week of practice, its clear the Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher is working his way into the conversation to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft.
The 6″7″ 305-pound tackle has been impressive throughout individual sessions and has showcased all the tools required to be an elite left tackle. He has great feet, long arms and has tremendous athleticism. He has even been compared by some scouts to Cleveland Brown left tackle Joe Thomas, which may be a bit premature, but one thing’s for sure, this kid can play and will be protecting the blindside of a franchise quarterback near you very soon.
3. Denard Robinson:
In addition to some very interesting quarterback prospects, there are also some high quality skill position players but quite possibly the most interesting player to keep an eye on in this game is former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
Robinson, the all-time NCAA leader in rushing yards by a quarterback is showcasing his skills as a wide receiver and after a week of practice, I believe it is going to be a fairly smooth transition. That is not to say it will be easy but he is such a smooth athlete and so determined to prove his doubters wrong, there is little doubt in my mind that he can develop into a legitimate offensive threat in the NFL.
The things to keep an eye on Saturday in the Senior Bowl is how Robinson does in terms of route-running, getting off press-coverage and showing a natural ability to catch the football. His performance in those areas will go a long way in determining his draft status.
4. Other Skill Players:
While Robinson may the most intriguing skill player to watch on Saturday, there is a bevy of other talented players at the running back, wide receiver and tight end positions.There are a number of high quality pass catchers, including Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech, Terrance Williams of Baylor, Chris Harper of Kansas State and tight end Vance McDonald of Rice.
Patton has been particularly impressive this week and has received high praise from scouts. The week of practice and the game Saturday will provide him with a great opportunity to show what he can do against top competition and after a 2012 season in which he hauled in over 100 passes, his stock is on the rise.
There are also some solid running back prospects to keep an eye in this game such as Stephan Taylor of Stanford, Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Jonathan Franklin of UCLA. The Senior Bowl provided a great forum for successful rookie running backs Alfred Morris and Doug Martin in 2012 and will give these backs a chance to show what they can do against top competition.
5. Head-to-head competition:
The final reason why this game is great to watch is that it gives you the fan an opportunity to watch some of the best up-and-coming players compete against each other. It pits small school guys against players from football factories and with nothing but vanilla schemes allowed on both sides of the ball, it is really all about the players.
So why wait to see the stars of tomorrow when you can get a first glimpse of what they can do Saturday in the Senior Bowl. The game will be broadcast at 4pm EST on the NFL Network.
Coming Soon: Later this week look out for our Senior Bowl recap as well as the first edition of the FantasyPPR.com 2013 NFL Mock Draft.