The NFL Conference Championships are finished, and the Super Bowl is not until Febuary 5th. Fear not, for there is still a football game to watch this weekend, and it is not the Pro Bowl...
The 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, January 28th, in Mobile, Alabama for the 66th consecutive year. This college all-star game is another chance for draft prospects to impress NFL scouts, though only college seniors and 4th-year-juniors who graduated in December are eligible to participate.
According to the Official Website of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, four Senior Bowl players were selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, with five players going in the first round in 2015. Dak Prescott was the star of last year’s Senior Bowl and was awarded the MVP, perhaps foreshadowing his outstanding rookie season.
The Titans selected three players who played in the 2016 Senior Bowl: Austin Johnson, Kevin Byard, and Sebastian Tretola. Tajae Sharpe also would’ve played, but he suffered a quad injury in the final practice and had to sit out of the game.
Jim Wyatt reported that Jon Robinson, Mike Mularkey, and other members of the Titans staff (including coaches, scouts, and personnel) will be on hand all week for the practices leading up to this year’s game.
Although some of the nation’s top prospects turned down their invitation to play in the Senior Bowl (such as the Clemson duo of Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams, or Alabama defenders Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster), there are many high profile players participating in the game.
The coaching staffs for the Senior Bowl come from the worst team in each conference, though teams that do not have a coaching staff in place are not eligible.
Fun fact: because the Titans were the worst team in the AFC in 2014 with a 2-14 record, the 2015 Senior Bowl North team was coached by Ken Whisenhunt.
The majority of the leg work done by NFL scouts takes place during each team’s three practice periods, which begin at the Mobile Convention Center with Tuesday morning's National Scouting Weigh-In. Scouts and talent evaluators measure the players’ height, weight, hand size, and arm length in an event that is closed to the public.
Then, the teams get to work. This is a chance for coaches and executives to evaluate players in one-on-one drills against some of the best senior prospects in the country. It’s also a chance for some players to prove they can make a smooth and successful transition to a new position.
All of the practice sessions take place at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They can run anywhere from 90 minutes long up to two hours, and they are open to the public and free to attend. The schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, January 24th
South: 1:15PM CST
North: 3:30PM CST
Wednesday, January 27
North: 12:15PM CST
South: 3:00PM CST
Thursday, January 28
North: 12:15PM CST
South: 3:00PM CST
If you can’t make it to the practices because like most of us, you’re not in Mobile, Alabama, don’t worry! NFL Network will have live coverage from Ladd-Peebles Stadium, from 1PM CST - 4PM CST on Tuesday and 12PM CST - 4PM CST on Wednesday and Thursday. (Wednesday and Thursday’s practices will also air live on ESPNU from 12PM CST - 5PM CST.)
Additionally, NFL Network will broadcast a recap show after practice (at 7PM CST) on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with an hour-long replay segment airing at 11PM CST.
The Big Game
The 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl will kick off at 1:30PM CST on Saturday, January 28th from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
NFL Network will broadcast the game live on television and via SiriusXM NFL Network Radio.
Check back throughout the week for recaps of daily practices and reports coming out of Mobile.