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10 Players To Watch At Senior Bowl

Posted Jan 19, 2014

There are plenty of intriguing players at the Ravens’ positions of need.


General Manager Ozzie Newsome laid out the Ravens’ needs this offseason: wide receiver, interior offensive line and play-making safety. Considering Baltimore has two free agent tackles, that may be another need.

While this year’s draft class is top-heavy with juniors, there are plenty of intriguing seniors at those positions that will be in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl.

The NFL Network will be broadcasting practices starting Monday and conclude with the North vs. South game on Saturday.

Here’s a list of 10 players to keep an eye on:

North

WR Michael Campanaro (Wake Forest)
5-foot-11, 190 pounds
2013 Stats: 67 receptions, 803 yards, 6 touchdowns
Campanaro is a local product who played at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md. He’s a smart, tough, quick slot receiver. Campanaro became Wake Forest’s all-time leading pass catcher despite missing the last three games of his senior year because of a broken collarbone.

OT Seantrel Henderson (Miami)
6 -8, 345
2013 Stats: 8 starts at right tackle
Henderson was the 2009 USA Today High School Offensive Player of the Year, and thus a huge recruit. But he didn’t have a very decorated college career. Henderson had offseason back surgery in 2011. Then he missed practice and a game because of a suspension and concussion from a traffic accident. He was again suspended for a game during his senior year. But he’s got talent and he’s a “card-carrying giant,” according to Senior Bowl Executive Director, and former Ravens personnel evaluator, Phil Savage.

OG Cyril Richardson (Baylor)
6-5, 335
2013 Stats: Started 13 games
Richardson may be the best guard in the draft this year. Baylor’s strength was its offensive line, which paved the way for about 300 rushing yards per game this past year. Richardson is at the heart of that success. Richardson is known more for his sheer size than his athleticism. The Ravens do want to get bigger inside, however.

OT Zack Martin (Notre Dame)
6-4, 308
2013 Stats: Started 13 games
Martin is one of the top offensive linemen in this year’s draft. He was strictly a left tackle last season at Notre Dame, but is on the smaller side for a tackle in the NFL. He was named a second-team All-American last year after helping the Fighting Irish run for at least 200 yards seven times. He could be the kind of guard/tackle combo the Ravens covet.

OLB Marcus Smith (Louisville)
6-3, 252
2013 Stats: 41 tackles, 14.5 sacks
The Ravens could use a pass rusher, especially if Terrell Suggs doesn’t return. Smith is an interesting prospect because he was a high school quarterback who began his college career as a linebacker, then was named an All-American at defensive end. He came on strong at the end of his senior year, and capped it with two sacks against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

South

WR Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
6-3, 206
2013 Stats: 112 receptions, 1,477 yards, 7 touchdowns
Could Matthews be the big, reliable target the Ravens are looking for? The potential first- or second-round pick was one of the best receivers in the SEC this season. He was named a first-team All-American by USA Today. Matthews is also a cousin of NFL legend Jerry Rice. Like Rice, he’s considered a better football player than pure athlete.

C Bryan Stork (Florida State)
6-4, 305
2013 Stats: Started 13 games
Stork was a national champion this year, and the heart of the Seminoles offensive line. He helped keep Heisman winner Jameis Winston clean. Stork was a consensus All-American and Remington Trophy winner, designating him as the best center in college football. The Ravens want to get bigger inside, and Stork would provide that at center.

FS Terrence Brooks (Florida State)
5-11, 200
2013 Stats: 54 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions
Brooks was a leader on the Florida State defense that led the nation in scoring defense (12.1 points per game), pass defense (156.6 yards per game) and interceptions (26). He’s projected to be a mid-round pick. The Ravens are looking for a playmaker, and Brooks has the capability to be it with great speed and leaping ability. He also used to play cornerback, so he’s versatile. He let a couple interceptions go through his hands though, and could prove himself in that area at the Senior Bowl.

DE Brent Urban (Virginia)
6-7, 295
2013 Stats: 40 tackles, 1 sack, 11.5 tackles for loss, 9 pass breakups
Urban’s size alone is alluring. He’s huge, and has extremely long arms. His nine pass deflections led the nation, and he also blocked a kick. Interestingly, he’s a native of Ontario, and has already been drafted. He was the 15th player picked in the 2013 Canadian Football League Draft, going to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the second round. He’ll be looking to prove he can play defensive end as opposed to tackle, which was the position he played at Virginia. Could he step in if Art Jones leaves?

OT/OG Joel Bitonio (Nevada)
6-4, 315
2013 Stats: Started 13 games
Bitonio is another smaller college offensive tackle who will likely be asked to play guard at the Senior Bowl. He never played guard in college. He’s highly competitive, and it will be interesting to see him battle some top-notch pass rushers in Mobile. Bitonio fared well against UCLA’s Anthony Barr (expected to be a top-10 pick) during a regular-season matchup.


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