There were seven NFL first-round draft picks in 2014 who played in the Senior Bowl, including the Kansas City Chiefs' Dee Ford, who was selected No. 23 overall.
In total, the Chiefs had 19 players on their roster last season who played in their respective Senior Bowls, including the last two first-rounders in Ford and Eric Fisher (2013).
So there's plenty of reason for NFL fans to watch the Senior Bowl game on Saturday afternoon, and after spending the past week in Mobile, Alabama watching these practices, there are plenty of talented players who will help NFL teams in the future.
DL Carl Davis
The Senior Bowl released their "Positional Practice Players of the Week" on Friday, including their Most Outstanding Player of the Week in Iowa defensive lineman Carl Davis.
Several receivers had fantastic weeks as well, including Kansas State's Tyler Lockett, Ohio State's Devin Smith, Miami's Phillip Dorsett, Duke's Jamison Crowder and Auburn's Sammie Coates.
For a more detailed list of players who excelled this week, check out the practice recaps below.
Phil Savage, the executive director of the Senior Bowl, explained the process in which they go through to find these players each year.
"We try to approach the game as if we were the 33rd NFL franchise from a player personnel standpoint," Savage said. "We really start over the summer building our watch list out. We have 350 players on that list in August and then between myself, our two scouting interns and staff, we go out to practices and games and visit with the players."
"What I found is that it takes about 135 players to fill 110 spots, so we try to build it just like a pro personnel department would do it in terms of having backups at every position."
While the players down in Mobile jumped at the opportunity to compete against their peers in front of all 32 NFL teams, there were players who declined invites for various reasons, which is something Savage believes shows a lot about the players who did participate.
"I think it just shows there's a spirit of competitiveness with the players that choose to come down here," Savage said. "The exposure you get here can carry on through the rest of your career because it's all about making that first impression with the scouts.
Some players to watch at the upcoming Senior Bowl
"The players don't meet the scouts during the fall typically. Maybe at a small school, but at the large universities, there's not a lot interaction between the NFL and the players, so a first impression off the field, a lasting impression on the field—that's one of the things that we really try to sell here at the Reese's Senior Bowl."
But for Savage, whose primary responsibility is to showcase these players to the NFL teams, the best part of the week for him doesn't even revolve around what's happening on the field.
"I think my favorite day is on Friday when these 110 players go into 16 different local elementary schools and different children's hospitals," Savage said. "I think the players realize how fortunate they are and what a gift they have been given.
"I think it really gives them motivation to take advantage of that, but that's the real highlight for me and I think it is for the players too."
As the players practiced all week in front of NFL talent evaluators, the game on Saturday is the culmination of the work they've put in. It's a time for the players to go out there and have fun but also realize it's the last time they'll be in pads in front of NFL decision makers.
For fans, it's a great opportunity to get to know some of the names they'll be hearing about leading up to the draft at the end of April.
The game will be broadcast on NFL Network.
- 2015 Senior Bowl: Player of the Week
- National Analysts talk with KCChiefs.com
- Observations from Thursday's Senior Bowl Practices
- OSU WR Devin Smith Compares His Game to Jeremy Maclin
- Observations from Wednesday's South Team's Practice
- Observations from Wednesday's North Team's Practice
- Chiefs GM John Dorsey Explains Finding the "Soul of the Player"
- Five Observations from Tuesday's Senior Bowl Practices
- Why Chiefs Fans Should Care About the Senior Bowl