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Senior Bowl '16 notes: Arrival Day – and a top QB


MOBILE, Ala. – Evaluation is important this week. Very important.

While that's true, Head Coach Gus Bradley said the Jaguars' coaching staff has a responsibility at the 2016 Reese's Senior Bowl beyond finding players for the franchise.

There's also a responsibility to the players playing in the game.

"They're coming in here expecting to get a feel for what a camp is like," Bradley said Monday upon arriving in Mobile, where practice will begin Tuesday for Saturday's game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

"They're wanting to experience being coached by an NFL coaching staff, what the experience is like and how it's going to be handled. We try to give them a first-hand look at what a [NFL] week is like.''

Bradley and the Jaguars' staff are coaching the game for a third consecutive year. They have coached the South team each of the last two years, winning 20-10 in 2013 and losing 34-13 last year.

"He does such a great job with the players," Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said of Bradley. "He makes it fun for them. All of the players have had a great experience with them the last two years."

Said Bradley, "It's another opportunity to come down here and see these guys first-hand, and make it a great experience. It's a great evaluation tool, but our coaching staff is going to have a lot of fun being here as well."

Also around the Senior Bowl Monday:

*The game's biggest storyline may be playing for the North. That's North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, whose draft stock has risen in recent weeks and who is now projected as a possible Top 5 selection. "There are obviously a lot of doubts coming from the FCS level," Wentz said. "I want to address that right away. I'm ready and really excited to prove that." Wentz has been mentioned as a possibility at No. 4 overall to the Dallas Cowboys, whose coaching staff is coaching the North team. …

*With the Jaguars selecting No. 5 overall, it's relatively unlikely they will select a player from the Senior Bowl at that spot. Aside from Wentz, no player from the game is projected as a Top 10 selection. Still, the game is heavy with late-first-round possibilities: Alabama defensive end Jarron Reed, Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland, Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair, Penn State defensive tackle Austin Johnson, Georgia outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins and Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence. …

*Ragland played inside linebacker at Alabama, but approached Savage recently about playing outside linebacker this week. "I want show I can play outside, too," he said, adding that he wants to show teams his ability in coverage. …

*One of the stronger position groups in this year's Senior Bowl is defensive tackle, an area also considered one of the best in this year's draft. Top defensive tackles in the game include Vernon Butler of Louisiana Tech, Adolphus Washington of Ohio State and Johnson of Penn State. Reed of Alabama also could play tackle in the NFL. …

*In all, there are 110 prospects in this year's game. "Every one of them [the 110 players] is a serious evaluation for the clubs," Savage said, adding that it's perhaps the deepest Senior Bowl in terms of talent across positions in his four years with the game. The game also includes five juniors who have met graduation requirements …

*Bradley said an appeal of coaching the Senior Bowl is the same as the past two years. "To have these guys in this kind of an intimate setting – to have them one on one the whole week – a lot can get accomplished," Bradley said. …

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