MOBILE, Ala. – This is the week that starts it all.
Senior Bowl week begins a draftnik's favorite time of the year, or, depending on your outlook, it is the beginning of a long, tiring pre-draft season.
For Matt Miller, the lead NFL Draft writer for Bleacher Report, Senior Bowl week is a little bit of both.
"It's a non-stop process, and the draft being two weeks later this year just means that we have two more weeks to make mock drafts and overanalyze everything," Miller said during South team practice Monday afternoon.
"This kind of kicks off the draft season for everyone. Getting everyone out here on the same stage to compare guys side-by-side is great – you can't beat this."
The Jaguars hold the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, and there is wide speculation over who will be available and who the Jaguars might select on the evening of May 8.
"Obviously the biggest need is at quarterback, finding a guy that can be Gus Bradley's franchise quarterback," Miller said. "You have to go find a guy that can be a leader of the team. A lot of people thought they would do that last year, but they waited."
Miller said that one day into Senior Bowl practices, one South team quarterback stood out in particular.
"This is a good crop of quarterbacks led by Derek Carr (Fresno State), who had a good day so far (on Monday)," Miller said. "He's a guy that you have to like that the Jaguars staff is working with him and they're going to get familiar with him all week."
Miller also said that quarterback or not, the Jaguars have other needs that could be taken care of by players participating in the Senior Bowl.
"A good pass-rushing defensive end, a left defensive end in that Gus Bradley scheme," Miller said. "You see Dee Ford out here from Auburn who had a great season for the Tigers. He's looked impressive today, showing that quickness that they need coming off the edge.
"When you play in that division and in that conference you have to get to the quarterback, and finding someone who can do that on the other side is huge for them."
Miller's surprise player in Mobile
The Senior Bowl is a perfect stage for relatively unknown players to show their skill set among players of a similar caliber.
When asked for a player who might not be widely regarded but who is poised for a big week at the Senior Bowl, Miller immediately said Keith McGill, a cornerback from Utah.
"I think he's a guy that a lot of us are looking at," Miller said. "He came in at six-foot-three this morning (Monday), but he moves well. Normally you'll see a tall player like that, they're stiff in the hips, slow feet, but he's been impressive.
"Everyone wants the next Richard Sherman, so everyone wants the big corner who can actually move."
Posluszny reacts to change at LB coach
Jags LB coach Mark Duffner & head athletic trainer Mike Ryan are leaving the organization. http://t.co/iBZAKFF9CH pic.twitter.com/MEJMygBhbi — Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) January 20, 2014
Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny was added to the 2014 Pro Bowl roster Monday evening, but earlier in the day, his position coach, linebackers coach Mark Duffner left the Jaguars for a similar position with the Miami Dolphins.
"Obviously we're going to miss him, because all the players really got along well with him," Posluszny said via phone Monday evening.
"He's obviously an outstanding coach and a great person. It was fun to have him around the organization and learn from him. You wish him the best because he's such a good guy."
Fisch finding familiar faces
Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is getting familiar with his South team quarterbacks this week.
Fortunately he already has a deep knowledge of one of the quarterbacks on the North division squad.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris played under Fisch for two seasons while he was the offensive coordinator for the Hurricanes.
"It's fun to see him here, and also Brandon Linder and Seantrel Henderson, two offensive linemen I coached at Miami. That was cool to see both of them."
When asked why Morris wasn't included on the South team to reunite with his former college offensive coordinator, Fisch joked that the decision came from elsewhere.
"You've got to talk to (Senior Bowl executive director) Phil Savage about that I guess."
OC Fisch talks about seeing Derek Carr as a kid, when he coached Derek's older brother, David, in Houston. Watch: http://t.co/xqgemmKRPf — Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) January 20, 2014
-Louisiana State S Craig Loston on differences from college coaching to the terminology on Monday: "It's funny because the things that we do, it's kind of like what we do, it's just different terminology. We just have to get used to that. Now we just have to make the best of it."
-Georgia QB Aaron Murray on his height announcement Monday morning: "I was happy I cracked six-foot. I texted (Georgia offensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) Bobo back at Georgia because he always jokes with me that I'm 5-10, 5-11. I texted him and I said, 'Hey I'm not 5-10, 5-11, I'm six-foot and 3/8, so you can take that.'"
Senior Bowl Buzz
-Formal NFL team/player interviews continue Tuesday evening, with all 32 teams conducting interviews with selected players.
-Both teams are scheduled to move practice inside Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile on Tuesday, the site of Saturday's game. The North team will practice for two hours beginning at 9:30 a.m. CT while the South team will work out starting at 1:30 p.m. CT.