The 2013 Senior Bowl is a mini-holiday in the down period following the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. NFL teams send their representatives and roll out the red carpet to those players they anticipate making a successful jump into the NFL. For some on the Senior Bowl rosters playing well will mean a jump up on teams’ big boards. Others look to continue showing off after their college careers are over.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need fresh bodies at a number of positions and the Senior Bowl offers an opportunity to look at players who could immediately contribute. One of those major needs is at defensive end. Here are a few guys we fans should keep an eye on as the week goes on.
Ezekiel Ansah, LB/DE, Brigham Young
- The BYU standout was seen talking to a Jaguar representative this week. Many consider Ansah to be a first round prospect who could go in the mid-late part of the round. He may not be the pick to take at number two overall, but if the Jaguars want a player who could do well in the more hybrid scheme of head coach Gus Bradley they could always trade back to get Ansah. Ansah had a breakout year at BYU with 4.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, and 62 tackles while playing linebacker (listed as DL for the Senior Bowl). He also had nine passes defensed. While not a true defensive end, Ansah could bring versatility to the Jaguars’ defense.
Lavar Edwards, DE, Louisiana State
- Edwards is not the most prolific defensive line player at the Senior Bowl, but he is a player who could grow into something big in the NFL. At 6’4″ tall and only 258 pounds, Edwards would have to add some weight in the NFL to be more effective. He posted 26 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks during his senior season (six starts) at LSU. Edwards should be a mid-round pick and could be a developmental prospect with the Jags. I wouldn’t count on him to have an impact immediately, but he could turn it around with work in the gym and at practice. I like the potential.
Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist
- Originally from Estonia, Hunt started playing football in 2009. For a kid to come to college and rack of 2.5 sacks in his first season, that’s something special. For a kid to develop into a man who has 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks in his senior season during just his fourth year of football, ever? Well that’s something just a little bit more than special. Hunt is massive at 6’7″ but only weighs 280 pounds. His speed is impressive for a man of his size. Like Edwards, Hunt presents potential. He has 17 career blocked kicks and seven career blocked PATs. Hunt could fill a role immediately for the Jaguars on special teams as well as step in at defensive end. He should be a second round pick that the Jaguars could grab at #33 overall.
Thoughts on any of these guys? Will Ansah be worth trading back for? We’ll find out more as the week of the 2013 Senior Bowl continues.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims