The 2013 Senior Bowl is in the books and while the South beat the North 21-16, there are also individual winners and losers. The winners improved their draft stock, but did any of them get into position to be taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars at number two overall in the 2013 NFL Draft?
I think that there was definitely some movement upward with two guys in particular that the Jags may take a harder look at. Ezekiel Ansah and EJ Manuel. Defensive end and quarterback should both be big for the Jags in the 2013 draft, it really just depends on who they favor as the more valuable player immediately. Ansah really made quite the case for himself during the game.
E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
- Manuel really put on a show in the Senior Bowl with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. He showed that he is a good athlete (four rushes, 10 yards, one TD) and can throw the ball decently (7/10, 76 yards, one TD, one pick). He may not be a perfect quarterback yet, but his athleticism should translate well to a position that is becoming increasingly more versatile. There will be a lot of debate about who is the best quarterback coming into the draft and Manuel may end up a part of that discussion. He’s not #2 overall worthy, but he could be that mid-round quarterback that some Jags fans want to take.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
- Like Manuel, Ansah is an athlete. He is a big guy who could really do well with some quality coaching right out of the gate. While not generally considered to be a guy worthy of #2 overall, the defensive ends in this year’s draft are a lot closer together in talent and potential than usual. He may have pushed himself into the top ten with an impressive performance during Senior Bowl week and has some serious potential that may pique the interest of teams like the Jags. He finished the senior bowl with 1.5 sacks, seven tackles, and one fumble forced.
All in all, it was a good Senior Bowl that will probably give some defensive players an edge as they tended to control the game. It will be curious to see just how much Manuel and Ansah move up draft boards.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims