2021 Senior Bowl roster reveal: What you need to know

The 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl is beginning to zero in on the last of its player selections after announcing another round of accepted invitations on Wednesday's Roster Reveal Show with NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah of the Move the Sticks Podcast. Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy and the Senior Bowl's staff of regional scouts fill two 55-man rosters with draft-worthy seniors and graduating juniors for the annual all-star game in Mobile, Alabama, which is scheduled for Jan. 30 in its new home of Hancock Whitney Stadium at the University of South Alabama. It will be televised by NFL Network. Here are five things to know:

  1. Florida's Kyle Trask and Notre Dame's Ian Book headline the Senior Bowl quarterback class so far; three of the eight passers who will participate in the annual all-star game are yet to be announced. Trask's second year as the Gators' starter demanded significantly more attention from NFL scouts. He has prototypical size (6-foot-5, 240 pounds, per UF) and torched a 10-game SEC-only schedule for a 40:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, showcasing a knack for seeing the field and connecting with secondary reads. Book, smaller but more athletic than Trask, led an undefeated regular season for the Fighting Irish as a third-year starter. He's quickened his decision-making in 2020, showing NFL clubs a more polished game despite a dip in TD passes (2.6 per game in 2019, 1.5 in 2020). The last three Senior Bowls have given NFL scouts a close look at five first-round quarterback selections, four of whom are current NFL starters: Justin Herbert, Daniel Jones, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Green Bay Packers 2020 first-rounder Jordan Love remains a rookie reserve, and Eagles second-rounder Jalen Hurts was a participant in last year's Senior Bowl, as well.
  2. Wake Forest's Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. will draw plenty of scouting attention among the Senior Bowl's defensive linemen. According to one NFL scout, Basham drew far more double-teaming this season than last, which limited his statistical production. He won't have to worry about that so much in Mobile, where one-on-one pass-rush drills pitting some of college football's top linemen can be a money-maker for the dominant performers, and always attract a heavy contingent of scouts during the practice week. Basham (6-foot-5, 285 pounds, per school measurements) played just seven games for a Demon Deacons team that was only able to get in eight this season, but still managed a team-high five sacks. He should be among the first Senior Bowlers to come off the board in the April draft.
  3. Entering this season, NFL evaluators wanted to see if Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace would rebound from a torn ACL he suffered in November 2019. He responded by leading the Cowboys in every key receiving category, and he'll give scouts one more look as one of the 2021 Senior Bowl's top pass catchers. Wallace, whose divergent college football journey with twin Tracin Wallace was profiled by NFL.com in September, is a smooth route runner who plays a physical brand for his size (6-0, 190 pounds, per school). A couple other receivers scouts are excited about: Florida's Kadarius Toney, for whom the Senior Bowl will be something of a homecoming -- Toney attended Mobile (Ala.) Blount High -- and his teammate at UF, Trevon Grimes. Brooks is especially impressed with Grimes, a big target at 6-4, 220 pounds. "I expect Trevon Grimes to be a dominant performer, having watched him since he was in high school. He has a lot of traits that NFL executives will love," Brooks said. "He's big, he's physical, he has great hands on contested balls. And he has a physicality about him that is going to make him a natural No. 1 receiver. Some, I think, will compare him to a poor man's Mike Evans in terms of his ability to play big down the field."
  4. Last year's Senior Bowl produced four first-round picks: the aforementioned Herbert and Love, DT Javon Kinlaw and WR Brandon Aiyuk. Herbert helped solidify his position as a top-10 pick with a strong performance in Mobile, earning both Practice Player of the Week and game MVP honors. Kinlaw withdrew from the game mid-week with an injury, but got just enough practice time in to show elite power and explosiveness. Standout rookies Chase Claypool (Steelers), Antonio Gibson (Washington Football Team) and Jeremy Chinn (Panthers) came through the Senior Bowl ranks, too. Of the 110 players chosen for the game, Nagy gathered 93 who were eventually drafted, including 37 of the draft's top 100 picks. With a few roster spots in the 2021 Senior Bowl still yet to be claimed, some of the top prospects accepting 2021 invitations include Basham, Alabama interior O-lineman Landon Dickerson and Florida State DT Marvin Wilson.
  5. Jeremiah called next month's Senior Bowl the most important one ever for NFL evaluators due to the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the 2020 college season. NFL scouts were not permitted by the NFL to make weekday visits to college campuses to watch practices in the fall, and were also somewhat limited in attending games. Between opt outs, shortened schedules and canceled games, there is a shortage of data on prospects, and the Senior Bowl can help close that gap in a more profound way than usual. Few if any will have more scouting eyes on him than Jamie Newman. The former Wake Forest QB transferred to Georgia but never played for the Bulldogs after opting out of the season due to COVID-19. "This will be the first opportunity to see him in about a year, so this will be a huge, huge platform for him in the evaluation process," Jeremiah said.

2021 Senior Bowl participants

Note: Roster is subject to change based on announcements from the Senior Bowl.

QUARTERBACK

  • Ian Book, Notre Dame
  • Sam Ehlinger, Texas
  • Feleipe Franks, Arkansas
  • Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
  • Jamie Newman, Wake Forest/Georgia
  • Kyle Trask, Florida

RUNNING BACK

  • Michael Carter, North Carolina
  • Chris Evans, Michigan
  • Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech
  • Kylin Hill, Mississippi State
  • Ben Mason, Michigan (FB)
  • Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
  • Larry Rountree III, Missouri
  • Trey Sermon, Ohio State
  • Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma

WIDE RECEIVER

  • Nico Collins, Michigan
  • Frank Darby, Arizona State
  • D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan
  • Demetric Felton, UCLA
  • Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville
  • Trevon Grimes, Florida
  • Cade Johnson, South Dakota State
  • Racey McMath, LSU
  • Josh Palmer, Tennessee
  • Cornell Powell, Clemson
  • Amari Rodgers, Clemson
  • Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame
  • Shi Smith, South Carolina
  • Marquez Stevenson, Houston
  • Kadarius Toney, Florida
  • Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
  • Austin Watkins Jr., UAB

TIGHT END

  • Kylen Granson, SMU
  • Noah Gray, Duke
  • Tre' McKitty, Georgia
  • Quintin Morris, Bowling Green
  • Tony Poljan, Virginia
  • Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

  • Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa
  • Jake Curhan, Cal
  • Adrian Ealy, Oklahoma
  • Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
  • James Hudson, Cincinnati
  • Alaric Jackson, Iowa
  • Brenden Jaimes, Nebraska
  • Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
  • Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
  • Dan Moore Jr., Texas A&M
  • Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
  • Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
  • D'Ante Smith, East Carolina

INTERIOR O-LINE

  • Jack Anderson, Texas Tech
  • Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
  • Deonte Brown, Alabama
  • Ben Cleveland, Georgia
  • Landon Dickerson, Alabama
  • Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
  • Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
  • Drake Jackson, Kentucky
  • Robert Jones, Middle Tennessee
  • Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Michal Menet, Penn State
  • David Moore, Grambling State
  • Josh Myers, Ohio State
  • Royce Newman, Mississippi
  • Trey Smith, Tennessee

EDGE RUSHER

  • William Bradley-King, Baylor
  • Jonathon Cooper, Ohio State
  • Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame
  • Patrick Jones II, Pittsburgh
  • Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo
  • Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt
  • Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State
  • Janarius Robinson, Florida State
  • Quincy Roche, Miami
  • Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa
  • Shaka Toney, Penn State

DEFENSIVE LINE

  • Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest
  • Ta'Quon Graham, Texas
  • Malik Herring, Georgia
  • Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
  • Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA
  • Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Notre Dame
  • Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
  • Cameron Sample, Tulane
  • Jordan Smith, UAB
  • Marlon Tuipulotu, DT
  • Payton Turner, Houston
  • Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
  • Marvin Wilson, Florida State

LINEBACKER

  • Derrick Barnes, Purdue
  • Tuf Borland, Ohio State
  • K.J. Britt, Auburn
  • Baron Browning, Ohio State
  • Riley Cole, South Alabama
  • Jabril Cox, LSU
  • Tony Fields II, West Virginia
  • Paddy Fisher, Northwestern
  • Justin Hilliard, Ohio State
  • Monty Rice, Georgia
  • Charles Snowden, Virginia
  • Grant Stuard, Houston
  • Garrett Wallow, TCU

CORNERBACK

  • Tre Brown, Oklahoma
  • Camryn, Bynum, Cal
  • DJ Daniel, Georgia
  • Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon
  • Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
  • Bryan Mills, North Carolina Central
  • Elijah Molden, Washington
  • Tre Norwood, Oklahoma
  • Aaron Robinson, UCF
  • Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas
  • Keith Taylor, Washington
  • Ambry Thomas, Michigan
  • Kary Vincent Jr., LSU
  • Mark Webb, Georgia
  • Rodarius Williams, Oklahoma State

SAFETY

  • Joshuah Bledsoe, Missouri
  • Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
  • Shawn Davis, Florida
  • Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech
  • Tyree Gillespie, Missouri
  • Richie Grant, UCF
  • Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh
  • Richard LeCounte III, Georgia
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State
  • JaCoby Stevens, LSU
  • Christian Uphoff, Illinois State
  • James Wiggins, Cincinnati

SPECIALISTS

  • Jose Borregales, K, Miami
  • Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan
  • Max Duffy, P, Kentucky
  • Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama
  • Riley Patterson, K, Memphis
  • James Smith, P, Cincinnati

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter.

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