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Senior Bowl

11 names Browns fans should have on their radar at the Senior Bowl


MOBILE, Alabama -- The unofficial start to NFL Draft season is in full swing as hundreds of NFL coaches, general managers and scouts flood Alabama's Port City for the 2015 Senior Bowl.

Though a large number of players selected in the first round are anticipated to be underclassmen, the top seniors provide the meat of NFL's seven-round draft. The vast majority of players invited to last year's game were drafted, and the Browns accounted for three of them (Joel Bitonio, Chris Kirksey and Pierre Desir).

The Browns' personnel will be evaluating more than what they see at this week's practices. They'll meet with players in organized interviews to gather their first impressions and decide who best fits the "Play Like a Brown" mold.

Just like we did for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game, we're taking a snapshot of players to monitor at this annual showcase of college football's best players who logged four or more years at their respective schools. We'll make sure to circle back here in May to see if the Browns wound up using any of their 10 picks on the first 11 we're highlighting.

OT T.J. Clemmings (6-5, 305) - Pittsburgh

  • He started his college career on defense and didn't play on the offensive line until his fourth year with the Panthers, but he's emerged as one of the draft's top prospects at tackle. He only played right tackle the past two seasons but hopes to show off his versatility this week.

OG Tre' Jackson (6-4, 330) - Florida State

  • A three-year starter for one of college football's best teams, Jackson is a menace as a run blocker and athletic for his size. The Browns struck gold with an offensive guard at last year's Senior Bowl (Bitonio) and boast an offensive line that includes four starters whom they drafted.

FB Jalston Fowler (6-1, 250) - Alabama

  • The Browns ended the season without a fullback on the roster after a lack of consistency at the position throughout most of the year. Fowler began his career as a running back but thrived at his new position when Lane Kiffin took over as offensive coordinator. He also has soft hands and is dangerous as a pass-catcher near the goal line.

WR Tyler Lockett (5-11, 175) - Kansas State

  • A SportsCenter Top 10 play waiting to happen, Lockett was arguably one of college football's top highlight producers during his senior season with the Wildcats. Lockett not only caught 106 passes for 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns, but also returned two punts for touchdowns and averaged 19.1 yards on the season.

TE Clive Walford (6-4, 263) - Miami (Fla.)

  • If the Browns lose Jordan Cameron to free agency, tight end suddenly becomes a major position of need heading into the draft. Walford is a big target who piled up 676 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior.

QB Garrett Grayson (6-2, 220) - Colorado State

  • As Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage describes it, the battle to be No. 3 will be a major storyline at this year's game. With Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston projected to be the draft's first two quarterbacks off the board, a number of players here are fighting to be the third signal-caller selected, and Grayson is right in the mix. The commander of the Rams' pro-style offense, Grayson threw for more than 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns and has drawn praise from scouts for his ability to throw on the run.

DT Danny Shelton (6-1, 339) - Washington

  • Savage said he'll likely be the first Senior Bowl player selected in this year's draft and some draft prognosticators think the Browns will consider him with the No. 12 pick. Shelton piled up big numbers at a position that doesn't often stuff the stat sheet and a position at which Cleveland, one would think, will look to add depth and instill competition throughout the offseason.

DE Nate Orchard (6-4, 255) - Utah

  • A wide receiver in high school, Orchard broke out in a big way in his All-American senior season. The nation's leader in sacks per game (1.46), Orchard held his own as an undersized defensive end no matter the matchup and could be among the more intriguing pass rushers available on Day 2.

OLB Lorenzo Mauldin (6-4, 252) - Louisville

  • Capable of playing as a 4-3 end or 3-4 linebacker, Mauldin was one of the Cardinals' most disruptive defensive players and made his biggest plays in his opponents' backfield. Returning for a senior season was pivotal in his development and, like Orchard, he's anticipated to be an early Day 2 pick.

DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (6-3, 270) - UCLA

  • The fifth-year senior didn't look like a player who missed all of 2013 with a hip injury. He tied for the team lead with 11 tackles for loss and was second with six sacks. Most importantly when it pertains to the Browns, he played end in a 3-4 and was used in a variety of ways.

K Justin Manton (6-1, 194) - Louisiana Monroe

Don't laugh off the inclusion of a kicker. One of last year's Senior Bowl specialists, Cody Parkey, emerged as one of the NFL's top kickers in 2014. Manton handled punting and kicking for the Warhawks and thrived in each area. He nailed both of his attempts from 50 and finished the year 20-of-24.

This article is part of the Road to the Draft series, driven by Liberty Ford.

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