Senior Bowl

5 things to know from Day 1 of Senior Bowl practices


MOBILE, Alabama -- The longest day of Senior Bowl week is over and done.

Now, it's time to reflect on everything we saw.

Our day began shortly after sunrise with the annual weigh-in of all of the game's players and ended with a two-hour interview session inside the Mobile Cruise Terminal. For many players, the marathon won't end until their individual meetings with teams are completed.

That's not a problem for us. Here's what we learned.

All eyes are on Danny Shelton

On Sunday, Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said the Washington nose guard Danny Shelton would probably be one of the highest-selected players from this year's group of Senior Bowl players. Less than 24 hours later, Shelton showed why he's garnering plenty of buzz, as he weighed in at 343 pounds and stood out in early one-on-one drills. At Tuesday night's media dinner, Shelton wore a sarong and held court with hordes of reporters for the entire two hours. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. recently projected Shelton to the Browns at No. 12 in his first mock draft of 2015, but some analysts believe he could sneak into the top 10. How his Tuesday unfolded was a good start toward proving those people right.

Ohio State's representatives are bleary-eyed but aren't complaining

A number of players took the field Tuesday for the first time in nearly two months. Wide receiver Devin Smith and defensive back Doran Grant were not those players. The duo of Ohio State Buckeyes, one week removed from the biggest game of their lives, will log their 16th game of the season when they suit up Saturday for the North team. They both admitted it's been a whirlwind since they helped the Buckeyes down Oregon to win the first-ever College Football Playoff championship game, but it's been a good problem to have. "It makes it that much more special. We can win a national championship and come here and represent Ohio State," said Smith, who will soon head to San Diego to train before next month's Combine.

Too early to tell who will be "No. 3"

No. 3 is in quotes because it refers to the first quarterback selected in this year's draft after Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, neither of whom are participating in the Senior Bowl. Baylor's Bryce Petty, Oregon State's Sean Mannion, Colorado State's Garrett Grayson and East Carolina's Shane Carden are among those here who are vying for that distinction. Grayson, by default, probably experienced the best day of the four simply because he received more repetitions than the other three, who are fighting for snaps on the North team. Grayson was one of just two quarterbacks at the South team's practice, as Auburn's Nick Marshall opted at the last minute to play defensive back. Southeastern Louisiana's Bryan Bennett, who began his career at Oregon, will join the South on Wednesday. UCLA's Brett Hundley declined an invitation to the game.

Numbers to know from the weigh-in

Though Shelton checked in at 343 pounds, he wasn't anywhere near the heaviest at Tuesday's weigh-in. That honor went to Florida offensive guard Trenton Brown, who was also the tallest at 6-foot-8 and 376 pounds. Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder was both the shortest (5-foot-8) and lightest (176). Of the five quarterbacks who were measured Tuesday, Mannion was the tallest at 6-foot-5, giving him three inches or more on the rest of his competition. Grayson and Petty both measured at 6-foot-2 while Carden was 6-foot-1. Seven of the wide receivers were shorter than 6-foot and the tallest was Central Arkansas' Dezmin Lewis at 6-foot-3.

One of the best backstories of any player comes from Wilmington, Ohio

Expect to hear much, much more about Quinten Rollins over the next few months. Rollins played just one year of college football after spending the previous four as a point guard for the Miami (Ohio) basketball team. He made the most of that season, of course, as he was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year after intercepting seven passes. He's considered to be one of the top defensive backs available in this year's draft and some have pegged him as a potential first-round selection. "I just want to stay under the radar and just keep continuing to work harder and get better," Rollins said.

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

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