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Senior Bowl Preview 2015: 16 potential Eagles targets to watch

Unlike the historically underwhelming 2015 East-West Shrine Game rosters, this year's Senior Bowl features dozens of top prospects in Mobile, Alabama.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The college all-star season continues on Saturday in Mobile, Alabama with the annual Reese's Senior Bowl. Throughout the week, dozens of NFL hopefuls will try to increase their draft stock in practice and in the game this weekend. Unlike the bland rosters of last week's East-West Shrine Game, this year's Senior Bowl is about as stacked as it could get. Featuring the likes of Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates, the game has a decent portion of the talent that will be selected in the first two days of this year's NFL Draft.

Below are eight players to watch on each team:


Blake Sims, QB, Alabama

The starting quarterback of the Crimson Tide led the team to the college playoffs this season. Blake Sims made the most of his only shot at being a full-time starter and shined against the rest of the SEC. The Gainesville, Ga. native completed 252-of-391 passes (64.5 %) for 3487 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interception in his first and final year as the starting quarterback. He added another 350 yards on the ground with 83 rushing attempts. A former running back, Sims offers the speed and athleticism that some Eagles fans have craved at quarterback since the team hired Chip Kelly. Also, he is a favorite of BGN writer, Dan Klausner.

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

A redshirt junior, Sammie Coates was invited to the Senior Bowl after posting 741 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 34 receptions during his final season with the Tigers. A big play threat, Coates produced 82 catches for 1,757 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons. A potential first round pick in April, Coates has the opportunity to raise his stock in a stacked receiver class.

La'el Collins, OT, LSU

The second team All-American has garnered a lot of attention as a potential first round pick. One of the top tackles in the country, La'el Collins has started 25 games at left tackle over the last two seasons and started all 13 games at left guard during his sophomore season. Collins played right away as a freshman and has appeared in 45 games (38 starts). An athletic lineman, Collins has terrific quickness for his size and would be an interesting fit for the Eagles offense.

Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State

A two-year starter who could be an interesting upgrade over Matt Barkley, Garrett Grayson will be on display during Saturday's all-star game. An accurate passer with a completion percentage that has climbed in each of his four seasons at Colorado State, Grayson has collected 9,190 passing yards, 64 passing touchdowns and 27 interceptions during his college career. During his final season with the Rams, Grayson completed 270-of-420 passes (64.3%) for 4,006 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas

A defensive end from Huntsville, Ala., Trey Flowers is a talented pass rusher that could interest Philadelphia. Flowers has long arms and is quick off the line. A powerful and proficient pass rusher, Flowers collected 68 tackles, six sacks and six pass breakups in his senior season. Flowers has had at least five sacks in each of the last three seasons and a total of 18 over his four-year career.

Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

A former three-star recruit, Denzel Perryman has come a long way in his four years at Miami. A talented linebacker with special acceleration and an impressive tackling ability, Perryman could be an interesting successor for DeMeco Ryans. Perryman appeared in 47 games (37 starts) in four years at Miami and collected 351 total tackles (9.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two interceptions. He is coming off an impressive senior year, as he produced 110 tackles (9.5 for loss),  two sacks, three forced fumbles, five pass breakups and an interception.

Ladarius Gunter, CB, Miami

At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, Ladarius Gunter is exactly what Billy Davis is looking for at cornerback. The Montgomery, Ala. native is set for an interesting homecoming that will allow him to raise his draft stock, which is currently around Day 2 for most draftniks. A former junior college standout, Gunter spent three seasons with the Hurricanes and started 30 of the 37 games that he appeared in at Miami. During that span, Gunter collected 111 total tackles (three for loss), a forced fumble and six interceptions. Gunter has experience at both safety and cornerback.

Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss

As the Eagles continue to look for size in the secondary, fans should keep an eye on Cody Prewitt. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound safety is a former All-American and has appeared in 51 games at Ole Miss. While starting several games over his career, the big guy collected 247 total tackles (14 for loss), five forced fumbles and 12 interceptions. In his final season with the Rebels, Prewitt played in 13 games and produced 64 tackles (four for loss), a forced fumble and three interceptions.


Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

Likely the most notable name in the game, Bryce Petty has emerged as a possible option for the Eagles on Day 2. With a pretty mediocre quarterback class to compete against, Petty could aim to raise his stock into the first round with a stellar performance on Saturday. Petty has spent the last two seasons making a name for himself with the Bears. A two-year starter, Petty has spent his entire career in Baylor's spread offense and has a 62.7 completion percentage. In his career, Petty has collected 8,195 passing yards, 62 passing touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. An understated athlete, Petty has also rushed for 338 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns in four years of action.

Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina

A ridiculously productive college receiver with 6-foot-1 size, Justin Hardy has all of the makings of a potential standout at the next level. The owner of 387 receptions for 4,541 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns, Hardy has been a big fish in a small pond. A fluid runner with great hands, Hardy is likely to be the biggest playmaker on the North squad this weekend. Hardy collected 121 receptions for 1,494 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in his final season with the Pirates.

Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State

A former junior college star at Sierra College, Vince Mayle has spent the last two seasons with the Cougars. A productive receiver, Mayle played in 25 games (12 starts, all as a redshirt senior) for Washington State and caught 148 passes for 2,022 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. During his two-year career in the Pac-12, Mayle posted four career games of 10 catches or more and went over 100 yards seven times. As a redshirt senior, the 6-foot-3 receiver secured a team record 1,483 receiving yards, which was good enough for third in the country this season.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

A three-year starter for the Cornhuskers, Ameer Abdullah has been the team's bell cow during that time. A shifty scatback with a fantastic cutback move and great vision, Abdullah has all of the makings of Darren Sproles' successor. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound stud isn't likely to be an every down back in the NFL, but could show that he can handle the load on Saturday. Abdullah is a terrific playmaker with excellent speed and he has gone over the 1,100 rushing yard mark in each of the last three seasons.

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

A potential Top 10 pick, Danny Shelton is likely the top prospect in the game. The first team All-American has played in 53 career games and collected 111 total tackles (24 for loss) and 11.5 sacks. A nose tackle with great burst and strength, Shelton has been elected to the All-Pac-12 first team the last two seasons. In his final year with the Huskies, Shelton produced 53 tackles (16.5 for loss), three quarterback hits and nine sacks.

Hau'oil Kikaha, DE/OLB, Washington

Shelton's running mate at Washington, Hau'oil Kikaha is a versatile pass rusher with plenty of experience. A potential second round pick, Kikaha owns career totals of 36 sacks and 51.5 tackles for loss. A five-year player at Washington, Kikaha had a ridiculous senior season with 53 tackles (25 for loss, team record), a school record 19 sacks and three forced fumbles. A thin-framed pass rusher with incredible quickness and a relentless motor, Kikaha could be a nice fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker on the Eagles defense.

Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)

BGN Radio's Matt Dering swears by the first year cornerback and his raw skills are definitely something to admire. A former college basketball player, Quinten Rollins converted to football in his final year on campus. At 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds, Rollins played very well in his first year on the RedHawks football squad. He collected 73 tackles, seven interceptions and nine pass breakups. Rollins is a very sound athlete with great hips that flip seamlessly and is a pretty impressive tackler given his inexperience.

Josh Shaw, CB, USC

The 6-foot-1 USC cornerback was invited to the Senior Bowl after a quality performance during the week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game. Josh Shaw had an interception in the game and stood out as a special teams player as well. Shaw started his career at the University of Florida where he played in 11 games over two seasons for the Gators but was allowed to redshirt as a true freshman after injuring his knee after one game. Shaw transferred to USC in 2012 and collected 30 tackles (two for loss), six pass breakups and two interceptions. He played cornerback and safety in 2013 and started all 14 games. During his second season at USC, Shaw produced 67 tackles (5.5 for loss), four interceptions and seven pass breakups. Shaw was suspended for most of this past season for lying about an ankle injury. He appeared in the final three games of the season and collected 12 tackles. The off-the-field issues may be a problem for the Eagles, but it will be interesting to see if he can increase his stock with a stellar performance in his second all-star game in as many weeks.

BGN will continue to cover the Senior Bowl throughout the week. You can follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @mike_e_kaye.

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