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Kicking off the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl

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The Cincinnati Bengals are in Mobile, Alabama with every other NFL team scouting the seniors headed into the 2015 NFL draft.

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The senior bowl doesn't necessarily feature prospects that are first round picks in the NFL draft (there ARE first rounders here but it's not a who's who of first rounders) -- those players are undergoing radical strength and conditioning drills to conquer the NFL Combine in the hopes of improving their overall numbers for their draft stock. It's a farce because scouts are judging players using drills that offer little football relevance. Yet these drills take precedence over the tape that features these players playing the game that they're being scouted for.


Anyway... that's for another day. While the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks prepare for the Super Bowl next week, the rest of the NFL is descending on Mobile, Alabama for the annual senior bowl. A significant number of Cincinnati's scouting crew, presumably including Duke Tobin and their coaches (Marvin Lewis is an annual guest), are likely stationed in the warm breezes of Alabama sunshine to monitor practices this week, leading to Saturday's annual game.

If you're reclusive enough to believe that the Bengals are monitoring only specific positions, you're not paying attention to this team's recent work in the draft. That being said, people do draft based on need -- it's just that "need" isn't so much of a headline priority from the BPA crowd. For example, why would the Bengals draft a quarterback in the first round. They won't. That being said, we're envisioning that the Bengals will address linebacker, offensive line and defensive line in the NFL draft (not just the first round).

A few notes:

+ Paul Dehner Jr. offers a list of players that the Bengals could be looking at, including LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins:

He won't just be on the Cincinnati radar. He's arguably the top player at the event. Collins looks targeted for a first-round draft pick and a player capable of entering the league and starting as a blind side protector immediately. The Bengals know just how well an LSU left tackle can work out but at some point they need to not only fix the swing tackle position vacated by Anthony Collins, but think about life after the 33-year-old Andrew Whitworth.

+ Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke offers a look at the top 10 prospects to watch, including Michigan State wide receiver Tony Lippett:

Lippett is listed as a wide receiver for the event. Will he take any turns at cornerback? The 6-3, 185-pounder pulled double duty for Michigan State down the stretch, catching five passes and holding up well on the other side of the ball during that bowl win over Baylor. He finished the year with 11 receiving touchdowns and more than 1,100 yards, which is why he's starting off on offense at the Senior Bowl. His versatility is pretty unique, though.

+ Dane Brugler with NFL Draft Scout offers 10 defensive prospects to watch with Harvard outside linebacker Zach Hodges generating some interest as a hybrid player:

Arguably the top "small school" prospect at the Senior Bowl, Hodges will look to do what WR Tre McBride did at the East-West Shrine Game and show he can have success against FBS talent. Hodges played a hybrid role at Harvard, lining up inside, outside and also standing up as a rusher, so scouts will be eager to see how Hodges looks at a traditional linebacker spot.

+ Here's the senior bowl roster... get used to these names.

North team

Sean Mannion, Oregon State 
Bryce Petty, Baylor

Running backs
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska 
David Cobb, Minnesota 
Jeremy Langford, Michigan State 
Ty Varga (FB), Yale

Nick Boyle (TE), Delaware 
Jamison Crowder, Duke 
Antwan Goodley, Baylor 
Ben Koyack (TE), Notre Dame 
Tony Lippett, Michigan State 
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State 
Vince Mayle, Washington State 
Ty Montgomery, Stanford 
Casey Pierce (TE), Kent State 
Devin Smith, Ohio State

Offensive linemen
Trenton Brown (OT), Florida 
T.J. Clemmings (OT), Pittsburgh 
Jamil Douglas (OT), Arizona State 
Max Garcia (C), Florida 
Rob Havenstein (OT), Wisconsin 
Chris Jasperse (C), Marshall 
Ali Marpet (OT), Hobart 
Donovan Smith (OT), Penn State 
Robert Myers (G), Tennessee State 
Laken Tomlinson (G), Duke

Defensive linemen
Henry Anderson (DE), Stanford 
Deion Barnes (DE), Penn State 
Michael Bennett (DT), Ohio State 
Marcus Hardison (DE), Arizona State 
Hau'oli Kikaha (DE), Washington 
Nate Orchard (DE), Utah 
Danny Shelton (DT), Washington 
Za'Darius Smith (DE), Kentucky 
Louis Trinca-Pasat (DT), Iowa

Jordan Hicks (OLB), Texas 
Mike Hull (OLB), Penn State 
Zack Hodges (OLB), Harvard 
Jeff Luc (ILB), Cincinnati

Defensive backs
Adrian Amos (S), Penn State 
Ibraheim Campbell (S), Northwestern 
Quandre Diggs (CB), Texas 
Kurtis Drummond (S), Michigan State 
Doran Grant (CB), Ohio State 
Steven Nelson (CB), Oregon State 
Damarious Randall (S), Arizona State 
Quinten Rollins (CB), Miami (Ohio) 
Eric Rowe (CB), Utah 
Josh Shaw (CB), USC 
Kevin White (CB), TCU

Joe Cardona (LS), Navy 
Kyle Loomis (P), Portland State 
Tom Obarski (K), Concordia-St. Paul

South team

Shane Carden, East Carolina 
Nick Marshall, Auburn 
Blake Sims, Alabama

Running backs
Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn 
Jalston Fowler (FB), Alabama 
David Johnson, Northern Iowa 
Cameron Neighbors (FB), LSU

Sammie Coates, Auburn 
Devante Davis, UNLV 
Phillip Dorsett, Miami (Fla.) 
Rannell Hall, UCF 
Justin Hardy, East Carolina 
Josh Harper, Fresno State 
Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas 
Donatella Luckett, Harding 
Nick O'Leary (TE), Florida State 
C.J. Uzomah (TE), Auburn 
Clive Walford (TE), Miami (Fla.)

Offensive linemen
La'el Collins (OT), LSU 
Dillon Day (C), Mississippi State 
Reese Dismukes (C), Auburn 
Tayo Fabuluje (OT), TCU 
Tre' Jackson (G), Florida State 
Arie Kouandjio (G), Alabama 
Shaq Mason (G), Georgia Tech 
Ty Sambrailo (OT), Colorado State 
Austin Shepherd (OT), Alabama 
Daryl Williams (OT), Oklahoma

Defensive linemen
Kaleb Eulls (DT), Mississippi State 
Trey Flowers (DE), Arkansas 
Markus Golden (DE), Missouri 
Grady Jarrett (DT), Clemson 
Joey Mbu (DT), Houston 
Owamagbe Odighizuwa (DE), UCLA 
Preston Smith (DE), Mississippi State 
Gabe Wright (DT), Auburn

Stephone Anthony (ILB), Clemson 
Geneo Grissom (OLB), Oklahoma 
Lorenzo Mauldin (OLB), Louisville 
Denzel Perryman (ILB), Miami (Fla.) 
Hayes Pullard (ILB), USC 
Martrell Spaight (OLB), Arkansas 
Lynden Trail (OLB), Norfolk State

Defensive backs
Imoan Claiborne (CB), Northwestern State 
Clayton Geathers (S), UCF 
Senquez Golson (CB), Ole Miss 
Anthony Jefferson (S), UCLA 
Cody Prewitt (S), Ole Miss 
JaCorey Shepherd (CB), Kansas 
D'Joun Smith (CB), Florida Atlantic 
Jaquiski Tartt (S), Samford

Andrew East (LS), Vanderbilt 
Justin Manton (K), Louisiana-Monroe