The Reese’s Senior Bowl today announced that the NFL has assigned the Bengals and Lions as the coaching staffs for the Reese’s Senior Bowl to be played on January 25, 2020 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
The Senior Bowl is the nation’s most prestigious college all-star game, as it’s the only one coached by entire staffs from two NFL teams. The participating teams are prioritized based on the NFL Draft order with the main caveat being that teams must have a full staff in place, which generally precludes teams with coaching turnover to participate, as was the case this year with Washington, who owns the No. 2 pick.
The Bengals will enter the game holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and three picks within the top 65 selections. They’ll have a chance to see several prospects in contention for one of these picks while in Mobile.
The last time the Bengals coached the Reese’s Senior Bowl was 2011 under Marvin Lewis. They went on to go 9-7 and make the playoffs that year after going 4-12 in 2010.
Coaching in the Reese’s Senior Bowl gives each staff a unique behind-the-scenes look at the players, not only on the field but also in the meeting rooms. This access is invaluable in the evaluation process and it has helped shape many draft classes over the years. The most recent example is this year’s Oakland Raiders, who had eight Senior Bowl alums on the active roster or practice squad to end the season.
Last year, the Senior Bowl produced 93 total draft picks, including 40 in the first three rounds and 10 first-round selections. That included QB Daniel Jones (Giants), QB Drew Lock (Broncos), QB Gardner Minshew (Jaguars), WR Terry McLaurin (Redskins), WR Deebo Samuel (49ers), OL Elgton Jenkins (Packers), OL Erik McCoy (Saints), DL Montez Sweat (Redskins), DB Darnell Savage (Packers).