Chuck Cook -US PRESSWIRE
Twenty-four players who will be on active rosters for the Super Bowl played in the Senior Bowl, including players like Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, and Patrick Willis, among others who play big roles for each team.
The Senior Bowl often leads to the Super Bowl. Over a quarter of the players starting in the Big Game for the San Francisco 49ers played in the Senior Bowl to help boost their draft stock -- including both starting quarterbacks.
Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick obviously didn't take the quick route to the NFL, as Delaware and Nevada aren't exactly known for pumping out pros. Both took trips the college All-Star game and worked their way up: Flacco was a late replacement in the game for Matt Ryan, and his play Senior Bowl week was a big reason he ended up a first-round pick. You can read about Kaepernick's story from draft afterthought to second-rounder and San Francisco starter via Mobile in this story from SB Nation.
There's 24 total players in the Super Bowl that had played in a Senior Bowl, including some of the more important players: Patrick Willis is easily the most important player on San Francisco's defense, and Jonathan Goodwin's the rock of their offensive line. For the Ravens, three-fifths of their starting line played in the Senior Bowl -- Michael Oher, Marshal Yanda, and Kelechi Osemele -- and Courtney Upshaw and Terrence Cody have proven to be great picks, each contributing as rookies.
Here's the full breakdown of players who were in the Senior Bowl that will play next Sunday -- starters are in bold, rookies in italics.
Ravens (12, six starters)
49ers (12, six starters)