Senior Bowl history: Game serves as annual springboard for NFL draft

Chuck Cook -US PRESSWIRE

The Senior Bowl has helped springboard NFL careers since 1950, and especially more recently, with 52 participants from the last five years going on to be drafted in the first round.

The Senior Bowl is one of college football's oldest All-Star games. Every year since 1950, the game has featured some of the best players in college football who (you guessed it) have finished up their eligibility. The game has been held in Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., every year after the first game was held in Jacksonville, Fla. The game itself is interesting enough. The squads are split North-South, and are coached by NFL coaching staffs. More importantly, however, players get to show off their talents in front of NFL Draft scouts in hopes of improving their stock.

2013 Senior Bowl Coverage from SB Nation's Mocking The Draft

Over the last five years alone, 52 Senior Bowl participants have gone on to be drafted in the first round of that year's NFL Draft. Last year marked the first time in 16 years that a player from the Senior Bowl was not drafted in the top 10, and the first time in six years that 10 or more players from the game weren't drafted in the first round.

Of course, a great day at the Senior Bowl doesn't necessarily guarantee a first-round selection. Six of the last 10 Senior Bowl MVPs were passed over by teams with their first picks in the draft, including the likes of Isaiah Pead (2012), Pat White (2009), Matt Forte (2008) and Sinorice Rice (2006).

Pead's performance from last season will be difficult for anyone from the 2013 roster to top. The second-round selection by the Bengals (later traded to the St. Louis Rams) racked up 133 all-purpose yards, including 98 yards in punt returns, to help the North to a 23-13 victory over the South. In 2004, Philip Rivers put on one of the game's best-ever passing performances, with 213 yards and two first quarter touchdown passes to take home MVP honors. In 2002, Antwaan Randle-El became the first player since 1969 to win MVP on the losing team after the converted quarterback caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt 40 yards.

The Senior Bowl's All-Time team, selected on the 50th anniversary of the game, reads as a who's-who of college and NFL greats. Former participants include Joe Namath, Walter Payton, Bo Jackson, Joe Greene, Ed Jones and Derrick Thomas.

First round draft history from the last five years:

2012

16. Jets - Quinton Coples, UNC
18. Chargers - Melvin Ingram, Washington
19. Bears - Shea McClellin, Boise State
22. Browns - Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
27. Bengals - Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
29. Vikings - Harrison Smith, Notre Dame
30. 49ers - A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
31. Buccaneers - Doug Martin, Boise State

2011

2. Broncos - Von Miller, Texas A&M
8. Titans - Jake Locker, Washington
12. Vikings - Christian Ponder, Florida State
16. Redskins - Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
17. Patriots - Nate Solder, Colorado
21. Browns - Phil Taylor, Baylor
22. Colts - Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
23. Eagles - Danny Watkins, Baylor
24. Saints - Cameron Jordan, Cal
25. Seahawks - James Carpenter, Alabama
29. Bears - Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
32. Packers - Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State

2010

10. Jaguars - Tyson Alualu, Cal
13. Eagles - Brandon Graham, Michigan
17. 49ers - Mike Iupati, Idaho
19. Falcons - Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
25. Broncos - Tim Tebow, Florida
26. Cardinals - Dan Williams, Tennessee
27. Patriots - Devin McCourty, Rutgers
28. Dolphins - Jared Odrick, Penn State
29. Jets - Kyle Wilson, Boise State
32. Saints - Patrick Robinson, Florida State

2009

9. Packers - B.J. Raji, Boston College
15. Texans - Brian Cushing, USC
16. Chargers - Larry English, Northern Illinois
18. Broncos - Robert Ayers, Tennessee
20. Lions - Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State
21. Browns - Alex Mack, Cal
23. Ravens - Michael Oher, Ole Miss
24. Falcons - Peria Jerry, Ole Miss
26. Packers - Clay Matthews, USC
28. Bills - Eric Wood, Louisville
32. Steelers - Ziggy Hood, Missouri

2008

7. Saints - Sedrick Ellis, USC
9. Bengals - Keith Rivers, USC
11. Bills - Leodis McKelvin, Troy
14. Bears - Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
16. Cardinals - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State
17. Lions - Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
18. Ravens - Joe Flacco, Delaware
21. Falcons - Sam Baker, USC
24. Titans - Chris Johnson, East Carolina
28. Seahawks - Lawrence Jackson, USC
29. 49ers - Kentwan Balmer, UNC

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