Cleveland Browns: Senior Bowl rosters finalized

The Cleveland Browns coaching staff now knows who they will be working with after the rosters for the 2017 Senior Bowl were announced.

The Cleveland Browns coaching staff has known for a short while now that they will be participating in the 2017 Senior Bowl and now they know which players they will be working with in Mobile, Ala., for the game on Jan. 28.

The rosters were announced today and head coach Hue Jackson and his staff will be in charge of the South Team, which has some familiar names on it, including Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware, Auburn defensive lineman Montravious Adams and Florida State defensive back Marquez White.

The one player that everyone wanted to see – and that Jackson likely would have loved to work with – is Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who declined an invitation to participate. Watson has received some criticism for passing on the game, and Phil Savage, executive director of the Senior Bowl, worked overtime to try to sell the notion that Watson needed to play in the game to help his draft prospects.

The reality is that Savage and the Senior Bowl need Watson as a ratings boost far more than Watson needs to participate in the game. If taking a pass on one exhibition game outweighs what Watson did in three years at Clemson, then something is wrong with the process.

And if there is any lingering doubt, scouts can just ask Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer or Alabama head coach Nick Saban for their opinion of Watson.

Even without Watson on the roster, this will still be a great opportunity for Jackson and his staff to work closely with several players at positions that the Browns very likely will be targeting at some point during the 2017 NFL Draft.

The quarterbacks on the South roster include:

  • Josh Dobbs from Tennessee, who finished his collegiate career with school records for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, and fifth in career passing yards.
  • Cal’s Davis Webb, who took over the Bears offense following Jared Goff and threw for 4,295 yards and 37 touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes.
  • Antonio Pipkin from Div. II Tiffin,  who finished as the school’s career leader in 300-yard passing games), passing attempts, completions, passing yards, total offense and passing touchdowns.

The Browns also need help in the secondary, most notably at safety, and will have the opportunity to work with:

While North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky was not eligible to participate in the game, Tar Heel wide receiver Ryan Switzer will be there, and he should be prepared to have Jackson in his ear asking about Trubisky.

The Senior Bowl will take place on Jan. 28 at 2:30 p.m. and be televised on the NFL Network.

Don’t be surprised if there are more than a few televisions in Northeast Ohio tuned in that afternoon.

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