It has been a busy day for news of prospect visits down in Mobile, Alabama, as players arrive for Saturday's Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl is probably the most important of all the college all star games, as they usually have the highest level of talent, and their practices are must-see for NFL scouts.
RosterWatch is live tweeting as the players and teams begin talking and they'll be in Mobile all week long.
So far the Chicago Bears have been spotted meeting with Ohio State wide out Braxton Miller, Baylor offensive lineman Spencer Drango, Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins and also with a couple of linebacker prospects that we'll tell you about right now.
The Bears have met with 6'2", 233 pound inside linebacker Jake Ganus from Georgia. Ganus started his collegiate career at the University of Alabama-Birmingham before they shelved their football program after the 2014 season. Ganus ended up playing for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2015 and he led them with 102 tackles. He was also a team captain, he was named overall team MVP and defensive MVP. NFLDraftScout.com had him rated as the #44 ILB in the country, but things can obviously change with a good showing at the Senior Bowl this week.
"I'm telling you, I don't know where we would've been without Jake," said Mike Ekeler, his position coach at Georgia and now defensive coordinator at North Texas. "He's a special kid, a super hard worker and he's a talented football player and he deserves everything that's coming his way."
The other linebacker the Bears have met with is Oklahoma's Eric Striker.
#Bears scouts going IN-DEPTH w/ #Sooners OLB Eric Striker - having him diagram defenses and stuff beyond the normal scope of these meetings.— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) January 25, 2016
Striker may be a little undersized (6', 223 lbs) to be a full time outside linebacker in the NFL, but there's no denying his skill set. He's an athletic pass rusher that should flash well at the NFL Combine. If he's able to hold his own in the one on one drills at the Senior Bowl practice's this week, his draft status should go up.
CBS Sports has a 4th round projection on him right now after a career playing as a hybrid linebacker in the Sooners 3-4 defense. Here's a snippet from his Oklahoma bio.
A repeat first-team selection from a year ago and second-team pick from 2013, Striker leads Oklahoma with 16.0 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks this season. OU's all-time sack leader among linebackers, Striker ranks second and fifth, respectively, in those categories within the league and 24th and 42nd, nationally. He's fourth on the squad with 61 tackles and has a team-best 11 quarterback hurries to go with three pass breakups, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
What are your thoughts on these two linebacking prospects?
In other Senior Bowl linebacker news, Alabama's Reggie Ragland has asked to play some outside linebacker so he can showcase his all around skills to NFL scouts. Kudos to Ragland, but in my opinion this kid is a Mike at the next level.