UA Senior Bowl: NFL Team Interest Update

As players and team representatives depart Mobile, Alabama following the Under Armour Senior Bowl,'s Ed Thompson and Chris Steuber file one final report on NFL teams that showed interest in some of the talented athletes this past week. Senior NFL Analyst Ed Thompson and Draft Analyst Chris Steuber have learned more about teams that have been in contact with players at the Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Be sure to check the Under Armour Senior Bowl Tracker for our complete coverage that includes other team-player interest reports.

Penn State linebacker Dan Connor has drawn interest from many NFL teams while in Mobile for the Under Armour Senior Bowl. And during an interview with's Ed Thompson this week, he confirmed meeting with two teams not far from where he played collegiate ball — the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles. The Ravens also met with offensive guard Oniel Cousins out of UTEP and the Eagles met with center John Sullivan out of Notre Dame.

The Indianapolis Colts appear to be in the hunt for tight end help, based on some of their meetings in Mobile. But that shouldn't be a huge surprise since all three of the tight ends on their roster are free agents. Dallas Clark is a restricted free agent, but is likely to get hit with the franchise tag if he can't work out a long-term deal with the Colts. Ben Utecht and Bryan Fletcher are both restricted free agents. It's likely that the Colts will let Fletcher move on as he's not much of a factor in the running game. Missouri tight end Martin Rucker confirmed that he had met with team representatives, while both Tennessee TE Brad Cottam and Kentucky's Jacob Tamme both chatted briefly with team representatives publicly in a manner that conveyed that they weren't likely meeting each other for the first time.

The Colts also chatted briefly with Texas A&M center Cody Wallace, who would also make sense for Indianapolis. With veteran center Jeff Saturday entering his tenth year in the league, Indianapolis needs to start figuring out who he would pass the torch to in the next couple of years and allow some time for that player to develop. The Colts have also kept a close eye on the Texas Tech program, adding players such as offensive guard Dylan Gandy and defensive tackle Keyunta Dawson in recent years.

LSU wide receiver Early Doucet goes airborn versus Ohio State.
AP Photo/Chuck Burton

Miami met with wide receiver Early Doucet out of LSU and Georgia Tech punter Durant Brooks. Doucet injured his hamstring early in the week and wasn't able to participate in Saturday's game. Brooks, who was the 2007 Ray Guy Award winner and averaged 45.1 yards per punt during his senior year, averaged 45 yards on his two punt attempts during Saturday's game as well. But he was slightly overshadowed by North Dakota State punter Mike Dragosavic, who averaged an incredible 58 yards per punt on three attempts, including a Senior Bowl record 69-yard effort.

A representative of the Jaguars spent quite a bit of time with Newberry College offensive guard Heath Benedict. The 6-foot-5, 332-pound lineman displayed a feisty attitude and solid technique all week, raising his profile significantly with NFL clubs.

Denver talked to center Kory Lichtensteiger, who is currently ranked as the third-best center in's draft rankings. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman started 48 consecutive games for Bowling Green, tying the school's record.

LSU running back Jacob Hester is drawing interest from the 49ers, and they got to know him well this week while coaching the South Team. The hard-nosed runner was LSU's leading rusher in the BCS Championship Game with 86 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown run. Hester's work ethic and attitude in addition to being an impact player on special teams will help his draft stock with teams.

New Orleans met with one of the loneliest players on the South Team this week, Florida State long-snapper Garrison Sanborn. With so many talented players at high-profile positions drawing interest during practices and through the week, long-snappers often go overlooked, so the fact that New Orleans invested some of their interview time with Sanborn is significant. He's reliably handled long-snapper duties for the Seminoles for the past two seasons.

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