Why the Senior Bowl is important

NFL general managers, personnel departments, scouts, coaches and media members will gather in Mobile this week for the Senior Bowl.

The best collection of senior talent from the college game is assembled for a week's worth of practices, and then Saturday's game.

It will be the second go around at the Senior Bowl for Bob Quinn as Lions GM, who was on the job just a few weeks when he and his staff scouted the Senior Bowl last year.

Why is the Senior Bowl important?

Consider this, the Lions have drafted 16 players over the last five years who participated in the Senior Bowl.

That haul includes Ziggy Ansah (2013), Larry Warford (2013), Travis Swanson (2014), Laken Tomlinson (2015), Ameer Abdullah (2015), Quandre Diggs (2015) and Graham Glasgow (2016), all starters for the Lions this past season.

Detroit's drafted at least one player who participated in the Senior Bowl in each of the last six drafts.

Quinn had 10 picks in his first draft last year, and ended up selecting four players – Glasgow, Joe Dahl, Miles Killebrew and Jimmy Landes – who took part in last year's game. Jay Lee, a receiver out of Baylor who took part in last year's game, was signed as an undrafted free agent. Lee participated in training camp and was on the team's practice squad for a bit this past season.

A number of players taking part this week could fill needs again for the Lions.

The Lions could use some playmakers at the linebacker positiion. Alabama's Ryan Anderson is one of the top prospects at the position and will participate this week.

Cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis (Michigan), Tre'Davious White (LSU) and Desmond King (Iowa) rank in the top 10 in the pre-combine rankings at their position.

There are other lesser-known players who will make a name for themselves this week during practice in front of NFL personnel.

The Senior Bowl is just another step in the process that gets us closer to April's NFL draft, but it's an important one.

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