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2017 Senior Bowl: Players to watch from the South team

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The North team has the more familiar name to Lions fans due to the strength of the Big 10, but the South has plenty of talent on its own.

Lamar v Houston Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Draftable talent comes out of the Senior Bowl every season. That is especially true this year, as we had to divide the talent between the North and South teams (and still can’t cover everyone worth watching). Name recognition is a lot easier for most Detroit Lions fans, since the North team tends to have all the Big 10 and regionally relevant teams for fans in the northeast such as Michigan and Ohio State. The South team brings in all the talent of the SEC and ACC, bringing in nationally relevant players from the two divisions that played in the National Championship Game of 2016. There’s plenty to look forward to, but here are some highlights.

Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston

Bound to be a name bracket champion somewhere, Tyus Bowser doesn’t have the national profile of a Reuben Foster or Zach Cunningham, but he was an integral part of a strong Houston defense. His pass rushing skills are top notch, as he tallied 8.5 sacks in just eight games. He had an astounding 24.5 sacks as a senior in high school.

Justin Evans, FS, Texas A&M

This isn’t the first interaction the Detroit Lions have had with Justin Evans, and while the TAMU product has largely fallen out of first-round consideration given the depth of this class, he is still an option in the earlier rounds as a long-term replacement in the secondary. As for toughness, the dude frickin’ popped his own knee back into place in his game against UCLA this year.

Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky

One of the best slot receiving options at the Senior Bowl, Taywan Taylor has had a few ups and downs, but once he settled in, he started schooling cornerbacks on how to run a route and get yards after the catch. There have been some deserved Golden Tate comparisons.

Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova

At 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds with long arms and a massive frame, Kpassagnon turned heads immediately. When the pads were on, he didn’t disappoint, and one of his first actions was to toss first-round guard prospect Forrest Lamp like he bad-mouthed Toto.

Others to Watch

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama - The best tight end in an already talented class, Howard is one of the best blockers in the country as well as being a top pass-catching option.

Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA - One of the largest players at the game, McDermott was turning heads with his play during practices. He should be a Day 2 option that could start immediately.

Daeshon Hall, DE, TAMU - Hall hasn’t had much press prior to the Senior Bowl, but he has been making waves every time he takes a rep. Unblockable even by the best this game has to offer, he’s likely to shoot up draft boards.

Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy - A tackle many are sleeping on, Garcia has had inconsistent practices so far. He’s one to watch when the lights come on, though, as a possible Day 2 target.

Corn Elder, CB, Miami - As a mid-to-late round slot option due to his diminutive size, a team is going to get a tough-nosed, active nickelback who can contribute Day 1.

Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama - One of the many players without a position in the draft, Anderson is a pass rushing linebacker who has the size to play end, but also the athleticism to play off the ball.

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU - Once considered a first-round option, White has fallen off somewhat and his struggles during practices point to some reasons why.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina - Weigh-ins weren’t kind to the 179 pound Tarheel, but Switzer has been putting on a catching clinic against the South cornerbacks.

Ben Boulware, LB, Clemson - A potential late-round option who sometimes gets Day 2 mentions, Boulware has flashed enough potential to keep an eye on if he plays well.