NFL Draft 2017: East-West Shrine Game & Senior Bowl Kickoff Draft Season

Unless you are a fan of the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers or New England Patriots, chances are you have begun looking towards a long offseason. The East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl officially kick off draft season as teams look to improve their team by selecting the top college football players.

The East-West Shrine Game takes place in St. Petersburg at 3 p.m. Eastern on NFL Network. It mostly features prospects fighting to be a late-round draft pick. Some of the top prospects include Michigan running back De’Veon Smith, Florida State wide receiver Kermit Whitfield, Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks, and Arkansas defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.

The Senior Bowl kicks things into high gear as the entire league descends on Mobile, Alabama. It signals the final time teams will see players in pads playing actual football. The NFL Combine takes place from February 28-March 6 but mostly measures players physical traits and athleticism.

A large emphasis will be on the Senior Bowl practices taking place Tuesday through Thursday. Teams want to see how players perform against some of the best players in college football. The game did take a blow as top prospects Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams and Corey Davis confirmed they will not attend the event.

The 2016 Senior Bowl featured a number of top NFL prospects including Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon, Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman and Steelers safety Sean Davis. Prescott ended up winning the MVP of the game and was selected by the Cowboys in the 4th round of the 2016 draft.

This year’s game will feature Iowa cornerback Desmond King, Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware, Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram, BYU running back Jamaal Williams, Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson, Alabama tight end O.J. Howard and Texas A&M Daeshon Hall. The Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears will coach the game.

While there is not a consensus number one prospect, Myles Garrett is the player most project to go to the Browns with the top pick. In our latest NFL mock draft, Heavy has the Browns selecting Garrett, the 49ers drafting Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson heading to the Bears, the Jaguars selecting running Leonard Fournette and the Titans drafting Clemson running back Mike Willians.

Click here for a closer look at Heavy’s mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Myles Garrett, Mitch Trubisky and DeShone Kizer as his top three picks in his latest mock draft.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has Garrett, Trubisky and Jonathan Allen as the top three selections in his first mock draft. The Senior Bowl is likely to change projections as certain players emerge and rumors begin to circulate as the NFL gathers in Alabama.