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5 Defensive Players to Watch at Senior Bowl

Posted Jan 28, 2017

A few defenders to keep an eye on at the 2017 Senior Bowl - presented by Lazydays RV.


1. DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State – South

In his 13 games in 2016, Willis earned an impressive 11.5 sacks, along with 17.5 tackles for a loss. At the time of his graduation, he had 26 sacks, tied for the seventh-most in Big 12 history. He recorded at least one sack in 11 of his final 17 games. He also forced three fumbles, batted down three passes and recovered a fumble. Willis started 39 of his final 48 games in a Kansas State uniform. He’s listed at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds.

2. CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State – South
The 5-foot-10, 183-pound corner finished his career with 17 interceptions, 15 of which came in his final two seasons. He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns. Kazee also earned 29 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He is a candidate to fill a spot as a return man at the next level; Kazee handled punt return duties for San Diego State as a junior and brought one of his five returns back for a touchdown.

3. LB Ryan Anderson, Alabama – South
Anderson is a player classified as an outside linebacker, but could fall into the “edge-rusher” category in the NFL. He finished his career with the Crimson Tide having recorded 128 tackles and 19 sacks. He picked up 40 tackles for a loss, which were the sixth-most in Alabama history. CBS projects Anderson as a second-round pick.

4. DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova - South
Despite playing for a smaller school, Kpassagnon was selected as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press. He was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, earning 45 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks in 2016. The 22 year-old is 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds.

5. CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan – North
Lewis was one of the most productive cornerbacks in Michigan history, earning a school-record 44 pass breakups during his career. He was an all-Big 10 selection by both the coaches and media in his junior and senior seasons. Lewis was a semifinalist for both the Jim Thorpe Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, recording two interceptions in each of his final three seasons. He also has experience returning kickoffs, averaging 22 yards per attempt on 25 returns.