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2014 Senior Bowl: Preview & Open Thread

The final game of the scouting season kicks off at 4pm today.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

Well, this is it. The last game-centered scouting opportunity of the offseason. We've got regional combines and super regional combines and scouting combines and, if you're looking to grab someone out of Nebraska, Case axial-flow combines to come. But in terms of game-simulated scouting, this is it.

And don't underplay the quality here. Over the last five years, the Senior Bowl showcases an average of about 10 first round prospects.

Here's the basic game info:

Coaches: Falcons Mike Smith (North) and Jaguars Gus Bradley (South)
TV: NFL Network
Time: 4 p.m. ET

Here's your pre-game reading:

So plenty of content there to get you up to speed. Here's the bottom line.

This game is a validation exercise.

The scouts have watched these guys all week, they've got their own reports and they have the reports from other scouts around the league. They've got skill sets identified. They're not going to see anything new today. They will, however, get a check on the explosion of DT Ra'Shede Hageman. The smooth sophistication of WR Jordan Mathews. The lower torso drive of OL Zack Martin.

All those things will be on display at full speed against much of the best this draft class has to offer.

It's worth your time.