Mike Mayock cites Ali Marpet as reason to value Senior Bowl

J. Kanno

Want to know why the Senior Bowl is big deal for a prospective NFL player, whether coming from a Power 5 team or Division III? Raiders general manager Mike Mayock will tell you. His example? Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet.

On the Raiders' "Upon Further Review" show, Mayock explained the value of college all-star games and used Marpet as a testament of their value to evaluators:

To give you an example, to watch a small school kids, say, who has never faced a, a significant amount of competition and then you pop them in at the Senior Bowl and you say, "What's this kid gonna be?" And a few years ago, Eddie, there was a division three offensive lineman by the name of Ali Marpet. And Ali came in and everybody was... I looked at him in the huddle and he's looking around at helmets of Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Clemson and here he is, a Division III kid from upstate New York somewhere and we all wondered how he would do. And, and the kid played his tail off, competed and that equalized the comp- the level of competition question against this kid went, went away because he competed against the SEC guys like he belonged. He went the second round, he's been a starter at guard for Tampa Bay ever since. So, I'm a huge fan of the all-star games.

Marpet entered the 2015 NFL Draft from Hobart in New York, the first to be drafted from the college since 1948. He drew rave reviews during the Senior Bowl and was taken by the Bucs with the 29th pick of the second round of the draft.

Since then, Marpet has been a cornerstone for the Bucs offense, signing a five-year, $54 million contract in 2018. Though the Senior Bowl might be just not be a meaningful game in of itself, it can be invaluable to players like Marpet and NFL teams that might not otherwise be aware of their talent.