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2016 Senior Bowl rosters: Carson Wentz highlights offensive NFL Draft prospects

Niners Nation's Jake Narayan takes a look at notable prospects on the offensive side of the ball in the Senior Bowl.

A week after breaking down the top prospects in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, we back with a look at prospects in the 2016 Senior Bowl. With the AFC and NFC Championship games in the rearview mirror, the Senior Bowl is the only game on slate this weekend. This game features many enticing prospects that are a good draft pick in the early to middle rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, which will take place in Chicago for the second year in a row. We'll start with a look at some notable offensive players.

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - 6'6", 231 lbs.

The FCS quarterback from North Dakota State highlights the offensive prospects to look out for in the Senior Bowl. Carson Wentz, a redshirt Senior from Bismarck, North Dakota, is probably the best prospect at the quarterback position behind Cal's Jared Goff. Wentz has an ideal frame, standing at 6'6", 231-pounds, benefiting him when playing in cold weather. Carson has great stature, rarely exists a clean pocket and stays calm and composed when under pressure. Wentz has a freakishly strong arm, puts great spin on the ball, and is exceedingly accurate. He can sling the deep ball with no limitations, shows very impressive touch, and climbs the pocket very well. However, no matter how promising a quarterback looks, there will always be negatives. The biggest one by far for Wentz is his slow decision making. He often tries to force passes in windows that are unrealistic in the NFL. I also notice he holds the ball too low in his stance, if raised, it can elevate the speed of his release (which will be needed in the NFL). Wentz undoubtedly looks the part and should be an immediate starter at the next level, dependent on who he is drafted to.

Projection: 1st

Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State - 6'4", 309 lbs

Cody Whitehair became a starter as a redshirt freshman and has started for the past three seasons at Kansas State. As indeed a top NFL prospect from the Big 12, Cody possesses the perfect size for his position. He squares himself well to drive a defender away from the ball carrier. Whitehair uses his wide base to handle difficult speed, staying balanced and lowering his hips at the point of attack. Whitehair displays excellent instincts and vision to recognize pressure pre-snap, a veteran and innate trait. He tends to hold when he plays at the tackle spot, which shows he is far more comfortable inside. The biggest negative on Whitehair, although an easy fix, is that he often gets pushed back on his heels when he allows a defensive lineman to get to his body. At the next level, he looks to be a guard rather than a left tackle. However, if needed, he can flop around the offensive line and play all five positions (critical to have in the NFL). With many struggles on the OL, the 49ers are a top the landing spot for Cody Whitehair.

Projection: 2nd

Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma - 5'10", 193 lbs

In the NFL, offensive coaches desire receivers with smooth route-running skills and big-play potential, and that's exactly what the senior from Oklahoma possesses. General managers are salivating just thinking about adding this playmaker to their roster, and potentially, a complement to a big name pass catcher. Throughout Shepard's final season in Norman, he showcased strong hands and superb ball skills to reel in tough catches. He also displayed the capability to get open in one-on-one coverage and the ability to cut on a dime to create separation from a DB. With polished route-running and an expanded route tree, Shepard looks to be a starting slot receiver at the next level.

Projection: 3rd-4th

Vadal Alexander, OT/OG, LSU - 6'6", 329 lbs

Alexander definitely fits into the conversation of the top offensive lineman in this year's 2016 NFL Draft. With that being be said, let's dive right into my evaluation of Alexander. His frame is already an automatic plus entering the draft. The senior possesses the desire to go hit somebody at the second level, which is why his best fit in the NFL is inside at the guard spot. A great trait he also carries is his strength (as you would expect considering his size), something scouts love in a big guard. However, with no surprises, there are always room to improve in certain in areas. The biggest flaw in Alexander's game is that he needs to meet the DL at the point of attack, rather than letting the opponent gain the first step. At times, his massive size works against him. Short-area movement should be a priority in the development of Alexander at the next level.

Projection: 1st-2nd

Other notable offensive players:

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona State
Aaron Green, RB, TCU
Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State
Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford