For the third time in as many years, a Washington State quarterback will have an opportunity to boost his NFL stock in front of professional scouts, general managers and head coaches.
Redshirt senior Anthony Gordon will follow the Cougars’ impending bowl game with a trip to Mobile, Alabama, for the Reese’s Senior Bowl after the nation’s leading passer accepted an invitation to college football’s top predraft showcase Tuesday evening.
Gordon becomes the first quarterback to receive an invitation to the 2020 Senior Bowl and becomes the third consecutive WSU signal-caller to do so, joining former teammates Gardner Minshew and Luke Falk, who participated in the event in 2018 and ’19, respectively.
Playing in the Senior Bowl doesn’t necessarily guarantee a player gets drafted, but quarterbacks – particularly those at WSU – have had a high success rate the last two years. Minshew was taken in the sixth round of the 2019 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars while Falk was selected in the sixth round of the 2018 draft by the Tennessee Titans.
All eight quarterbacks who competed in the most recent Senior Bowl were drafted, and six of the eight who partook in the 2018 event were taken in the draft. WSU offensive tackles Cole Madison (Green Bay) and Andre Dillard (Philadelphia) were also chosen in the NFL draft after spending a week in Mobile.
The Senior Bowl takes place on Jan. 25, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. More important than the game are the three practices held the same week, which are usually viewed by scouts, GMs and coaches from all 32 NFL teams.
It could be an especially beneficial opportunity for Gordon, who didn’t win the starting job in Pullman until August and will come into the Senior Bowl with vastly less game experience than the other veteran quarterbacks with whom he’ll be playing.
Gordon’s broken a handful of records in his lone season as Mike Leach’s starter and last Friday against Washington became the first quarterback in Pac-12 history and 13th in college football history to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season.
The Pacifica, California, native holds the conference record for single-season yards (5,228), breaking the record previously held by Minshew. He also has the mark for single-season touchdowns (45), leaping Cal’s Jared Goff and UW’s Jake Browning two weeks ago in a game against Oregon State.
Other WSU players who were featured on the Senior Bowl’s preseason watch list included outside receivers Dezmon Patmon and Easop Winston Jr., along with center Fred Mauigoa. It’s unlikely Mauigoa is invited to the game, having agreed to play in the 2020 East West Shrine Bowl,