Missouri loses to No. 2 Georgia 43-29

Missouri Tigers quarterback Drew Lock passes against second-ranked Georgia on Sept. 22 at Faurot Field. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

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UPDATED, 11:30 a.m.

COLUMBIA, MO. • Missouri wide receiver Emanuel Hall has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. Will his quarterback join him?

The answer came Thursday: Yes.

Drew Lock had received his invitation to the premier all-star game for NFL draft prospects, but as of Wednesday hadn't decided if he’ll play, his father, Andy Lock, said in a text message. Lock has since accepted his invitation, the Senior Bowl announced Thursday.

Six other quarterbacks had previously accepted their invitations, the Senior Bowl announced: Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, West Virginia’s Will Grier, North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, Washington State’s Gardner Minshew and Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson. The Senior Bowl expects a few more quarterbacks to accept invitations before rosters are finalized Jan. 16. Stidham is a fourth-year junior but he graduates later this month and plans to enter the NFL draft.

Nine other wide receivers have accepted invitations, including one from the SEC, South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel.

The Senior Bowl is Jan. 26 in Mobile, Ala.

Hall missed all or parts of five games with a groin injury this season and heads into MU's bowl game with a career-high 35 catches for 756 yards and six touchdowns. The Tigers are 7-0 in games Hall has caught a pass this season and have won 12 consecutive games that Hall has a reception. 

Had Lock decided to skip the all-star game, he wouldn’t have been the first high-profile quarterback to turn down the invitation. Most recently, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson didn’t attend the 2017 Senior Bowl. He was the 12th-overall selection in the 2017 NFL draft by Houston.

Dane Brugler, NFL draft analyst for The Athletic, believes the Senior Bowl will be more pivotal for Lock’s draft stock than the upcoming Liberty Bowl against Oklahoma State.

“He’s set up well where if he goes through the Senior Bowl, the Combine and does everything he’s capable of doing and what we expect him to do, I think he’ll put himself in the first round and the favorite to be the first senior quarterback drafted if he takes care of business here the next couple months,” said Brugler, who has Lock going to Denver with the No. 20 pick in his mock NFL draft.

Brugler considers Hall one of the draft's top 100 prospects and believes he'll be an early-round selection if he checks out healthy with teams. 

"He’s one of the top senior receivers in this draft," Brugler said. "His speed is no joke. He’ll stretch out defenses. That speed alone is going to get him drafted. You also factor in the other little things he can do. I’m a big fan of Hall. I think he’s a top-100 draft pick as long as his medicals are OK. He’s not just a speed guy. He’s an instinctive receiver. He’s got really quick hands. He cut down on the drops this year. His start-stop athleticism, the vertical speed, the quick acceleration is something defenses have to really account for because he can get behind a defense and stretch it out. Those guys go early."

Three Mizzou seniors have accepted invitations to the East-West Shrine Game: offensive tackle Paul Adams, defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. and tight end Kendall Blanton. That game is Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dave Matter

@dave_matter on Twitter


This article originally ran on stltoday.com.