Pro days will be inconsequential for the majority of draft prospects, because many already have put their workout hay in the barn. But a good number of prospects still have something to prove. Here are the players who scouts say have the most to gain at their upcoming pro days.
Keenan Allen, Cal WR—The order of the top wide receivers still is somewhat in flux, and Allen could move up into the top half of the first round with a flashy workout. He couldn’t work out at the combine after tweaking a knee injury.
Matt Barkley, Southern Cal QB—There are many questions about his arm strength. Barkley, who has been building strength in his throwing shoulder after an injury, can answer those questions at USC on March 27. He missed the combine workouts, but still has a chance to be the first overall quarterback taken.
Jonathan Cyprian, Florida International S—He had a nice vertical jump of 38 ½ at the combine but didn’t do anything else because of a pectoral injury and hamstring strain. A good workout could vault Cyprian past a number of other safety prospects and put him high in the second round.
Zach Ertz, Stanford TE—His stock is down after a combine workout that made him look very ordinary athletically. He needs to improve his 40 time, his vertical jump and his three cone drill at his pro day in order to stop the slide.
John Jenkins, Georgia DT—Four of the top six defensive tackles, including Jenkins, weren’t able to work out in Indy. So this order of the top DTs remains up for grabs. Jenkins still has a chance to go in the first round, but he needs to show his back and thigh injuries are good to go, and it would help if he dropped a few pounds from his combine weight of 346.
Barrett Jones, Alabama G/C—He is coming off a lisfranc surgery and probably will not be ready to go by his pro day March 14. But he could help himself if he is ready.
Jarvis Jones, Georgia DE—If teams are OK with his neck problems, Jones should be a top five pick. But after skipping the combine workouts, he needs a good showing at his pro day March 21 in order to create some good vibes.
Eddie Lacy, Alabama RB—He should be the top running back taken, but Lacy needs to prove he has the speed to go high in the draft. He sat out combine drills because of a hamstring injury.
Star Loutulelei, Utah DT—The real issue with him isn’t how he will work out, but if his heart is healthy. A clean bill of health and a strong workout could vaunt Loutulelei past Shariff Floyd and make him the No. 1 DT on most draft boards.
Michael Mauti, Penn State LB—He is coming off his third serious knee injury in five years, and NFL scouts doubt he will be able to work out at his pro day. But if Mauti can somehow show he has made progress and regained strength, speed and explosion, he could become a draft wildcard.
Sam Montgomery, LSU DE—His combine workout was not very impressive, but he should be able to improve on his numbers in multiple areas if he wants to try. The stock of Montgomery is headed in the opposite direction of the stock of his LSU teammate Barkevious Mingo, who had a great combine workout.
Damontre Moore, Texas A&M DE—A poor combine workout has NFL teams thinking Moore went from a potential top five pick to a player who will be chosen in the middle of the first round. Unless he can prove otherwise on his pro day, the feeling is he is nowhere near as athletic as some of the other top pass rushers.
Bacarri Rambo, Georgia S—His athleticism is a question mark for NFL scouts, and Rambo wasn’t able to showcase it in Indy because of a hamstring issue.
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri DT—He needs to reverse his stock drop at his pro day after running a 5.02 40 yard dash at the combine and showing up with 23 percent body fat.
Kawann Short, Purdue DT—A hamstring injury made him a DNP at the combine. Short needs a good workout to solidify himself as a bona fide first rounder.
Manti Te’o, Notre Dame MLB—He needs to improve his 40 time of 4.82 and show he is more explosive after a subpar combine workout.
Bjoern Werner, Florida State DE—He had a very average combine workout, including a 4.83 40 yard dash and a 31 inch vertical. It will be difficult for a team to justify picking Werner in the top 10 with those kinds of numbers. As it stands now, he has fallen behind Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan and Barkevious Mingo.
Sylvester Williams, North Carolina DT—He didn’t look very explosive or quick at the combine, but he still could move up significantly if he can work out better at his pro day.
Dan Pompei covers pro football for the Chicago Tribune at chicagotribune.com.
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