A big week of Pro Days kick off Monday
As we enter week two of the hectic Pro Day schedule, there is already some disappointing news regarding Alabama RB Eddie Lacy, who will not work out at the Crimson Tide’s Pro Day on the 13th due to his hamstring injury not being completely healed. Additionally, although it was already known by NFL teams, Florida DT Sharrif Floyd will not be working out this week when Florida holds its Pro Day, but rather will work out for NFL teams on March 22nd. In addition, California WR Keenan Allen will not be working out at Cal’s Pro Day this week and will work out for NFL teams on April 9th. While the evaluation of game film is still far and away the most important aspect of scouting, NFL teams send coaches and scouts across the country to work-out prospects in an attempt to fill in the last piece of the scouting puzzle. Today we look at the Pro Days we will be watching closely this week:
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March 11th Pro Days
LB Michael Mauti – Will not be working out as he is recovering from ACL injury suffered during 2012 season.
LB Gerald Hodges – Hodges needs to prove to teams he has the quickness, speed and athleticism to overcome his lack of ideal size.
DT Jordan Hill – An undersized defensive lineman, NFL teams want to determine if he has the explosiveness and elite athleticism to produce as a 3-Technique DT.
March 12th Pro Days
US PRESSWIRERB Mike Gillislee looks to answer questions about his receiving abilities.
SAF Matt Elam – NFL teams want to closely evaluate Elam’s athleticism because he is short for the position and teams are concerned that he lacks the premier athleticism to make up for it like Bob Sanders did.
SAF Josh Evans – While Elam has received the bulk of national publicity, a number of scouts have told me that they feel Evans is a better prospect. So this pro day will give him another chance to prove it.
RB Mike Gillislee – As backs with great receiving skills have become extremely valuable in today’s NFL, Gillislee needs to overcome concerns that he does not have the great receiving skills to be a good third down back.
TE Jordan Reed – After not running or looking as explosive as expected at the Combine, Reed needs to work-out well to stay in the mix to be a second round pick.
LB Arthur Brown – One of the best linebackers in the Draft, a big pro day could help Brown overcome concerns about his height (just over 6’0) and get him into the bottom of the first round.
WR Chris Harper – After a great Senior Bowl, Harper’s stock is on the rise, but teams want to be confident he has enough quickness and athleticism to overcome his lack of explosiveness and top end speed.
QB Collin Klein – A great college player, Klein needs to have a great day throwing the ball to convince a team to take a gamble and draft him.
RB Johnathan Franklin – In a Draft without great talent at the running back position, Franklin could really help his draft stock and possibly lock up a spot in the second round with a strong pro day.
DE Datone Jones – Although he has received less media attention than many defensive ends, Jones was great this spring at the Senior Bowl and Combine. A big pro day would likely assure Jones of being a top-twenty pick in the first round.
March 13th Pro Days
CB Dee Milliner looks to be headed for the top-five in this year's draft.
OT D.J. Fluker – Viewed as one of the better offensive tackles in the Draft, if he shows teams he should be considered as a left tackle he could make a move up draft boards.
C/OG Barrett Jones – Not a highly regarded prospect and considered more of an over-achiever, Jones must prove he has good enough athleticism to be more than an adequate NFL starter.
CB Dee Milliner – The top cornerback in the Draft, Milliner is coming off a great workout at the Combine and if he replicates it he could assure himself of being a top-five selection.
OG Chance Warmack – The best player in the Draft according to some, Warmack needs to knock it out of the park to avoid sliding on draft day as most guards do.
DT Jesse Williams – Not generally considered in the first group of defensive tackles, Williams is a beast of an athlete and we expect his workout will have teams considering him in the last ten picks of the first round.
TE Matt Furstenburg – After a highly productive college career, he was not viewed as a premier prospect. But after shining these last few months, his stock is on the rise and he could force himself into the third round with a big Pro Day.
RB Le’Veon Bell – Viewed as a big back who lacks explosiveness and top end speed, Bell ran much better than expected at the Combine. So if he can work-out well he could push himself back into the second/third rounds.
DE William Gholston – A rare physical talent, Gholston did not play up to his talent in 2012 and needs to prove to NFL teams that he has the intensity to turn his physical talents into production in the NFL if he hopes to be selected before the third round.
SAF Tony Jefferson – After coming out early for the Draft, Jefferson is not likely to be drafted as highly as he expected. He needs to show better flexibility, quickness and speed in his workout to avoid being a third or fourth round pick.
OT Lane Johnson – Coming off a good Senior Bowl and excellent Combine, Johnson has put himself in position to be a top fifteen pick and if he finishes strong with a solid pro day performance, he could make a move into the top ten.
QB Landry Jones – A strong-armed QB, Jones needs to have an outstanding Pro Day to overcome major concerns about his streaky play if he hopes to be drafted before the third round.
WR Kenny Stills – Many were surprised when Stills came out early for the Draft, but he has impressed since then. If he shows good route running and hands during the workout, Stills could end up as a second round pick.
OLB Khaseem Greene – A player that NFL teams are split on, Greene not only has to impress physically in his workout, but teams will be looking closely to get a feel for his reactions during drills, as instincts are the major question mark with Greene.
CB Desmond Trufant – After a great week of practice at the Senior Bowl, Trufant was getting mentioned as a potential first round pick. Then he struggled during the positional drills at the Combine, so he needs to regroup and have a good workout to avoid a slide on draft day.
March 14th Pro Days
WR Denard Robinson – After a bad week at the Senior Bowl, Robinson was much improved at the Combine, which showed how hard he had been working. If he shows continued improvement at Michigan’s Pro Day, it would not surprise me if he gets selected in the third round.
Dion Jordan has been rocketing up draft boards in recent weeks.
LB Kiko Alonso – After a great 2012 season, Alonso is viewed as one of the most explosive linebackers in the Draft, but he needs to work out well after a disappointing Combine performance if he wants to be drafted before the third day.
DE/OLB Dion Jordan – A dominating all around defender, Jordan proved at the Combine that he has the athleticism he showed on film. Already rocketing up draft boards, Jordan could lock up a spot in the top-five with another strong showing.
OT Kyle Long – Lacking in game experience, but stocked up in genes, Long is viewed as one of the best developmental OT prospects in the Draft. He needs to prove to teams that despite less than one season playing major college football, he is worth drafting before the late rounds.
WR Tavon Austin – The most explosive offensive weapon in the Draft, another strong showing after a great Combine will end any concerns over his height and put him in position to be a top twenty selection.
WR Stedman Bailey – While not viewed as the game changer that Austin is, Bailey is highly regarded by NFL teams and could sneak into the first round if he proves he has the explosiveness and top end speed that teams question.
QB Geno Smith – In a battle to be the first QB selected, Smith needs to show improved footwork/mechanics and accuracy to have any chance because his accuracy is a real concern for NFL teams.
March 15th Pro Days
OG Alvin Bailey – A top athlete, Bailey has to prove to NFL teams that he is ready to challenge for a starting job if he wants to be selected before the third day of the Draft because he is a far better athlete than football player right now.
WR Cobi Hamilton – A well-built, big play receiver at Arkansas, Hamilton needs to catch the ball much more consistently at his Pro Day to ease concerns about his fighting the ball and dropping too many passes during the 2012 season.
QB Tyler Wilson – After entering the 2012 season as a premier prospect, Wilson struggled, along with the rest of the Arkansas team, through a dreadful season and saw his stock fall. If he can prove to NFL teams that he is physically the same passer he was in 2011, Wilson could end up as a first round pick.
CB Jordan Poyer – NFL teams love Poyer’s consistent ability to make plays on the ball, but have concerns about his explosiveness and top end speed. He needs to work out well and prove he can cover the fast receivers he will face in the NFL to give himself a chance to be a second round pick.
WR Markus Wheaton – Productive at Oregon State, Wheaton was flying under the radar until an outstanding week of practice at the Senior Bowl. However, questions about his speed still exist, so he needs to prove he has the acceleration and speed to force himself into the second or third round.
Email Russ at RussellLande@yahoo.com and follow Russ on Twitter: @RussLande