Pro days notebook
This was the last big week for pro days before the draft. The two main workouts were held by LSU and Penn State. All 32 teams sent at least one person. There were also a couple of small schools who have draftable players that worked this week, Bloomsburg (PA) and McNeese State (LA).
As usual, Penn State always has some top prospects, but primarily receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson’s combine workout was just average, so he needed a big day to maintain lofty draft status. He came through. He ran the 40 twice and ran 4.47 and 4.51. His vertical jump was outstanding at 42”. He also had an excellent three–cone with a 6.58 time.
I really like Robinson on tape and gave him a first round grade, but his slow time at the combine dropped him a little. This week’s workout may get him drafted at the bottom of the first round, but more likely high in the second.
Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones weighed 324 and only performed one measurable drill, the short shuttle. His time improved to 4.63. His position drill work was very good, and I see Jones going in the top part of the third round, maybe as high as the bottom of the second.
LSU always has a number of highly rated prospects and this year is no different. Some feel as many as 10 or 11 LSU players could get drafted this year. The two most important people to workout at LSU this week were receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Landry carried a first round grade into the combine, and then ran and jumped very poorly, while Mettenberger had ACL surgery less than five months ago.
Landry worked better than at Indy, but still not good enough to get him back in the first round. He ran over 4.7 at the combine and showed improvement this week. I got times from three different scouts, and the range of times went from 4.58 to 4.63. When you average them out, he is a 4.60 type receiver. He also improved in the jumps, going 30.5” in the vertical and 9’5” in the standing long jumps. By wide receiver standards, those are very average. His short shuttle was 4.57 and his three-cone was 7.55. Again, very average when compared to other receivers.
Landry’s tape makes him look like a first round pick, but his workout says late pick. There have been other very good NFL receivers who have had average workout numbers. What will happen with Landry remains to be seen. At this time, I predict he goes somewhere in the third or fourth round.
A question on Mettenberger going into the season was his work habits. To get his knee ready for a workout out in less than five months, he had to dispel that rumor. While he didn’t do any runs or jumps, he did throw, and by all accounts had a good day. Mettenberger has one of the stronger arms in this quarterback class.
Odell Beckham did not do any measurable drills, but had an excellent day running routes and catching the ball. He will be the third or fourth receiver drafted.
LSU’s two interior defensive linemen, Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson looked very good working for defensive line coaches. The same can be said about linebacker Lamin Barrow. Barrow is a big instinctive inside ‘backer.
Jeremy Hill is a very talented running back. He ran faster than he did at Indy, with times of 4.52 and 4.55 at 234 pounds. If he didn’t have a few off field issues, he very well may be the best running back in this draft. The issues though will drop him down some on many boards.
Big tight end Nic Jacobs (6050-265) did not work out at the combine. At the McNeese pro day, he ran a 4.77 and 4.85 in his two 40-yard sprints. His long jump was 9’9” and he ran the short shuttle in 4.63.
Jacobs' workout numbers correlate to the way he played on tape. The LSU transfer will probably be drafted late.
Larry Webster had outstanding workout numbers at the combine. On tape, he flashes that athleticism, but he lacks top instincts and has trouble shedding blocks. Because of that, there were some clubs that worked the former basketball player as a tight end, which may be his best pro position.
Matt Feiler is a big strong offensive lineman with average athleticism. While he played tackle at Bloomsburg, most feel he will be better off playing inside at guard.
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