2013 NFL Draft: Pro day dates to remember
With the NFL Scouting Combine in the rearview mirror, the attention of scouts and NFL evaluators changes gears to campus pro days.
With the NFL Scouting Combine in the rearview mirror, the attention of scouts and NFL evaluators changes gears to campus pro days. NFL personnel executives will collect a lot of airline miles over the next month as they fly across the country to see prospects work out on their home turf.
Some prospects will stand pat on their combine numbers while others will look to improve their performance in both the agility and positional drills. For several other players, it will be the first time they're able to work out in front of scouts after missing the scouting all-star circuit and/or combine due to injury.
For the full schedule of all pro day dates, click here.
Below are several of the notable pro-day dates to remember over the next month (in chronological order):
March 6 -- Mississippi State, Kent State
Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks looked pedestrian in his combine drills, registering a 4.61 40-yard dash and 34-inch vertical jump. He will need to improve those times if he wants to ensure a top-32 selection. Kent State offensive lineman Brian Winters suffered a pectoral injury during his bench press at the combine and sat out the rest of the drills. However, he plans to perform every drill at his pro day.
March 7 -- Arizona, Clemson
Last season, quarterback Nick Foles used an impressive pro-day performance to help him land in the third round, and Arizona quarterback Matt Scott will look to do the same this year. Clemson running back Andre Ellington injured his hamstring during the 40-yard dash at the combine and, as long as he’s 100 percent, will need to perform better in drills on campus.
March 8 -- Texas A&M, Florida International, Mount Union
Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore had a forgettable combine performance with just 12 reps of 225 pounds on the bench and a 4.95 showing in the 40-yard dash. His pro day is just days away, but Moore needs to improve on his numbers across the board to convince scouts he’s worthy of a mid-first-round pick. Aggies offensive tackle Luke Joeckel had a good few days in Indianapolis, but he didn’t blow anyone away with his workouts, and scouts will want to see him work out again, especially if a team plans on spending a top-5 pick on him. Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien sat out of most of the drills at Lucas Oil Stadium last week due to a hamstring strain, but he expects to do a full workout on campus. Alliance, Ohio, isn’t a normal stop for many NFL teams, but Mount Union wide receiver Jasper Collins, who didn’t receive a combine invite, is worth the attention as he looks to follow other Purple Raider wideouts (Pierre Garcon, Cecil Shorts) to the NFL.
March 11 -- Central Michigan
After excellent results at the combine, it’s unlikely that Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher will run or lift, but it’s very likely the Kansas City Chiefs and other top-10 teams will want to see him in positional drills.
March 12 -- Kansas State, Florida
After missing the Senior Bowl due to a shoulder injury, Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown was forced to miss most of the drills at the combine. Questions are starting to mount on the long-term durability of the shoulder, but teams are hopeful Brown will be healthy for his pro day. Gainesville is always a regular stop for scouts, and this year won’t be any different; Florida has almost a dozen draftable prospects.
March 13 -- Alabama, Cincinnati
Alabama running back Eddie Lacy will likely be the highest-rated running back for several teams, but he was sideline at the combine due to the hamstring tear. Scouts are hopeful it will heal in time for his pro day, but it will likely be a “gametime” decision whether or not Lacy is healthy enough to work out on this date. Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams didn’t run or do positional drills at the combine as he recuperates from arthroscopic knee surgery, but he plans to do a full workout at the pro day. Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce, who is the top senior at his position, was forced to sit out the Senior Bowl and the combine due to injury. But he expects to be healthy and ready for the Bearcats pro day, according to his older brother and Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce.
March 14 -- West Virginia
Although he didn’t “wow” at the combine, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was good-enough to maintain his No. 1 spot among the quarterbacks in this class. With several teams likely considering him in the top-10, like the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills, Smith’s pro-day performance will likely carry a lot of weight with these teams.
March 15 -- Arkansas
Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson has been the forgotten man among this senior group after a season full of turmoil and average performances at the Senior Bowl and combine. However, Wilson is still highly regarded by several around the league, and his pro day could help land him in the draft’s top-60 picks. Running back Dennis Johnson was a surprising combine snub but will have his chance to work out for scouts on this date.
March 20 -- Tennessee, Utah
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray has arguably the most arm talent of anyone in this class and will be able to put that on display back in Knoxville, likely throwing to three other NFL Draft prospects, including Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter and Mychal Rivera, who all performed well at the combine. The other target Bray will rely on is wide receiver Zach Rogers, who didn’t receive a combine invite. Tennessee offensive lineman Dallas Thomas didn’t work out at the combine and isn’t expected to work out before the draft after surgery on Feb. 7 to repair a torn labrum suffered during Senior Bowl week. A potential top-10 pick, Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was held out of combine workouts last week after an echocardiogram detected a heart condition. He was unaware of the condition and is seeking a second opinion but remains confident he will be able to work out at this pro day.
March 21 -- Georgia, Miami (Ohio)
Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones decided not to work out at the combine despite being fully healthy, which will put more emphasis (and pressure) on his pro-day performance. His long-term durability will ultimately determine his draft stock, but scouts also need to see Jones work out to feel better about drafting him in the top half of the first round. Miami (Ohio) quarterback Zac Dysert suffered a “slight” hamstring tear in the week before the combine and was unable to perform in Indy, making his pro day even more important.
March 25 -- Duke
Duke quarterback Sean Renfree suffered an unfortunate injury to his throwing shoulder on one of the final plays of the season, forcing him to miss the East-West Shrine Game and the combine. His rehab is going well and he will begin throwing soon, but it's still too early to know if he will be ready to throw at the pro day or before the draft at all.
March 26 -- Notre Dame, Texas
Manti Te’o, Manti Te’o, Manti Te’o. He has been the story of college football over the last two months, and now the draft process and that attention probably won’t go away anytime soon. After average results in the 40-yard dash (4.82) and choosing not to lift, Te’o will get a second chance in South Bend at his pro day. In Austin, defensive end Alex Okafor was sidelined during the combine due to an injury he suffered in the Senior Bowl. However, Okafor confirmed he will work out at the Longhorns’ pro day.
March 27 -- USC, LSU
Once thought to be the No. 1 overall pick, USC quarterback Matt Barkley had an up-and-down senior season that ended in the UCLA game after he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. He still wasn’t 100 percent healthy in time for the combine, and USC purposely moved the school’s pro day to later in March to give Barkley more time to prepare. Barkley is a longshot to be the draft’s top pick, but he still has time to prove to teams that he’s the top quarterback prospect in this draft class and worthy of a first-round pick. LSU has double-digit prospects who could hear their name called in the 2013 NFL Draft, several of which didn’t work out at the combine, including offensive tackle Chris Faulk and running back and Spencer Ware. It will also be an opportunity for possible first-round picks like Barkevious Mingo and Kevin Minter to improve their results from Indianapolis.
April -- Private workouts
With almost every pro day scheduled for the month of March, several individual prospects will schedule their workouts for April, mostly due to the fact that they’re still recovering from injury. Three examples are South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, California wide receiver Keenan Allen and Florida State defensive end Cornellius Carradine.
Lattimore suffered a devastating knee injury in November, his second serious knee injury in as many years, and is furiously rehabbing to work out for scouts before the draft. He might be the most gifted running back in this draft class, but his durability is a bright red flag. Allen suffered a knee injury in late October that ended his season and kept him from participating at the combine. He has scheduled his pro day for April 9 in Greensboro, N.C., and is still in the conversation to be top receiver drafted. Carradine tore his ACL late in the 2012 season but is already a month ahead of his rehab schedule and has begun running. The potential first-round pick expects to be 100 percent by mid-April and plans to perform every agility and positional drill for scouts at his own pro day.
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