Monday was the beginning of pro day season for 2014 NFL draft prospects. I’ll be breaking down the notable pro day performances through mid-April with analysis on how players draft stock was affected. If I miss anyone with a shot of getting drafted over the next month and a half, let me know about it in the comments. Here goes:
DT Aaron Donald had no reason to run the 40 or bench after his impressive performance at the combine, but he did participate in the position drills and as usual impressed. Donald has aced every off-season test and is all but a sure thing to be drafted in the top 20 picks. The Bears at 14 or the Cowboys at 16 are the two best bets right now.
WR Devin Street had a solid combine with the 8th best vertical leap (37″), the 5th best broad jump, and the 7th best 20-yard shuttle in the wide receiver group. His 40-time (4.55) was mediocre, but when you consider his height (6’3) it’s decent. Street improved his 40-time at his pro day Monday, running a 4.48. Street has good size, great hands and has shown an innate ability to get open against zone coverage. I had a 4th-5th round grade on Street in a loaded WR class, but after his improved 40-time, Street has a shot to move up into the early 4th round range.
QB Tom Savage had the 3rd best ball velocity at the combine. He’s got great size (6’5, 228) and a cannon arm. He’s still a bit of an unknown though since he played at 3 different colleges. Savage went through a scripted 100 throw drill today, showing off his big arm. The main concern on Savage is accuracy and it’s hard to take much from a scripted throwing drill, but he didn’t hurt his stock today. I have Savage going in the 6th round to the Rams, but he has a shot to go higher.
DT Ra’Sheede Hageman (6’6, 311) There were 20 teams in attendance to see Hageman’s pro day, but all he did was go through the position drills. Hageman’s combine numbers were excellent so it was no surprise that he stood on them.
S Brock Vereen had a better than expected combine with the 2nd best 40-time (4.47) and most bench reps (25) among the safeties, so he understandably didn’t participate in workouts. Vereen did participate in position drills. I think Vereen’s strong combine workouts gives him a shot to be drafted on day 3, but most likely he will be a priority UFA.
DE Zach Moore (Concordia, Minn) is an interesting small school defensive line prospect. At 6’5, 269 he is a bit of a tweener between the 5 & 3 technique. Moore has above average athleticism, but is raw technique wise. Moore let his 4.84 40 from the combine stand and also his 123″ broad jump which was 4th among defensive linemen. Moore just participated in the positional drills and supposedly looked fluid for his size. He had 33 career sacks in 33 games at Concordia (DII) so he has the high level of productions teams look for from small school players. I currently have Moore being draft at the end of round 7 in my soon to be released mock 2.0.
DT Roland Johnson is a long shot to get drafted, but he helped his cause at his pro day by doing 40 reps of 225 on the bench press. His 40 reps would have led all defensive lineman at combine.
The Chicago Bears were one of 19 teams in attendance.
WR Donte Moncrief was one of the surprises of the combine running a 4.40 40-time at 6’2, 221 pounds. Like Street from Pitt, speed was the primary question mark about Moncrief and his excellent 40-time raised his draft stock a round or two. Moncrief also had the best broad jump and 3rd best vertical leap among the wide receivers at the combine so had no reason to re-do those drills at his pro day. He did take part in route running drills and by all accounts was impressive. I have Moncrief going to the Raiders early in round 2.
Moncrief was the only player there who is a sure thing to get drafted, but CB Charles Sawyer has a shot in the later rounds. He’s a small corner (5’10, 175) but ran well at the pro day (4.56) and his 36″ vertical lets him play a little taller than he’s listed. Sawyer has good instincts, solid ball skills and is aggressive stopping the run. His primary flaws are that he’s not quick enough to play the slot and too small to play outside. He also had a DUI in September of 2013 so there might be some off-field red flags as well. Sawyer has a shot late on day 3, but is most likely a priority UFA.
Pro Day schedule (this week):
March 4: Auburn, Buffalo, Eastern Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, SMU
March 5: Arkansas, Central Michigan, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Texas A&M, Wisconsin
March 6: Cincinnati, Clemson, Illinois, Nebraska
March 7: Arizona State, Arkansas State, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Southern Miss