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NFL Draft: Pro Days (TAMU, WIS, NMST, MSST, ARK)

Day 3 of pro day season is in the books. Here is my recap:

Texas A&M (part 1)

Most of A&M’s draft eligible players are working out on March 27th, but for some reason T Jake Matthews had his individual pro day yesterday. His workout was considered solid and he also met with the Rams and Browns after the workout. Matthews had a good combine and is a lock for somewhere in the first 12 picks.

 

Wisconsin

S Dezmen Southward was the star of Wisconsin’s pro day. He was blocked from working out at the combine because of an unknown back injury, but his workouts at the pro day would have been the best among the safety group easily. Southward ran an unoffical 4.31 40-time, had a 42-inch vertical leap, and looked very impressive in the position drills. There is no doubt Southward has NFL athleticism, but his technique in coverage is very raw and whoever takes him will have some work to do before he is ready to contribute on defense. Southward could be a special teams ace from day 1 though and that combined with his athletic potential is probably enough to get Southward drafted sometime on day 3.

LB Chris Borland is one of my favorite players in this draft. He has some of the best tackling instincts I’ve ever seen which make up for the fact that he is very short for an NFL LB (5’11). Borland had a good pro day workout and lowered his 40 time from the 4.83 he ran at the combine to somewhere in the 4.7s. Borland is going to struggle covering tight ends, but only because of his height, he actually has solid instincts in zone coverage and has good timing on blitzes. There is nothing Borland can do about his height, but with his improved 40 time, it is the only flag left on his resume and he is going to be drafted somewhere in the 2nd or early 3rd round. I have him going to the Redskins at the beginning of round 3, but if the Bears were to draft him in the 2nd round I would be ecstatic.

DT Beau Allen was a combine snub despite a solid performance at the Senior Bowl. Allen has good size for a run-stuffing DT (6’3, 333) and had an impressive pro day. Allen’s 10-yard split of 1.65 was faster than expected and his 31″ vertical leap was great for a 330 pounder. Allen’s workout increases his chances of hearing his name called on day 3 of the draft by a team looking for a 3-4 NT.

WR Jared Abbrederis and RB James White stood on their combine workouts and didn’t participate.

 

New Mexico St

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WR Austin Franklin apparently slipped during his 40 due to some sand on the field(?), but otherwise had an impressive pro day. He improved his vertical leap from 36″ at the combine to 39″ and looked fluid in the receiver and punt returner drills. The wide receiver class is loaded and Frankin might have been better off going back to school for a year to improve his draft position as most years his talent would warrant a mid round pick. This years class is so deep that Franklin could slip to the 6th or 7th round but will be a good value pick for a team looking for a kick/punt returner and 4th wide out.

G Devonte Wallace is a long shot to get drafted, but has good size (6’4, 315) and supposedly impressed scouts at the pro day with better than expected athleticism. NFLDraftScout has him ranked as the 52nd guard, so his odds are slim, but he could catch on somewhere as a UFA.

 

Mississipp St

G Gabe Jackson didn’t participate in the workouts despite running the 2nd slowest 40 time at the combine (5.51). Regardless, Jackson is getting drafted somewhere in rounds 2-3 as he is universally ranked as a top 3 guard.

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RB LaDarius Perkins stood on his combine workouts as well, but with good reason. His combine 40 of 4.46 was the 5th best from the RB group and his 23 bench reps was 4th. I’ve seen him projected anywhere from the 6th round to a UFA. NFLDraftScout has him as their 29th ranked RB and a UFA,  but I have him considerably higher with a 7th round grade and think he has a shot to contribute right away as a change-of-pace back.

S Nickoe Whitley is one of my favorite late round / UFA targets at the safety position. He has some injury and off-field flags, but is a vicious hitter at the safety position and a consistent play-maker. Whitley is the FBS active leader in career interceptions with 15 and has 229 tackles in his college career.

 

Arkansas

Nobody stood out at the Arkansas pro day except for Patriots back-up QB Ryan Mallett. As a Razorback alum he was able to participate in the pro day and boosted his trade value by showing off his big arm on fly and deep out patterns. Mallet is in the last year of his rookie contract and the Patriots could be looking to deal him for additional draft picks since Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Twitter@MikeFlannery

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