Posted: 12:10 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013
By Nick Chiamardas
The list of today's pro days is as follows: Arkansas State, California, Delaware, Fort Valley State, Georgia Tech, Grambling State, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Tulsa, UNLV, West Alabama, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
California's Keenan Allen was expected to the top wide receiver taken in this year's draft. He still could be but has shared the WR spotlight with three or four others. Allen didn't participate in the Combine due to a slight knee injury but hopes to run in the forty in the 4.4 range today. Should he be successful it's likely he could regain that top spot among this year's class of talented receivers.
Cal's center Brian Schwenke has seen his stock rise late after a very solid Senior Bowl in January. Schwenke has climbed to the number two overall center available according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock.
Georgia Tech's T.J. Barnes is a mountain. At 6-6, 369lbs he actually posted rather impressive (for that size) 5.30 forty at the Combine last month. He's extremely raw and needs to coached up but might be worth a flier in the late round. As coaches always say, you can't teach size.
One of the more intriguing prospects this year is Michigan's Denard Robinson. The electric Robinson will be attempting to make an NFL roster as a wide receiver and return specialist. There's no questioning his athleticism and knack for the end zone when he has the ball in his hand. The question marks surround his ability to perfect his route running and prove he has the hands.
Nevada's safety Duke Williams is a bit small at only 5-11, 201lbs but he plays much bigger. Williams accounted for 105 tackles and broke up nine passes in 2012. He's a very active safety and plays very aggressively. Williams should make an immediate impact on special teams wherever he lands.
Barner ran a disappointing 4.52 forty at the Combine last month and will be looking to improve on it today. Most thought he'd be one of the faster running backs so it was a bit shocking when he clocked in this "slow".
Alsonso lined up at inside linebacker for the Ducks. He was asked to play in space a lot so if his future in the NFL is at MLB he'll need to prove his ability to take on and come off of blocks. He has the size, build, and arm length to suggest he should have few issues getting physical. Alonso would benefit from a year or two of special teams but his potential is limitless.
The playmaker in this year's draft that, seemingly, every team wants to get their hands on is West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin. Austin was a late first round/ early second round pick before posting a blistering 4.34 forty at the Combine. Standing only 5-8 and 174lbs, Austin's role in the NFL could be similar to that of Percy Harvin's. His athleticism and ability to avoid/break tackles is uncanny. He's now thought to be a mid first round pick.
Teammate and fellow receiver Stedman Bailey could be a steal in the mid rounds. He actually posted better numbers than Austin and he's bigger...not by much...but he is. At 5-10 193lbs,Bailey posted a 4.52 forty at the Combine. The numbers his senior year are insane: 113 receptions, 1,627 yards, 25 touchdowns. Granted the WVU offense was quite prolific in 2012 but they can't be ignored completely. I'd like to see him improve on the forty time. If he gets it into the 4.4s I like him as a 3rd round pick.