Players can have disappointing showings at the Combine and blur those memories/recollections by having a strong pro day. The pro day season got underway with a whimper last week, as Baylor, Florida Atlantic, Troy and Tulane showcased only a couple of players with first-round potential – Baylor guard Danny Watkins and defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
However, that will all change this week, as the recruiting season hits high gear in its final countdown, as almost all of the first-round talent struts their stuff for NFL brass.
Tuesday will begin the showcase of stars as Arkansas, Auburn and Oklahoma conduct their pro days, which will include Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, Auburn QB Cam Newton and DT Nick Fairley, and Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray and DE Jeremy Beal.
Wednesday sees eight teams conducting pro day, including some heavy hitters like Cal, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. The players involved in those workouts will include Cal DE Cameron Jordan, Colorado CB Jimmy Smith and OT Nate Solder, A&M LB Von Miller, and Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt, OT Gabe Carimi and TE Lance Kendricks.
Fifteen schools conduct their pro day on Thursday, including Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Nebraska, Oregon and Texas Tech. The talent taking the pro-day field that day will include Alabama WR Julio Jones, RB Mark Ingram and DT Marcell Dareus, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers and DT Jarvis Jenkins, Miami WR Leonard Hankerson, CB Brandon Harris and OT Orlando Franklin, and Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara.
Friday will include seven more teams, including Ohio State, Oregon State, Purdue, Southern Miss, Tennessee and TCU. Players to watch that day will include Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward and LB Ross Homan, Oregon State DT Stephen Paea and Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan.
While most of the NFL focus will be on the negotiations between the league and the players association this week, the business of evaluating the next generation of NFL talent will go on in earnest and many of the decisions made in prime time on April 28 will be made with information based on what scouts and NFL talent evaluators see this week.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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