March 20, 2009

It was another important week of pro-day workouts as scouts branched out across the nation to watch the top NFL prospects show off their talents. The results of this week's workouts will directly impact the first round of April's draft.

Connor Barwin/DL-OLB/Cincinnati: Barwin proved himself to be first-round worthy at last month's combine and on Thursday erased any remaining doubt he deserves to be a top 32 selection. Barwin improved his 40 time from Indianapolis, posting 4.48 seconds. He then put on a show for scouts in the position drills. The former tight end worked out with the offensive linemen to show his blocking prowess and with the receivers to display his pass catching skills. Barwin also did defensive line and linebacker drills. He's getting a lot of interest from teams who select in the late part of round one such as the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

Jeremy Maclin/WR/Missouri: Maclin improved on his slightly disappointing times from the combine by running as fast as 4.40 seconds on Thursday. He then put on a pass-catching clinic making several acrobatic receptions and impressing scouts with the consistency of his hands.

TJ Lang/OL/Eastern Michigan: Lange was a surprise non-invite at last month's combine but gave scouts something to remember on Monday. The Eastern Michigan tackle measured 6-foot-4 and 316 pounds, completed 30 reps on the bench then ran his 40s in times which ranged from 5.15-to-5.19. He displayed a lot of skill snapping the ball at center, a position several teams project him. Lang is building a buzz around himself and in all likelihood will be the first non-combine player drafted, possibly as early as the late part of round two.

Antonio Appleby/ILB/Virginia: The Cavaliers' underrated linebacker was another combine snub. He measured 6-3½, 245 on Thursday, completed 24 reps on the bench and his 40 times ranged from 4.65-to-4.68 seconds. Appleby is likely to be the first non-combine participant from the defensive side of the ball drafted next month.

Javon Ringer/RB/Michigan State: Ringer, who had been suffering with a knee injury the past four months, turned in a great workout in East Lansing on Wednesday. Ringer posted 40 times between 4.42-to-4.47 seconds, three cone times between 6.68-to-6.75 seconds and a blistering 3.72-to-3.83 seconds in the short shuttle. Later, Ringer looked spectacular catching the football.

Brandon Underwood/DB/Cincinnati: Underwood is the least heralded defensive back from Cincinnati yet proved to be the fastest on pro day. His 40 times were as low as 4.41 and he looked terrific in position drills. The ability to effectively play cornerback or safety sets Underwood apart from many defensive backs in the draft.

Nader Abdallah/DT/Ohio State: Abdallah has hit a bit of a hot streak since his somewhat disappointing senior season. He looked a trim but fit at 6-4, 289 during Ohio State's pro day, posted 24 reps on the bench and ran his 40s in times under 5.10. Abdallah's vertical jump of 32 inches was also impressive for the big man.

Eron Riley/WR/Duke: Riley, considered by most as a possession receiver, shocked scouts with his speed. He measured 6-3, 206 then blistered in the 40, clocking times which ranged between 4.30 and 4.36 . He posted a vertical jump of 40 inches and broad jump of 11-2. Riley then displayed the consistent hands he was known for at Duke during the position drills.

LeSean McCoy/RB/Pittsburgh: McCoy's highly anticipated workout turned out to be a pedestrian affair. He tipped the scales at 204, ran the 40 in the low 4.5s and posted a 28-inch vertical jump. Scouts have said McCoy is skinny up top and may not have the body type to take an every-down pounding at the next level. McCoy likely watched whatever slim chance he had of being a first round pick vanish this week.

Chase Daniel/QB/Missouri: Daniel was one of two quarterbacks to participate in Missouri's pro day, the other being his backup, Chase Patton. Scouts on hand said if one did not know better, one would think Patton was the higher-rated prospect, rather than Daniel, the former Heisman Trophy candidate. Daniel's inability to throw the deep pass with any velocity was in stark contrast to Patton, who easily flipped the ball downfield. Considered a potential top 100 choice last October, Daniel will slip into the late rounds.

• Missouri safety William Moore is back to full health after suffering ankle and foot injuries the past six months. At his second pro-day workout scouts claimed he "looked like the old William Moore," displaying terrific skills during position workouts. Moore was graded as a first-round pick coming into the season but slipped because of a disappointing senior campaign. Several scouts feel Moore may now reclaim the No. 1 spot atop the safety chart.

• While some reports claim Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford's pro-day workout established him as potentially the first pick of the draft, it is not an opinion shared by all. Sources have told that Stafford was trying to show off his arm strength on Thursday and in doing so was inaccurate on a number of deep outs, the money throw for quarterbacks in these types of workouts. And while he was generally accurate throughout the session, receivers were required to leave their feet several occasions to grab a few errant passes from the air. They were not huge issues, rather dissenting points from those who feel Stafford needed to do more before being anointed as the draft's top selection.

• On the flip side don't read too much into Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno's pedestrian 40 times. The same sources told us the running back looked terrific in position drills and displayed himself to be a great football talent.

• Arizona receiver Mike Thomas moved up draft boards with a good senior season at receiver and his special teams skill is also drawing attention. During his pro day last Saturday, Thomas fielded 30 punts, catching all but two.

You May Like