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stockman311 04-01-2010 02:27 PM

USC & UCLA Pro Days
The official pro day schedule reaches a conclusion today after three full weeks of workouts, and that's no April Fools joke.

Many scouts who were at the Texas workout yesterday will travel to Dallas for SMU's pro day. The Mustangs' top prospect, receiver Emmanuel Sanders, will stand on most of his combine numbers, just catching the football and running routes for the scouts in attendance.

Hawaii pro day takes place today in Carson, California. John Estes, one of the top centers in the nation, did not receive a combine invitation but he will headline the workout. Also participating is linebacker Brashton Satele, who we featured in the March 25 pro day tracker. Satele, you may remember, is awaiting word from the NCAA on whether he will receive a sixth season of eligibility. No final decision has been made yet.

The Hawaii workout will also allow players who live in the Los Angeles but attend other colleges another chance to work out in front of scouts. San Jose State defensive lineman Carl Ihenacho is one such player. He's struggled in recent workouts since returning from knee surgery that was performed late last year.

One player we failed to mention who had a solid workout during the USC pro day yesterday was cornerback Kevin Thomas. He was timed in the low 4.4's and looked terrific in drills. Scouts commented that his performance yesterday was an improvement over his combine workout.

On the other hand, the news is not as bright for UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price. The buzz is getting louder that scouts were not impressed with his performance on Tuesday. The word in scouting circles is that Price looked poorly conditioned and he struggled. There's a common opinion that Price, who many thought was a lock to be selected in the first round, could slip into the second frame. Others contend that he is a prospect who plays much better than he tests.

Wed., March 31, 5:30 p.m.

All in all, Wednesday was not a good day for USC safety Taylor Mays, who failed to show any kind of improvement.
Charles Baus/Icon SMI
Some notes and observations from USC's pro day in Los Angeles:

Taylor Mays did not improve in the position drills after poor showings at the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. He was stiff, he practiced upright, and he looked very robotic, uneasy and off-balance while breaking to the ball. He struggled changing direction at full speed and was asked to repeat drills on a few occasions.

As was the case earlier this year, several scouts said they think a move to linebacker is in the offing for Mays. Scouts in general are starting to compare him to former Dallas Cowboys first round pick Roy Williams; an oversized college safety with poor skills in pass coverage.

Receiver Damian Williams decided against running the 40 today, but did participate in position drills and he looked terrific. He ran crisp routes and caught everything that was thrown his way. It was an improvement from his practice session at the combine.

Tight end Anthony McCoy went against the recommendation of doctors, who said he needed seven days of rest due to his tonsillitis, and participated in position drills. Like Williams, the big tight end looked terrific. He also ran good routes and displayed soft, wide receiver-like hands.

Offensive tackle Charles Brown, who only participated in the bench press and vertical jump at the combine, ran his first 40 in a time of 5.3 seconds, but hurt his left hamstring.

Defensive end Everson Griffen posted a hand time of 4.60 seconds in the 40 -- that's .05 faster than his best mark at the combine.

Underrated reserve offensive lineman Nick Howell posted a 5-flat in the 40. Howell, who played several positions on the Trojan line as a backup, is getting late-round consideration. Earlier in the day, he completed 38 reps on the bench.

I wonder if Mays falls to us at 32 if we would consider moving him into the vacated Fujita spot. Urlacher made the move from safety to LB pretty seemlessly.

strato 04-01-2010 02:29 PM

Re: USC & UCLA Pro Days
Hmmmm...Mays is a gamble...

stockman311 04-01-2010 02:57 PM

Re: USC & UCLA Pro Days
S Taylor Mays -- The fact that Mays did not run the 40-yard dash at USC's pro day on Wednesday might have disappointed fans but it makes sense. He blazed a time of 4.31 seconds at the NFL combine and covers a lot of ground on film, so the bigger priority was showing that concerns over his stiff hips in coverage are exaggerated.

However, Mays didn't look fluid or comfortable changing directions during position drills. He still projects as a first-round pick because there will likely be at least one team that falls in love with his size/speed combination enough to take him on Day 1.

DE Everson Griffen -- Griffen improved his 40 time to 4.60 after running a 4.66 at the combine, which is impressive considering he is in the 270-pound range. It's another step in the right direction for Griffen, who has shown scouts he's versatile enough to line up at end in a base four-man front or outside linebacker in a base three-man front. Don't be surprised to see him sneak into the first round.

WR Damian Williams -- We would have liked to have seen Williams run the 40 after he posted a 4.52 at the combine, but that's still functional NFL speed. More importantly, Williams showed during drills why he projects as a second-round pick by running crisp routes and catching the ball well.

TE Anthony McCoy -- McCoy decided to go through position drills despite the fact that he's got tonsillitis, and the move paid off. He looked athletic running routes and caught the ball well, something he struggled with during Senior Bowl week. Factor in McCoy's above-average blocking and he should come off the board early in the third round or perhaps late in the second.

OT Charles Brown -- Brown pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury while running the 40 and he did not participate in position drills. Brown also missed the Senior Bowl and did not run at the combine because of a calf injury, but he looked good during position drills at the combine. The injuries don't appear to be serious and Brown shows good feet on film so he still projects as a second-round pick.

CB Kevin Thomas -- His stock continues to rise after a strong workout. Thomas improved his 40 time from 4.48 to 4.43 and looked quick transitioning out of breaks, showing teams during position drills that he can snatch the ball out of the air. Thomas projects as a fifth-round pick and could move up a bit more because teams are sure to go back to the film for a second look.

Other workouts
CB Perrish Cox -- He was not allowed to work out with his former college teammates at Oklahoma State's pro day, so Cox performed for 10 teams in Waco, Texas, on Tuesday. There were substantial discrepancies in his 40 times -- mid-4.4s with the wind, mid-4.5s against it -- but all were improvements over the 4.63 he ran at the combine.

In addition, Cox has lost four pounds since the combine, and he looked to be in excellent shape at 191 pounds. Though he showed during his workout that he has a lot of natural ability and his film indicates that he could be a playmaker, Cox projects as a late-second round pick because of character issues.

S Nate Allen -- Allen re-aggravated the quad injury that prevented him from working out at the combine during South Florida's pro day. He showed some toughness by participating in position drills, and he's hoping the injury will heal enough for him to run for teams before the draft. On film, Allen's greatest strengths are his range and fluid hips, so we expect him to run well when he gets the chance. In the meantime, he's missing the opportunity to push Mays for the No. 3 safety spot on our board.

QBREES9 04-01-2010 09:17 PM

Re: USC & UCLA Pro Days
CB Kevin Thomas -- His stock continues to rise after a strong workout. Thomas improved his 40 time from 4.48 to 4.43 and looked quick transitioning out of breaks, showing teams during position drills that he can snatch the ball out of the air. Thomas projects as a fifth-round pick and could move up a bit more because teams are sure to go back to the film for a second look.

I like this kid.

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