March Pro Days Will Be Pivotal for NFL Hopefuls
The NFL Players Association has indicated that over 1,230 NFL hopefuls have hired agents in the hopes of being selected in the April NFL draft. Between the draft and undrafted free agent signings, about 600 players will be a part of an NFL team once the draft has concluded. Now that the NFL Combine is over, all of the attention of NFL personnel and scouts will turn to pro days on college campuses all over the country.
A Pro Day is when NFL personnel and scouts come to a respective college campus for the purpose of testing and evaluating any and all players who are candidates for the April draft. In some cases, players who feel they have already solidified their draft status will not perform at pro day. However, for the vast majority of the 1,230 or so hoping to make the NFL, it is the final assessment that all teams will conduct before the draft. It is their last chance to make a favorable impression.
Many players will earn their draft position based upon their performance in their pro day workouts. Even players who were tested at the combine look to improve on their number of bench reps, 40 times, or 3-cone times. Most players tend to feel more comfortable working out in the familiarity of their college facilities. Most 40 times are faster for players at their pro day workouts than at the traditionally slower surface of Lucas Oil Stadium turf times in Indianapolis.
I have also seen many players put themselves on the map with outstanding performances at pro day. In 2008 for example, little known William Hayes from Winston Salem State went out and ran a 4.58 at 275 pounds while at Wake Forest’s pro day. The result – William was drafted in the 4th round by the Tennessee Titans. Many players who are overlooked for the Combine because they are not from heralded programs will get a great opportunity this month to put themselves on the map.
Al Netter (@AlNetter), for example, just missed a Combine invite and will work out on his pro day at Northwestern on March 8th. Netter played in the Shrine Game all-star classic and had a decent showing. However, he was not able to show off the increased strength and speed that he now possesses at 315 pounds. Pro scouts will be evaluating Netter closely in the bench and 40 because they did not do so at the Shrine Game and Netter was not in Indy. If Netter can show improvement from his college statistics in the bench and 40, it could have a significant improvement on his draft stock.Continued on the next page