NFL draft season quickly shifts gears after the combine to pro days—workouts for scouts and media held on college campuses that resemble the paces prospects are put through in Indianapolis. The workouts are crucial for players who did not get a combine invite, weren't healthy enough to perform at the combine or otherwise decided to skip the combine workout for their own reasons.
Our first stop is Columbia, Missouri, with a side trip to Oxford, Ohio.
Even though Missouri is the BCS conference program that has been producing first-rounders like Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith as of late, the Miami-Ohio football program gives us the star of the first round of pro days—Brandon Brooks. Despite a strong showing in Tampa, Florida, during the Shrine Game week, Brooks was not invited to the combine, inspiring many to put him atop their list of "combine snubs." SI.com's Tony Pauline reports numbers for Brooks that could easily make him the first non-combine invite to be drafted next month.
The big offensive lineman measured 6-foot-5 and weighed 346 pounds. He completed 36 reps on the bench press, a number exceeded by just one offensive lineman at the combine. The same can be said for Brooks' 4.98 40 time, which included a 10-yard split of 1.71 seconds. Only Donald Stephenson ran faster at the combine. His vertical jump of 32 inches and broad jump of 8-feet, 9-inches were also superb. The 4.52 short shuttle time beat all marks from the offensive linemen who ran in Indianapolis.
Brooks will work out again next week to perform offensive lineman drills. He is making a very strong class of guards, which should put four players in the first two rounds, even stronger.
Meanwhile, in Columbia, tight end Michael Egnew improved on an already-impressive combine workout despite a sore hamstring he suffered in Indianapolis. Egnew set a school record in the broad jump with an 11'3" leap, also improving an inch and a half from his combine vertical leap to 37.5". He continues to make a name for himself in a weak class of tight ends. Missouri has a second pro day on March 15, and Egnew may attempt to improve on his 4.62-second 40 time from the combine at that workout.
Missouri receiver Jerrell Jackson impressed at the combine with his 41" vertical and 10'7" broad jump, but like Egnew, he won't attempt to improve his own 4.62 40 time until the team's second pro day. He did reportedly look good running routes and catching passes. Jackson projects as a late-round or priority free-agent slot receiver.
The Tigers have another wideout who should at least get into a camp in Wes Kemp. He wasn't invited to the combine, but one of the elder statesmen of the draft, Gil Brandt, reports over at NFL.com that Kemp posted some solid numbers in a big frame:
Wesley Kemp, WR — (6-foot-3 3/8, 223 pounds) — Had two runs of 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a 34 ½-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-1 broad jump, 4.25 short shuttle run, 6.86 three-cone drill and 18 bench press repetitions. He also took part in position drills.
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