The 2012 NFL pro days begin today with scouts and decision-makers descending upon the University of Missouri. Let's take a look at five of the players there to keep your eye on:
TE Michael Egnew
Egnew fits the mold of the revolutionary tight end that has swept the NFL of late. He's 6'5" and just over 250 lbs. with above average speed. At the NFL Combine, Egnew ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds and had a vertical leap of 36 inches. He was also a top performer in the broad jump (131 inches), 3-cone drill (7.03 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.32 seconds).
National Football Post's take:
Has a long frame and the skill set to learn to play with his hand on the ground, but is going to need time. Isn't the type of dynamic athlete either to simply out run NFL defenders and looks limited in the type of routes he's going to be able to separate in. More of a vertical threat guy who needs to adjust to the ball in order to make plays.
DE Jacquies Smith
There might be some untapped athletic potential in Smith, who possesses a solid 6'3" frame. From a weight standpoint, he's still undersized for the pro game (252 lbs.). However, he has value as an athletic edge player who could develop into a situational pass-rusher in the right situation.
An intriguing looking DE prospect with some natural athleticism and closing speed, but he struggles out of his stance and does play as dynamic as his athletic skill set says he should. Looks more like an underachieving reserve at this stage.
OL Elvis Fisher
At 6'4", 295 lbs., Fisher is a little tall and underweight to play guard in the NFL. However, he started for four years at Missouri and finished his collegiate career with 40 straight starts. He faced some imposing defensive tackles in the Big 12 over those four years, too. Fisher could get a look as a late-rounder or priority undrafted free agent.
He's been a productive lineman who can bend and has natural athletic ability when asked to mirror. He needs to get stronger in his lower half and learn to play a bit more compact but he, looks like a late round/free agent guy who, with some time, could end up making a roster spot inside as a guard in more of a zone scheme.
DE Dominique Hamilton
If there's one player to watch outside of Egnew, it's Hamilton. He's 6'5", 313 lbs. and has a future in the NFL as a 3-4 five-technique. Hamilton plays the run well and could develop into a pass-rushing threat at the next level with his burst off the line. His NFL combine performance was disappointing (5.54-second 40-yard dash), so today's pro day is important for his draft stock.
Plays the run much stronger than his frame would indicate. He's got a burst off the snap, plays with leverage and extends his long arms. Has the frame to add 15 to 20 pounds and looks like a 3-4 five-technique at the next level who could start in the league.
WR Jerrell Jackson
Jackson is your typical slot-receiver type who is a touch undersized (6'0", 196 lbs.), but shows some explosion (among top WR performers in 60-yard shuttle and 3-cone drill at NFL Combine). Early on, he could be a practice squad player that has the potential to be a No. 4 of 5 receiver and plays special teams.
He's a thin wide out who lacks strength and isn't going to handle NFL corners on the outside. Has the straight-line speed and quickness to create inside, but isn't overly dynamic or quick, in and out of his breaks, and looks like a fringe roster guy only.