NFL Draft 2012: Pro Days That Made Prospects First-Round Locks

James ReaganCorrespondent IIMarch 22, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Wide receiver Kendall Wright of Baylor runs a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Even more so than the NFL Combine, NFL pro days are essential in every team's process of figuring out which player to draft. This is where the team's can focus all their attention on one player and analyze every aspect of his performance in the drills.

Scoffers may laugh off both the combine and pro days as putting too much attention on workouts, but the fact remains that these two factors play an enormous role in deciding how the draft turns out. They are important parts of today's NFL draft, and every player wants to perform as well as he can so he can improve or keep his draft position the same. It's, in essence, a final rehearsal before the NFL career and although rehearsals aren't always indicative of what happens during the show, a good deal of what they show is still accurate.

Although free agency steals most of the headlines, we are still in the midst of pro day season. And while there are lots of differing results, several players are taking advantage of their pro days to lock themselves down as first round picks.

Here are some of those players that have solidified their places in the first round thanks to their performance at their pro days.


OG David DeCastro, Stanford.

Almost all of the attention coming out of Stanford has gone to quarterback Andrew Luck. This is deservedly so since it's the NFL's worst kept secret that Luck is going to be the draft's first overall pick. Still the Stanford pro day should give more attention to a less familiar Cardinal who will also be drafted in the first round.

That would be offensive guard David DeCastro who is quite possibly the top guard prospect in the draft. He's currently projected to go in the middle of the first round, likely somewhere from 10 to 15. Scouts have pegged DeCastro as being a very good offensive line prospect that could even have Steve Hutchinson type-potential.

Currently slated as a guard, DeCastro could actually draw some interest as a center. Today he actually provided some snaps to Luck.

With all his physical dominance, explosiveness and great pass-blocking DeCastro could very well become a lockdown guard for a decade. His pro day has clinched that he will be drafted in the early to mid first round and likely as the first guard in the draft.


WR Kendall Wright, Baylor.

One of the top wide receiver prospects in the draft, Kendall Wright has improved his draft status with a great showing at the Baylor pro day. He was officially clocked at a 4.46 40 yard dash which was a big improvement from the 4.6 he ran at the combine. This was more the kind of time that people were expecting from the speedster receiver who was Robert Griffin III's top receiving target last season.

Wright is now possibly challenging Michael Floyd for the second best receiver in the draft. Since he showed his speed at the pro day, he really looks to be the complete package at wide receiver. He earned All-American honors in 2011 with 108 catches, 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Wright will likely go in the mid to late first round. This could be a good thing as he could potentially have the chance to go in as a third or fourth option on a contending team.


OG Cordy Glenn Georgia.

David DeCastro is not the only guard going high in the NFL draft. Cordy Glenn from Georgia could potentially go as the second or third highest guard. This could pull him all the way up to a late first round as opposed to the second or third round where he was originally projected.

At 6'5", 345 lbs, he's got great size for an offensive lineman. He's showed good movement skills, athletic movement, and competitiveness.

For now Glenn is projected to go around 20-30 in the first round. This could get him to a team such as the Dallas Cowboys or the Cincinnati Bengals where he could potentially start as a rookie.