NFL Combine 2013 Results: Prospects with Declining Stock Who Need Strong Pro Day
The NFL combine wasn't friendly to all prospects hoping to be selected early on in the 2013 draft, and as a result, their respective pro days will be vital in order to improve their declining draft stock.
There were some players who simply didn't perform that well in the workouts, while there were others who didn't show up at all because of an injury or other reasons.
Whatever the case may be, each of these players listed can change their fortunes by taking advantage of a second chance to wow NFL scouts.
Let's take a closer look at which players must shine at their pro day.
*Note: Pro day dates are courtesy of NFL.com.
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Pro Day Date: Mar. 27
Barkley wasn't able to throw at the combine because he had to undergo shoulder surgery, but he will have an opportunity to show he's healthy and able at USC's pro day next month.
The biggest knocks on Barkley is that he isn't good under pressure in the pocket and he doesn't have the kind of arm strength that can be considered elite by any stretch. Still, Barkley has been pegged as an intelligent player and a great leader, so those qualities are no doubt a positive for the USC product.
As far as his future draft spot is concerned, it's still very much up in the air for Barkley, and not being able participate in the workouts didn't help that fact. However, there are a few teams who could be looking for a quarterback in the top 10, so Barkley still has a chance to go that high.
That's a far cry from last year when Barkley was slated to be an automatic top-10 selection before deciding to stay in college for his senior season. Since then, Barkley had a lackluster finish to his college career and that hurt his draft stock badly.
If he can light the world on fire during his pro day, Barkley will likely go near the end of the top 10, while a mediocre to bad pro day will land him in a mid to late first-round position, or worse, out of the first round entirely.
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Pro Day Date: Mar. 26
Te'o's stock has been slipping ever since the national championship game against Alabama in which he was bulldozed by some of the best offensive line talent in the nation. It took a further hit after the events of the ridiculous girlfriend hoax he was involved in unfolded.
This downward trend continued after Te'o failed to distinguish himself as a top defender at the combine, and his abysmal 40-yard dash time didn't help either.
But all that still can't erase the fact that Te'o was an elite linebacker at the college level, and his resume in that regard is too much to ignore. The Notre Dame product may be down right now, but he certainly isn't out just yet.
Te'o will get his chance at Notre Dame's pro day to erase all the negatives that have been piling up since January. For his sake, Te'o needs to try to overcome the incredible pressure that is currently on his shoulders as a result of the media's unwavering attention on him in unprecedented numbers.
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Pro Day Date: Mar. 21
Jones was once a lock to be selected as a top-three pick in the NFL draft, but a few factors have forced his stock to decline in the past month or so.
The first thing that hurt Jones was the fact that he has been diagnosed with a medical condition called spinal stenosis, which has been known to cut the careers of NFL players short (see: Michael Irvin).
Furthermore, Jones didn't perform at the combine, and that will raise some concerns about how physically ready he was putting his medical condition aside.
Which player needs the best pro day?
Jones has a sensational college resume that culminated with leading the NCAA in sacks last season, and there's no question that when he's at his best, Jones is an elite athlete and an incredibly skilled pass-rusher.
As long as Jones can once again cement the fact that he's a top defensive player in this year's draft, his stock should rise once again, although it will never be the same as it once was with his health concern.
Georgia's pro day will be the last chance Jones has to improve his draft stock before April comes.
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