Clemson Pro Day 2013: Analyzing Draft Stock for Top Tigers Entering NFL Draft
Clemson's pro day on Thursday, Mar. 7 will provide DeAndre Hopkins and the rest of the 2013 Tigers draft prospects with one more chance to impress scouts before next month's draft.
Although teams will still have an opportunity to set up individual workouts with certain players of interest after this event, this will be the last chance for these young men to make a statement on a grand scale.
Hopkins is the player who has garnered the most attention by the national media, and rightfully so. He's a fringe first-round pick, and he is undoubtedly one of the top receivers in this year's draft. But he's not the only player from Clemson with a chance to be drafted and make a meaningful contribution to an NFL team next season.
Let's take a look at the top Tigers with a chance to earn a roster spot in 2013.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR
One of the most intriguing prospects in the draft, Hopkins is the most pro-ready receiver in the 2013 NFL draft class. He is a polished and precise route-runner with phenomenal ball skills and strong hands.
That said, he doesn't possess elite speed or quickness (4.57-second 40-yard dash at the Combine), which is why he's not being projected to go any higher than the latter part of the first round.
Will Hopkins land in Round 1?
Hopkins' productivity during his time at Clemson can't be denied, though. He improved every year as a Tiger, finishing his career with a stellar junior season in which he caught 82 passes for 1,405 yards (No. 4 in the nation) and 18 touchdowns (No. 2 in the nation).
The former Tigers star projects as a possession receiver in the NFL, which isn't a bad thing. Guys like Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Marques Colston have carved out important roles within their respective offenses, and Hopkins will do the same.
A 40 time of 4.50 or better at his pro day will solidify Hopkins as a late first-round pick. If he cannot improve upon his Combine numbers, though, he'll likely fall into the top half of Round 2.
Andre Ellington, RB
A player who could be a sleeper as a mid-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Ellington will not be participating in the Mar. 7 pro day. Instead, he'll be hosting his own pro day on Mar. 29 (h/t Tigernet.com), as he's recovering from a hamstring injury suffered at the Combine in February.
Ellington isn't a big running back, at 5'9" and 199 pounds, but this young man plays with a physicality that is rare for a back of his size. He hits the hole hard and isn't afraid to take on defenders as a blocker in pass protection.
Possessing average speed, Ellington relies on good vision and exceptional agility to gain yards as a runner. He was a consistent player in college, gaining over 1,000 yards in each of his last two seasons and rushing for 33 touchdowns in his career at Clemson.
Ellington must show up fully healthy for his Mar. 29 pro day. If he runs well and shows scouts that he's ready to hit the ground running this summer, he'll be a third- or fourth-round pick in April.
Malliciah Goodman, DE
A player who looks the part of an NFL pass-rusher, Goodman doesn't possess elite speed or agility, though he is a powerful player who could end up as a 3-4 defensive end at the next level.
The 6'4", 276-pound lineman put up solid numbers all around at the Combine, but he did nothing to really stand out. And in today's NFL, when players like Ezekiel Ansah, Margus Hunt and Barkevious Mingo are putting up monster numbers in all the measurable categories, guys like Goodman fall down many draft boards as a result.
Goodman's production at Clemson does nothing to further his cause, as he proved to be serviceable, but not a truly explosive player. He logged 12 career sacks and 23 tackles for a loss in four years with the Tigers, and he projects as a role player who may not see much action on the field, except on special teams.
Goodman could boost his stock by running faster and by showing more flexibility in his hips at his pro day, but he'll likely be a Day 3 selection in April as a fifth- or sixth-round pick.
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