The 2013 NFL draft is quickly approaching, which means that schools are holding those pro days and giving former players a chance to make that one last impact on scouts and coaching staffs. The Michigan Wolverines recently held their pro day, and there were a few interesting things that took place.
This year’s Michigan class isn't exactly the most talented, so a lot of guys went out there knowing they had to prove themselves. You won't see many Wolverines drafted early on in the draft, but a productive pro day could at least give them that chance to make an NFL roster.
There wasn't nearly as much attention as some of the other schools with more attractive prospects will receive, but here are a few of the things we learned from the 2013 Michigan pro day.
William Campbell Will Be More Effective in the NFL
I think this is fair to say considering Campbell wasn't the most effective Michigan Wolverine we have seen over the years. Coming out of high school in the 2009 class, he was supposed to be that next great defensive lineman who was close to a can't-miss prospect. Instead, he spent many years struggling with his weight and fitting into the rotation along the defensive front.
A solid pro day showed that he may have reinvented himself as he prepares for an NFL future. Campbell was by far the strongest Wolverine of the day, lifting 225 pounds 35 times, according to the NFL, and he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.22 seconds.
While the speed isn't going to turn any heads, it is the fact that he weighed in at 311 pounds. This is by far the lightest I have seen the young man. As he had a hard time staying in shape throughout his collegiate career, I often questioned his work ethic and if he had the drive to succeed.
Seeing him trim down and get in shape shows me that he is in the process of turning a new leaf.
Campbell is a big guy who has the combination of strength and athleticism that you don't see very often. With him no longer pushing close to 350 pounds, there is potential with this young man and a good chance somebody spends a late-round pick for the potential steal.
Denard Robinson Won and Lost at the Same Time
I'd like to say that I would spend a draft pick on Denard Robinson simply because of everything he brings to the table. When you have a guy that can line up at running back, receiver, special teams and even throw the ball somewhat, you take advantage of that. It also helps that he is one of the fastest players on the field as well.
The thing that stood out with Robinson the most on pro day was the fact he didn't drop a single pass, according to draft expert Tony Pauline.
Tony Pauline @TonyPauline
Denard Robinson/WR/Michigan much improved in pass catching drills.caught all passes thrown by practice QB D LeFevour- impressive considering2013-3-14 16:53:55
Robinson was the only Michigan player who worked out at the NFL combine, and having a hard time securing the football was an issue. Of course, he was still recovering from a nerve injury at the time, which seems to be improving each day, which he told Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
While that should be encouraging news for any team that was interested in drafting Robinson, he also lost during pro day. Nothing that will hurt his draft stock, just his ego. The NCAA 14 cover winner made a bet with safety Jordan Kovacs in a three-event competition, and he ended up losing to the fellow Wolverine.
According to Michael Rothstein of ESPN, Robinson now has to treat Kovacs to dinner at an expensive steakhouse in Ann Arbor.
“Oh man, stop. Stop bringing it up,” Robinson said, laughing. “He did great today and take my hat off to him. I knew he’d do great today.”
Robinson had a solid showing, but he wasn't the star during pro day.
Jordan Kovacs Will Be Drafted
While we are on the subject of Kovacs, it is only right we mention him a little more. The Michigan defensive player not only topped Robinson with his performance, but he pretty much guaranteed that he will be drafted somewhere in the later rounds come April.
According to the NFL, Kovacs ran the 40-yard dash in both 4.57 and 4.64 seconds. He also had a 35-inch vertical jump, benched 225 pounds 16 times and had a time of 6.70 seconds in the three-cone drill. All of those numbers are impressive considering one of the knocks on Kovacs was the fact he wasn't the most athletic guy on the field.
Kovacs later told Michael Rothstein of ESPN that he wasn't in the best shape during pro day, as he has spent a lot of time working on power with Michigan strength coach Aaron Wellman.
Coach Wellman, we worked on power. I’m not in great football shape right now. Conditioning-wise, I’m not where I need to be but we weren’t worried about that. I was worried about running 40 yards and I think I did that today.
Kovacs isn't the best cover man in the secondary, and he still may not be as polished as you would like. However, he has a terrific football IQ, is a team guy, and he is about as sure of a tackler as you will find. With the best showing by far in pro day, he went from being on the bubble to being able to know his name will be called at some point during the upcoming NFL draft.