On Wednesday, LSU will host its 2013 pro day with a number of top prospects taking the field in Baton Rouge.
There will be 21 current players performing before scouts, and seven former players that will be welcomed back to the Bayou. Of the 28 players participating, there are three that are in need of a huge day in front of the scouts if they want to get picked up during the draft.
This will be a major platform for these three to show they belong at the next level. Here is a look at the players that can increase their stock at LSU’s pro day.
Tyrann Mathieu, CB
Tyrann Mathieu was a ball-hawk when he made it onto the field for the Tigers in years past. He was one of the best secondary players in the country, and before his battle with substance abuse became public, he was expected to be a first-round selection.
After sitting a year out of the game along with a stay in rehab, he appears to be on the right track, but his mediocre results at the combine have not helped his masterful comeback.
His broad jump was recorded at 117”, and his four reps on the bench were not anything to build a draft profile on (h/t LSU Athletics).
Mathieu has to improve his broad jump and his 40-yard dash time a tad in order to wow the scouts. He is known as a feisty defender, but against pro-level competition, his effectiveness will be limited in the pile.
A solid day on the field with crisp drills will provide a boost for Mathieu on draft day.
Russell Shepard, WR
Russell Shepard has been a serial under-performer since arriving at LSU.
He was expected to become a star athlete in the LSU offense, but he was never able to find his proper role in the Tigers attack. He did not attend the NFL combine, so this pro day will be a fresh look for Shepard in front of the scouts.
This needs to be a huge day for Shepard. Route running and catching passes won’t be an issue for Shepard, as the scouts already know that. This showing will be about measurables for Shepard.
His vertical, 40-yard dash time, cone drills and shuttle will be watched closely. His bench numbers won’t be a huge focus, but he still has to have the upper body strength to separate from larger NFL-type corners.
Shepard could end up as a draft selection or a free agent. His future will become clear today in the Bayou.
Kevin Minter, MLB
There was a lot of talk surrounding the terrible 40-yard dash time that was put in by Manti Te’o at the combine, but nobody seemed to mention the 4.81 time (h/t LSU Athletics) that was posted by Kevin Minter.
Minter was a baller at LSU in the middle of the defense, but it was his speed that seemed to give him an edge. Obviously, his great production resulted more from instinct than pure speed.
His broad jump numbers were modest at 119”, and his vertical jump of 33” was not eye-popping.
Still, he is an instinctive player that uses his field vision and knowledge to provide an edge on the field. He won’t impress the scouts a ton at LSU's pro day, but improving his broad jump and 40-yard dash time should help him increase his stock before draft day.
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