What We Learned from LSU Football Pro Day
Plenty of former LSU Tigers showed up to pro day in hopes to take advantage of one last workout to impress NFL scouts. Whether there were questions about the speed of a player, how well he is in coverage or is he as athletic as advertised, pro day was the chance for everybody to address those concerns.
Majority of the attention was on Tyrann Mathieu, but there were several LSU players that performed well during this big event. This program will once again be represented quite well in the upcoming NFL draft and if pro day holds any weight, a handful of guys increased their draft stock with a productive workout.
Here is what we learned from the 2013 LSU pro day.
Eric Reid Is a Tiny Bit Faster
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It is a battle between Eric Reid and former Texas Longhorn Kenny Vaccaro as to who is going to be the first safety taken off the board. If it helps matters, Reid did improve his 40-time a little bit during pro day, running a 4.50, which is an improvement from the 4.53 he ran at the NFL combine.
Due to the slightly faster time and looking a bit more fluid in his drills, Reid left satisfied, according to Jim Kleinpeter of Nola.com
I wanted to run my 40 a little faster and be smoother in my drills and I think I did a pretty good job of that as well. Reid said. Now it's just keep training to stay in shape because in couple months it's off to training camp.
Reid also has a pre-draft visit scheduled with the Dallas Cowboys, a team that is currently looking for help at the safety spot.
Barkevious Mingo Wants to Stay in the Area
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Barkevious Mingo really needs no introduction as far as what he can do on the football field. In fact, he actually showed up to pro day in even better shape, measuring in at 6'4", 237 pounds. So what was the highlight of the day for Mingo?
Well, he got a lot of New Orleans Saints fans excited when he announced he would love to stay in the home state, according to Glenn Guilbeau of the Shreveport Times.
"They're the state team," Mingo said. "Everybody watches the Saints play, especially in my area. Great team. Great state."
Look what you started, Mingo.
New Orleans has the 15th pick in the first round of this year’s draft, is switching to a 3-4 defense and could use an outside linebacker. With his speed and rare athleticism, this is sure to drive fans in New Orleans nuts just thinking about the possibilities.
Michael Ford Turns Some Heads
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In an NFL draft that isn't exactly deep at the running back position, all it takes is one guy to perform well in these workouts, and his stock can begin to skyrocket. One of the players scouts are now paying a little more attention to is Michael Ford.
According to Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune, he blew the doors off with his 40-time.
LSU RB Michael Ford just tied CB T. Simon for the fastest 40 of the day with a 4.39. Simon has one more time to run though— Nakia Hogan (@nakiahogan) March 27, 2013
When you combine that type of speed with his size and power running, you have yourself some potential at the running back position. Good vision, ability to run inside or outside, Ford is somebody who could hear his name called a little sooner than he had expected.
Like a lot of Tigers during pro day, Ford did well.
Kevin Minter Improved His Stock
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One of the players that needed to have a good pro day was linebacker Kevin Minter. He didn't exactly have a terrific 40-yard dash time, and he needed to solidify himself as one of the best inside linebackers of this class.
Minter did just that, improving his 40-time from 4.81 in the NFL combine, to 4.67. He also jumped a little higher in the vertical jump, which was marked at 34.5 inches. This is what Minter set out to do and according to Jim Kleinpeter of Nola.com, he is satisfied with his new results.
I feel like I did real good today. Said Minter, who led the Tigers with 130 tackles as a junior in 2012. I might have turned some heads in the drills and the 40.
I feel I didn't do nearly as well as I should at combine. I had a bad start. I felt I had something to prove. I knew I was faster than that and I needed y'all to know that.
Minter should become a terrific run defender at the next level, and he brings blitzing potential to the table as well. With his improved results at pro day, it should now ease some of those questions about whether or not he can cover tight ends and running backs.
Tyrann Mathieu Continues to Be an Interesting Prospect
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Everybody has an opinion on Tyrann Mathieu. Some think he can be a terrific defensive player at the next level, while others are hesitant with his off the field issues. He didn't do much during the pro day, as he decided not to run the 40-yard dash, and he also avoided the vertical leap.
However, according to Chris Wesseling of the NFL, there are many who are quite high on him after what they have seen from the NFL combine and pro day.
"He continues to build a case for being one of the most intriguing nickel corner prospects in the draft," NFL.com's Bucky Brooks said from Baton Rouge, La.
I predicted that the Honey Badger will end up going somewhere in the third round due to his versatility, and Brooks also believes that is the range where he will end up.
I think people will look at the playmaking ability, the fact that he created so many turnovers, made so many big plays for LSU in 2011, that they're going to take a chance on him somewhere in the third round. Brooks said.
Somebody will take a chance on Mathieu and if he is as focused as he has been the past month, he will be the steal of the draft.