Texas A&M Football: 5 Players with the Most to Prove at Pro Day
The Texas A&M football team had three players participate in the 2014 NFL Combine. With the combine over, attention turns to the Texas A&M Pro Day and the multiple Aggies who will be trying to make their mark in front of NFL personnel.
The NFL combine is an invitation-only event. Scouts invite a few hundred players who they believe are the top prospects to be selected in the upcoming draft. The players who are not invited have the opportunity to perform in front of NFL scouts on college campuses at their school's pro day.
Texas A&M will have their Pro Day on March 5. Some Texas A&M receivers will likely be able to perform in front of the scouts at Johnny Manziel's personal workout on March 27.
There are a number of talented Aggie players who will try to prove their worth to NFL teams at the A&M Pro Day. This is a look at some Aggies who need to have a good showing at the Pro Day in order to make an NFL roster.
WR Derel Walker
Derel Walker is a big receiver who had a productive year for A&M in 2013. He caught 51 passes for 818 yards and five touchdowns.
Walker is a 6'2", 185-pound athlete who is a tremendous leaper. He excels at high-pointing the ball in the air and coming down with it in traffic. He also has the prototype frame for a receiver in the NFL.
Walker is going to have to run a 40 time in the 4.4 second range to really attract attention from the scouts, while his vertical leap should be over 35."
If he can run in the 4.4’s and performs well during drills, he could push his stock up into the late rounds of the draft.
TE Nehemiah Hicks
Nehemiah Hicks is a 6'4", 255-pound senior tight end for the Aggies. He has good size for a tight end but is a little shorter than scouts would prefer.
Hicks only caught two passes for a total of six yards and one touchdown in 2013. The tight end position was underutilized in the Aggie offense in 2013, and Hicks was a backup tight end.
If Hicks wants to make an NFL roster he is going to have to do it on special teams. He has not shown enough with his play during games that he is an NFL tight end right now.
Hicks needs to run a 4.6 or better in the 40 and display a willingness to work on special teams in order to earn a chance at the NFL. If he performs well on March 5, he may get a signed somewhere as an undrafted free agent.
RB Ben Malena
Ben Malena started at running back for 27 games in a row for the Aggies. He was a solid back who showed great quickness and was a viable weapon in the Aggies' spread offense.
At only 5'9" tall and weighing 195 lbs, Malena does not have the size to be an every-down back in the NFL. Malena will have to try to make an NFL roster as a third-down back.
Malena needs to run a 4.5 or better in the 40 and show quickness and good hands in the drills during the A&M Pro Day. His ability to return kickoffs and play on special teams is a plus.
Malena will be an undrafted free agent who will be given the opportunity to make a team in training camp.
DT Kirby Ennis
Kirby Ennis missed the majority of his senior season with a leg injury. It is unknown right now how much he will be able to participate in the A&M Pro Day because of the leg injury.
Ennis can make an NFL roster if he finds the right team who is looking for a project who will be a run-stopper at defensive tackle in the NFL. He needs to do his part at the Pro Day by showing good strength in the bench press and putting up 25-plus reps of 225 lbs.
If his medical health checks out, then he could make a roster as an undrafted free agent.
WR Travis Labhart
Travis Labhart has a great story as a walk-on receiver who played his way into a starting position his senior season at Texas A&M. Great stories do not earn you a spot on an NFL roster.
Labhart is an undersized receiver at 5'9" and 182 pounds. He would have to play in the slot in the NFL, which means he needs to have elite speed.
Labhart has good hands and has displayed the ability to make clutch catches with the Aggies. He needs to run a 4.5 or better in the 40 if he wants a serious shot at the NFL.
His size will likely keep him from being drafted, but he is a player who could make a roster and an impact on the field if he lands with the right franchise.