JaMarcus Russell had a great pro day.
It's a quick but heavy statement of the perils surrounding the NFL during this portion of the calendar. In a way, it fits right in with the so-called madness of March.
As the NFL draft approaches, the top prospects continue to make waves in the stock department via pro days and individual workouts with teams. It's a fun time of year, but a cautionary one, as what could be as much as four years of film take a back seat to more recent events such as favorable workouts.
So keep such lessons from year's past in mind while perusing the NFL draft buzz. Here's a look at the latest and what it truly means.
2016 NFL Mock Draft
|1||Tennessee Titans||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|2||Cleveland Browns||Jared Goff||QB||California|
|3||San Diego Chargers||Jalen Ramsey||CB/S||Florida State|
|4||Dallas Cowboys||Myles Jack||LB||UCLA|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|6||Baltimore Ravens||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Joey Bosa||DL||Ohio State|
|8||Philadelphia Eagles||Jack Conklin||OT||Michigan State|
|9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Darron Lee||LB||Ohio State|
|10||New York Giants||DeForest Buckner||DE||Oregon|
|11||Chicago Bears||Reggie Ragland||LB||Alabama|
|12||New Orleans Saints||Noah Spence||DE/LB||Eastern Kentucky|
|13||Miami Dolphins||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State|
|14||Oakland Raiders||Mackensie Alexander||CB||Clemson|
|15||Los Angeles Rams||Carson Wentz||QB||North Dakota State|
|16||Detroit Lions||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio State|
|17||Atlanta Falcons||Shaq Lawson||LB||Clemson|
|18||Indianapolis Colts||A'Shawn Robinson||DT||Alabama|
|19||Buffalo Bills||Paxton Lynch||QB||Memphis|
|20||New York Jets||Jonathan Bullard||DE||Florida|
|22||Houston Texans||Robert Nkemdiche||DL||Ole Miss|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Josh Doctson||WR||TCU|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss|
|25||Pittsburgh Steelers||Eli Apple||CB||Ohio State|
|26||Seattle Seahawks||Leonard Floyd||LB||Georgia|
|27||Green Bay Packers||Sheldon Rankins||DT||Louisville|
|28||Kansas City Chiefs||Michael Thomas||WR||Ohio State|
|29||Arizona Cardinals||Emmanuel Ogbah||DE||Oklahoma St.|
|30||Carolina Panthers||Kevin Dodd||DE||Clemson|
|31||Denver Broncos||Jason Spriggs||OT||Indiana|
Notable Buzz Around Prospects
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
See, there is a big difference between someone such as Russell, who had well-documented motivation issues, and a guy like Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, whose best comparison for years has been Joe Haden.
Hargreaves comes in at 5'10" and 204 pounds with elite athleticism, anticipation and explosiveness to plant himself around the football and make a difference.
The Florida product reinforced any and all comparisons by wowing scouts at the team's pro day, according to CollegeFootball 24/7:
CollegeFootball 24/7 @NFL_CFB
Vernon Hargreaves cemented his top-10 draft status at Florida's pro day (via @Gil_Brandt) https://t.co/ENFbrEL72u https://t.co/IVQaUL0zbQ3/22/2016, 7:14:07 PM
Had Hargreaves tanked, this would seem like a much different story, but he took to positional drills and reflected his film, buoying his already-stellar stock in the process.
Rest assured the Jacksonville Jaguars paid attention to the local kid. If they cannot get their hands on Jalen Ramsey, Hargreaves is the next-best option to slap in a secondary that ranked 29th against the pass last year.
Adding Malik Jackson, Hargreaves and getting Dante Fowler back from injury should go a long way in helping Jacksonville turn things around on the defensive side of the ball.
15. Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
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Insider Buzz: Las Vegas Deal Dead, but Raiders Haven't Contacted City of Oakland
Insider Buzz: Belichick Could Pull Out Old Trick to Slow Down Julio Jones in SB
Tale of the Tape: Do Patriots or Falcons Have Advantage in Super Bowl LI?
NFL Award Predictions: Who Will Take Home Hardware at 'Honors' Ceremony?
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Insider Buzz: 'Unconventional' John Lynch Hire Won't Impact Shanahan to 49ers
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Insider Buzz: Former Bills Coaches Angry at 'Lazy' Dareus' Criticism of Rex Ryan
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Simms' Hidden Truth: NE Can Slow Creative PIT Defense with Only 2 WRs on Field
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Carson Wentz is the trickiest of the hype.
Wentz attended North Dakota State and didn't face any meaningful competition, but he's always looked the part at 6'5" and 237 pounds with an ability to hit most throws on film.
Folks began digging into Wentz after the season and liked what they saw, raising his stock. Wentz seemed to help himself at North Dakota State's pro day Thursday, as the NFL captured:
"I would say A, if not an A+… Nearly flawless." -@MoveTheSticks grades @NDSUathletics QB @CJ_Wentz's Pro Day https://t.co/NNwSaI78tn3/24/2016, 4:27:45 PM
But again, these things have to come with a dash of caution. For example, NBCSN's Ross Tucker hit the nail on the head before the day even began:
Ross Tucker @RossTuckerNFL
I bet Carson Wentz has a "great" Pro Day. Just a wild guess. Call it a hunch even.3/24/2016, 2:23:12 PM
Wentz threw the ball well in a workout he's done plenty of times on his home turf surrounded by teammates and supporters. While he looked great, it might be premature to swap him with California's Jared Goff in the draft process.
Not that the Los Angeles Rams will complain if Wentz remains in the mid-round range. Avoiding another dose of Nick Foles, or at least doing so knowing there is a high-ceiling prospect learning on the bench, would help the franchise.
Such a ceiling might end up trumping everything else, but for now it's hard to shake the feeling that the hype around Wentz booms simply because this is one of the weakest quarterback classes in recent memory. For now, he's sticking around No. 15.
21. Washington: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Baylor's Corey Coleman is another interesting case.
The explosive deep threat didn't do much at the combine, but years and years of productive film trumped the absence. Instead, Coleman chose to take to the Baylor pro day and put on a show.
Which he did. Coleman put up explosive numbers, albeit on friendly turf. The NFL knows how to look past big numbers at a pro day and get right to the point, which it sounds like it has, as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle detailed:
John McClain @McClain_on_NFL
I spoke with 4 NFL head coaches and 2 general managers today at league meetings, and all praised the heck out of Baylor WR Corey Coleman.3/21/2016, 9:00:33 PM
Already considered a first-round prospect in college, Coleman enters a weak class sure to fulfill the expectations. The pro day, though, didn't make him a can't-miss prospect who will come off the board among the first 10 picks, as it's still muddy as to which wideout will hear his name called first.
Still, Coleman is quite the get for a team like Washington. The team kept Kirk Cousins under center and now needs another talented vertical threat to run with DeSean Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed.
With Pierre Garcon slowing, adding another dependable threat such as Coleman will work wonders for the spacing and timing of the Washington offense.
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