In the aftermath of the NFL Combine, top prospects have one last chance to impress the scouts and personnel of their future NFL teams.
Each school will hold their pro day, where top players will display their skills on their home turf.
Several marquee players will need a standout pro day to cement their status as top draft picks.
Blaine Gabbert’s pro day will be highly anticipated, since he did not participate in the combine.
Here’s how Gabbert and five other top prospects can increase their stock with a strong pro day showing.
Da’Quan Bowers still has a few weeks before his pro day on April 1, but teams are already marking that date on their schedules.
The defensive end led the nation with 15.5 sacks, and appears to be a can’t-miss top prospect.
The kicker here is that Bowers opted to undergo offseason knee surgery, forcing him to miss the combine.
Bowers’ pro day will alert scouts as to whether or not he can handle the load of an NFL season.
Marcell Dareus has been dubbed the “nicer, safer option to Nick Fairley.”
Some draft boards have him projected as a top three pick, while others have him as more of a mid-first round pick.
If Dareus impresses on pro day, he may jump ahead of Fairley as the top defensive tackle in the draft.
Nick Fairley ascended to the top of draft boards after his performance in the national championship.
However, questions about his work ethic have caused him to slip.
He will need a strong performance at his pro day to prove doubters wrong.
The defensive tackle should still be a top 10 pick, but there was a time when almost every analyst had him being selected first.
There is still time, though, for Fairley to move back up the ranks—especially if he has a strong pro day.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram’s 40-yard dash time was not too impressive. He ran a 4.62, but he has already said he will run it again on his pro day.
Ingram is still projected to be a late first round pick, but showing an increase in speed may propel him up the boards.
His speed and cutting ability are his greatest assets, leading to his Heisman in 2009.
A strong pro day will get him back into the conversation as an impact player in the NFL.
Nick Fairley’s teammate, Cam Newton, showed his athleticism in all of the drills at the combine.
However, he struggled in the area where quarterbacks should be striving: throwing.
Newton threw the deep ball well but had trouble with the five-step drop and quick out-route throws.
With new Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera attending the workout, Newton’s stock can significantly increase with a strong performance.
Just because Rivera is there doesn’t mean Newton is automatically going to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick. It does mean that the Panthers want a closer look at this year’s Heisman Trophy winner before making their final decision.
Blaine Gabbert has been called the most NFL-ready quarterback of the draft.
However, he opted to skip the throwing drills in the NFL Combine and wait for his pro day on March 17.
He will have to impress, since this will be his only chance to display his skills to the scouts on that sort of stage.
If he fails to have a strong showing, scouts will question his decision to skip the combine right up until draft day.