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NFL Pro Day Schedule 2018: Dates for Top Programs' Workouts

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 1, 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29:  Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans looks for an open receiver against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Once the NFL Scouting Combine reaches its conclusion, the next step in the NFL draft process is pro days held at colleges across the nation.

The showcase events put on by most Division I programs allow teams to take a deeper look at the collection of prospects at each school.

For some players, pro day carries extra importance, since they use it as a display of talent after not wanting to participate in a few drills at the combine.

The monthlong whirlwind across the country begins Wednesday, when the Alabama Crimson Tide take center stage, while Penn State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and a few other top-notch programs wait until the third week of March for their respective showcases.

     

NFL Pro Day Schedule

Alabama (March 7) 

Colorado (March 7)

Colorado State (March 7)

Auburn (March 9)

Washington (March 10)

Vanderbilt (March 13)

Wake Forest (March 13)

Oklahoma (March 14)

Virginia Tech (March 14)

Oklahoma State (March 15)

Oregon (March 15)

UCLA (March 15)

Virginia (March 15)

NC State (March 19)

Tennessee (March 19)

Florida State (March 20)

Penn State (March 20)

South Carolina (March 20)

UTEP (March 20)

USC (March 21)

Boston College (March 21)

Georgia (March 21)

Notre Dame (March 22)

Ohio State (March 22)

Stanford (March 22)

Missouri (March 22)

Kentucky (March 23)

Michigan (March 23)

Arkansas (March 26)

Iowa (March 26)

Iowa State (March 27)

Ole Miss (March 27)

Texas A&M (March 27)

Florida (March 28)

Mississippi State (March 28)

Texas (March 28)

UTSA (March 28)

UCF (March 29)

Louisville (March 29)

SMU (March 29)

South Dakota State (March 30)

Boise State (April 3)

LSU (April 4)

           

Darnold Taking Risk By Only Throwing at Pro Day

Over the next month, the teams at the top of the NFL draft are hoping to find qualities that separate the top quarterback prospects in order to make the right selection during the last week in April.

While most of the quarterback class is throwing at the combine, USC's Sam Darnold is waiting until his pro day on March 21 to throw in front of teams, per ESPN's Adam Schefter: 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

USC QB Sam Darnold, regarded by many as the potential No. 1 overall pick, will not throw at this week’s combine, and will focus on athletic testing and interviews instead, per source. He will throw at USC’s Pro Day on 3/21.

The decision is a risky one for the potential No. 1 overall pick, but it is also calculated since all of the focus will be on him alone when he throws on the USC campus. 

Right now, teams aren't seeing Darnold's decision as a hindrance in the draft process, as Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson noted while in Indianapolis, per NFL.com's Chase Goodbread:

Chase Goodbread @ChaseGoodbread

Hue Jackson: "Do I wish (Sam Darnold) was throwing this weekend? Yes, I do. But that won't hinder our ability to make a good decision about him." #NFLCombine2018

In Darnold's defense, the decision makes sense so he can display his talents in a familiar environment with receivers he's used to connecting with. He'll be in the spotlight on his own and won't get lost behind any of the other marquee signal-callers expected to be chosen in the first round.

However, there will be some analysts who criticize Darnold for not wanting to step out of his comfort zone and show off at an event where the rest of the top quarterback prospects throw in front of teams.

In the end, all that matters to Darnold is the teams interested in him come away with positive notes from USC's pro day. If that occurs, the decision to not throw at the combine should be tossed to the wayside.

           

Alabama Pro Day Set to be Post-Combine Spectacle

Two days after the combine finishes, a hoard of NFL personnel is set to swarm Tuscaloosa for Alabama's pro day. 

The Crimson Tide sent 14 players to the combine, and most of them will try to use the momentum gained from the national event to impress scouts in a familiar venue. 

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Calvin Ridley are among the Crimson Tide players projected to go early in the first round, with Fitzpatrick looking like one of the first prospects off the board at the moment.

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 07: Minkah Fitzpatrick #29 of the Alabama Crimson Tide returns an onside kick as he runs past Deshawn Capers-Smith #26 of the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 7, 2017 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/G
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne and linebacker Rashaan Evans have the potential to hear their respective names called in the first 32 selections as well.

While some Alabama players are known quantities, the national champions not in the first-round conversation will use Wednesday's event as a chance to advance their respective draft stocks.

Defensive back Anthony Averett and running back Bo Scarbrough are two of the stars with a chance to improve their NFL resumes with impressive performances in Tuscaloosa.

If some personnel can't make it to the showcase, they won't be missing out, as SEC Network is going to broadcast the festivities, per Christopher Walsh of SEC Country.

Alabama's pro day is one of two SEC talent showcases to be televised live, with Georgia's being the other on March 21.

        

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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