Week three of the Pro Day Meat Market has commenced and there are a ton of schools over the next six days who will be hosting NFL Scouts and Staff to their home campus to give their guys a look and maybe a shot at being grabbed by a team in April.
I mentioned many schools to look for in this week’s Pro Day Rewind as well as my impromtu Pro Day episode of All Access Football show, but honestly there is no way to cover every school and even the players who aren’t having their expos are news in some cases.
Here are some of the big pieces today and my thoughts on them:
DE Michael Johnson ran an official 40 time of 4.59 at the Georgia Tech Pro Day on Monday, although the Lions had him at 4.49. Which is odd and totally opposite my personal experiences at USC and UCLA’s Pro Days last year. Sometimes a school will put an athlete’s time much faster than the Scouts do but I don’t think I’ve seen a discrepancy flipped like this. And .10 of a second in a 40 time is an eternity. How does that happen? My thoughts on Johnson really are simple. He measures up really well, but gets pushed around and lacks consistent effort from play to play. However, Johnson is looking to be a late second, early third pick right now and could still move up depending upon what times other teams got today.
Beat writers and mockers have the Jets grabbing the best available wide receiver at #17. All sorts of guys – Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jeremy Maclin most often – get mentioned so far and the only thing that really might not be accounted for could be that Rex Ryan is a defense guy. So given how good I think the defensive class is (article forthcoming), it wouldn’t shock me, even with the cash they’ve spent over two years, if Ryan went with a great defensive player.
Georgia QB Matt Stafford (sorry, Matthew) apparently kicked some serious tail in personal interviews at the Scouting Combine. While it comes as a shock to nobody that he’s still in the conversation to be Detroit’s pick, it’s something interesting to hear. This is not a fantastic quarterback class. Stafford testing well may bump up it’s overall grade. Now we’ll see what we hear of Sanchez as well. He’s a guy I am very interested to see when I head to USC’s Pro Day on April 1st.
Mike Mayock was on the NFL Network and is talking up University of Connecticut running back Donald Brown pretty hard. He was already looking at him as his second best back in the draft, an opinion I didn’t particularly share. I’ve been watching tape I can get ahold of and have been gradually getting on board. I haven’t gotten to the point where I have him as high as Mayock but he’s starting to get there.
I was supposed to interview Utah QB Brian Johnson, but he had to postpone (hence the impromptu Pro Day show on all Access) and so was paying close attention to Utah’s Pro Day this afternoon. Johnson was very productive in an offense that led a team on an undefeated run last season – so you kind of need to look and see what’s there. Some injury issues and an offense which worked largely out of the spread are question marks. He moved all right in the 40 (4.88/4.89) and the three-cone in 4.41. Johnson is a long shot, but is just intriguing enough to maybe catch on as a Rookie Street Free agent.