Elite college prospects hope to wow NFL teams at unprecedented pro days

Elite college prospects hope to wow NFL teams at unprecedented pro days
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could improve his chances of being selected earlier in the 2021 NFL Draft if he impresses NFL decision makers at the Buckeyes' pro day March 30 in Columbus, Ohio. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, March 10 (UPI) -- Elite football prospects will showcase skills for NFL teams for the next five weeks at college campus pro days in an unprecedented pre-draft process put into place when the scouting combine was canceled due to COVID-19.

In a typical year, more than 300 of the top-rated prospects attend the annual combine in Indianapolis, where their mental and physical abilities are measured at a centralized location.


But this year, the NFL decided not to hold the event in Indianapolis because of logistical complexities and COVID-19 safety precautions.

The NFL announced Feb. 24 that the prospects' respective colleges would host the workout sessions for their top players from last Friday through April 9. Several training facilities also have hosted combine-like workouts this spring, but the majority of attention will be paid to the college gatherings.

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The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 29 through May 1.


Players at the pro day workouts will do bench press repetitions, participate in mobility drills, have vertical and broad jumps measured, run 40-yard dashes, throw, catch and more.

They will communicate with NFL teams through video conferences, instead of in the typical face-to-face format allowed in past years in Indianapolis.

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Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, BYU's Zach Wilson, Oregon's Penie Swell, LSU's Ja'Marr Chase, Florida's Kyle Pitts and Penn State's Micah Parsons are among the top prospects in the draft class.

Lawrence, who recently had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, is not expected to participate in Clemson's pro day Thursday in South Carolina. He held a personal pro day Feb. 12 and had surgery four days later. Sixteen NFL teams had representatives attend that session.

Now, NFL teams will scatter resources around the country in the form of scouts, coaches, general managers and other representatives to try to properly evaluate the talented young players before the draft.

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ESPN, NFL Network, ACC Network and Longhorn Network will air the workouts for some of the top prospects. NFL Network will feature the sessions as part of its Path to the Draft segment.

The NFL announced a list of 323 combine invitees March 3, despite its decision to cancel the annual event in Indianapolis. That list of players -- chosen by a committee composed of scouting service directors and NFL team personnel departments -- typically features many of the prospects who will be selected in the annual seven-round, 250-plus pick draft.


Combine dates, top prospects


Arkansas -- QB Feleipe Franks, RB Rakeem Boyd, DT Jonathan Marshall

Marshall -- OL Josh Ball, RB Brenden Knox

Maryland -- LB Shaq Smith

Wisconsin -- CB Rachad Wildgoose, DE Isaiahh Loudermilk, OL Cole Van Lanen


Clemson (5 p.m. EST on ACC Network and NFL Network)-- QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, OT Jackson Carman, CB Derion Kendrick, EDGE Xavier Thomas, WR Amari Rodgers, WR Cornell Powell

Texas (5 p.m. EST on Longhorn Network and NFL Network) -- OL Samuel Cosmi, LB Joseph Ossai, S Caden Sterns, WR Brennan Eagles, DT T.Q. Graham, QB Sam Ehlinger


Arkansas State -- WR Jonathan Adams, DT Forrest Merrill

North Dakota State (noon EST on NFL Network) -- QB Trey Lance, OT Dillon Radunz

Oklahoma (noon EST on NFL Network) -- RB Rhamondre Stevenson, OL Creed Humphrey, OL Adrian Ealy, CB Tre Brown


Kent State -- WR Isaiah McKoy

Middle Tennessee State -- OL Robert Jones, S Reed Blankenship

Vanderbilt -- DE Dayo Odeyingbo


Georgia Tech -- P Pressley Harvin

March 17

Arizona -- RB Gary Brightwell, CB Lorenzo Burns

Georgia (9 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- CB Tyson Campbell, LB Azeez Ojulari, CB Eric Stokes, LB Monty Rice, S Richard LeCounte, DB Mark Webb, OL Trey Hill, CB D.J. Daniel, CB Eric Stokes, TE Tre' McKitty, DE Malik Herring, OL Ben Cleveland


Illinois -- OL Kendrick Green, OL Doug Kramer, LB Milo Eifler, CB Nate Hobbs

Pittsburgh (ACC Network alternate) -- EDGE Patrick Jones II, DL Jaylen Twyman, S Paris Ford, DL Rashad Weaver, S Damar Hamlin, CB Damarri Mathis, OL Jimmy Morrissey

March 18

Auburn (3 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- WR Seth Williams, WR Anthony Schwartz, LB K.J. Britt, S Jamien Sherwood

Buffalo -- RB Jaret Patterson, OL Kayode Awosika, DE Malcolm Koonce

Central Arkansas -- CB Robert Rochell

Louisiana Tech -- DE Milton Williams

Louisiana-Monroe -- RB Josh Johnson

Stanford (3 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- CB Paulson Adebo, OL Walker Little, OL Drew Dalman, WR Simi Fehoko, QB Davis Mills

West Virginia -- DL Darius Stills, WR T.J. Simmons, LB Tony Fields II

March 19

Memphis -- RB Kenneth Gainwell, WR Damonte Coxie, K Riley Patterson

TCU -- S Trevon Moehrig, S Ar'Darius Washington, LB Garret Wallow, WR J.D. Spielman, TE Pro Wells

March 22

Colorado State -- WR Warren Jackson

Florida State (ACC Network alternate) -- S Hamsah Nasirildeen, CB Asante Samuel Jr., DL Marvin Wilson, DE Joshua Kaindoh, WR Tamorrion Terry, DE Janarius Robinson

Iowa -- OL Alaric Jackson, WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, DT Daviyon Nixon, WR Brandon Smith, DE Chauncey Golston


Missouri -- LB Nick Bolton, S Tyree Gillespie, S Joshuah Bledsoe, RB Larry Rountree III, OL Larry Borom

March 23

Alabama (noon EDT on NFL Network) -- QB Mac Jones, RB Najee Harris, WR DeVonta Smith, WR Jaylen Waddle, CB Patrick Surtain II, DL Christian Barmore, OL Deonte Brown, OL Alex Leatherwood, LB Dylan Moses, OL Landon Dickerson, LS Thomas Fletcher

Iowa State -- TE Dylan Soehner, DE JaQuan Bailey

Nebraska -- OL Brenden Jaimes

Purdue (noon EDT on NFL Network) -- WR Rondale Moore, LB Derrick Barnes, S Tyler Coyle

March 24

Michigan State -- CB Shakur Brown, LB Antjuan Simmons, DT Naquan Jones

Mississippi State -- RB Kylin Hill, WR Osirus Mitchell, OL Dareuan Parker, OL Greg Eiland

South Carolina -- CB Jaycee Horn, CB Israel Mukuamu, WR Shi Smith, OL Sadarius Hutcherson

USC (11 a.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, DL Jay Tufele, DL Marlon Tuipulotu, WR Tyler Vaughns

Virginia -- TE Tony Poljan, LB Charles Snowden

March 25

Mississippi -- WR Elijah Moore, LB Lakia Henry, DE Tariqious Tisdale, TE Kenny Yeboah, OL Royce Newman, LB Sam Williams

North Texas -- WR Jaelon Darden

Penn State -- LB Micah Parsons, TE Pat Freiermuth, EDGE Jayson Oweh, DE Shaka Toney, OL Michael Menet, OL Will Fries


San Diego State -- CB Darren Hall

SMU -- QB Shane Buechele, WR Reggie Roberson Jr., TE Kylen Granson, CB Brandon Stephens

Tennessee -- OL Trey Smith, WR Josh Palmer, CB Bryce Thompson

Western Michigan -- WR D'Wayne Eskridge, OL Jaylon Moore

March 26

Boston College -- TE Hunter Long, LB Isaiah McDuffie

BYU (1 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- QB Zach Wilson, OL Brady Christensen, TE Matt Bushman, WR Dax Milne, DT Khyiris Tonga, CB Chris Wilcox

Michigan (1 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- DL Kwity Paye, OL Jalen Mayfield, CB Ambry Thomas, LB Cameron McGrone, WR Nico Collins, RB Chris Evans, TE Nick Eubanks, FB Ben Mason

South Dakota State -- WR Cade Johnson

Virginia Tech (1 p.m. EDT on ACC Network alternate and NFL Network) -- CB Caleb Farley, OL Christian Darrisaw, RB Khalil Herbert, S Divine Deablo

March 29

Arizona State -- WR Frank Darby, Aashari Crosswell

Duke (ACC Network alternate) -- DE Victor Dimukeje, LB Chris Rumph Jr., TE Noah Gray, RB Deon Jackson, CB Michael Carter II, CB Mark Gilbert

Louisiana-Lafayette -- RB Elijah Mitchell, RB Trey Ragas

Miami (ACC Network) -- EDGE Gregory Rousseau, DL Jaelan Phillips, TE Brevin Jordan, EDGE Quincy Roche, K Jose Borregales


North Carolina -- RB Michael Carter, RB Javonte Williams, LB Chazz Surratt, WR Dazz Newsome, WR Dyami Brown

March 30

Alabama (6 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- QB Mac Jones, RB Najee Harris, WR DeVonta Smith, WR Jaylen Waddle, CB Patrick Surtain II, DL Christian Barmore, OL Deonte Brown, OL Alex Leatherwood, LB Dylan Moses, OL Landon Dickerson, LS Thomas Fletcher

East Carolina -- OL D'Ante Smith

Louisville (ACC Network alternate) -- WR Tutu Atwell, WR Dez Fitzpatrick, RB Javian Hawkins

North Carolina State -- DT Alim McNeill, TE Cary Angeline

Ohio State (6 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- QB Justin Fields, OL Wyatt Davis, CB Shaun Wade, OL Josh Myers, LB Baron Browning, RB Trey Sermon, LB Pete Werner, LB Justin Hilliard, LB Tuf Borland

Texas A&M -- QB Kellen Mond, WR Jhamon Ausbon, DT Bobby Brown III, OL Carson Green, LB Anthony Hines III, OL Jared Hocker, LB BUddy Johnson, OL Dan Moore

Washington (6 p.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- DL Levi Onwuzurike, EDGE Joe Tryon, CB Elijah Molden, CB Keith Taylor

March 31

Boise State -- TE John Bates

Baylor -- DE Will Bradley-King

Florida (11 a.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- QB Kyle Trask, TE Kyle Pitts, WR Kadarius Toney, WR Trevon Grimes, CB Marco Wilson, DL Tedarrell Slaton, S Shawn Davis, OL Stone Forsythe, K Evan McPherson


Kentucky -- OL Drake Jackson, LB Jamin Davis, DT Quinton Bohanna, CB Brandin Echols, P Max Duffy, CB Kelvin Joseph, OL Landon Young, LB Jamar Watson

LSU (11 a.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- WR Ja'Marr Chase, WR Terrace Marshall Jr., DL Tyler Shelvin, LB Jabril Cox, CB Kary Vincent Jr., S JaCoby Stevens, WR Racey McMath, TE Tory Carter

Notre Dame (11 a.m. EDT on NFL Network) -- LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, TE Tommy Tremble, DL Adetokunbo Ogundeji, OL Liam Eichenberg, OL Aaron Banks, DE Daelin Hayes, QB Ian Book, WR Javon McKinley, WR Ben Skowronek, OL Robert Hainsey

Wake Forest (ACC Network alternate) -- EDGE Carlos Basham Jr., WR Sage Surratt, QB Jamie Newman

April 1

Central Florida -- DB Aaron Robinson, WR Marlon Williams, S Richie Grant, WR Tre Nixon

Minnesota -- WR Rashod Bateman, CB Benjamin St-Juste

Oklahoma State -- WR Tylan Wallace, OL Teven Jenkins, RB Chuba Hubbard, CB Rodarius Williams

Oregon State -- EDGE Hamilcar Rashed Jr., RB Jermar Jefferson, CB Nahshon Wright

April 2

Oregon -- OL Penei Sewell, S Jevon Holland, CB Thomas Graham Jr., CB Deommodore Lenoir, S Brady Breeze, DT Austin Faoliu

Tulsa -- LB Zaven Collins

April 7

Texas Tech -- WR T.J. Vasher, OL Jack Anderson, CB Zech McPhearson


April 9

UAB -- LB Jordan Smith, WR Austin Watkins

Ball State -- CB Antonio Phillips

Houston -- DE Payton Turner, WR Marquez Stevenson, LB Grant Stuard


Syracuse -- CB Trill Williams, Ifeatu Melifonwu, S Andre Cisco

UCLA -- RB Demetric Felton, DT Osa Odighizuwa

Cincinnati -- S Darrick Forrest, S James Wiggins, OL James Hudson, P James Smith

Baylor -- DE Will Bradley-King

Indiana -- RB Stevie Scott III, WR Whop Philyor, S Jamar Johnson

California -- CB Camryn Bynum, OL Jake Curhan

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