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No Shortage Of Stars At Southern Cal Pro Day

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 26, 2013 – 6:52 pm

On Tuesday morning we previewed Notre Dame’s pro day. On Wednesday, another high-profile football program known for pushing out professionals will hold its pro day, too. NFL GMs, coaches and scouts will descend upon the University of Southern California campus to continue their tour of the country in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft.

The big news out of USC’s pro day will be the workout of QB Matt Barkley, as he looks to mitigate his senior season slide. A year ago, Barkley would likely have been considered a lock to go in the 1st round. But he chose to return to USC for his senior season, and a combo platter of performance and injury has led to a reduced draft stock. In his final season, Barkley threw fewer TDs, more INTs, took more sacks, threw for a lower percentage and registered a lower passer rating than he did during his junior season. On top of that, he suffered a sprain of the AC joint in his throwing shoulder, causing him to miss USC’s final two games.

Wednesday marks the first time Barkley has thrown publicly since suffering the shoulder injury, so expect to hear a lot of reaction to that.

But there are others who will perform at USC’s pro day who are worthy of mention. I was impressed with S TJ McDonald in watching him at the Senior Bowl in January, and it’s hard to not be impressed whenever you watch WR Robert Woods. Over the past 2 seasons at USC, Woods hauled in 187 receptions for 2,138 yards and 26 TDs. For fans of a team that is in the process of upgrading its WR corps, those numbers are tantalizing.

Roberts Woods, Matt Barkley

Others participating in USC’s pro day include: C Khaled Holmes, DE Wes Horton, CB Nickell Robey and S Jawanza Starling.


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Ranking The Draft’s “Explosive” Prospects (And Finding One For The Vikings?)

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 26, 2013 – 8:47 am

Pat Kirwan is one of my favorite NFL analysts. I first became familiar with him because he was a writer and analyst for NFL.com. He’s now a contributor to CBSSports.com, but his best work in my opinion is done as co-host of Sirius NFL Radio’s Moving the Chains. Kirwan’s most recent written piece explains the place “explosiveness” has in the NFL, offers a method of measuring explosiveness, and then identifies and ranks the Top 20 Explosive Players in this year’s draft.

Before you click the link to check out Kirwan’s rankings, there’s something you should keep in mind. The top-ranked explosive player on his list is a player who was much discussed right here on the vikings.com Blog earlier this year. His name is Cornelius Washington, and he played DE for the University of Georgia. I wrote extensively about one of Washington’s Senior Bowl practices, going so far as to say that he may have matched the dominance that DT Sylvester Williams showcased at the Senior Bowl as well.

SEC Championship Football

The point of this entry is not to promote Washington as a selection for the Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft, although I’m not opposed to that at this point. Rather, it’s interesting to note not just how well Kirwan explains the place explosiveness has in the game of football but how he’s chosen to try and measure an athlete’s ability to explode and, consequently, his potential ability to make an impact at the NFL level. His piece is worth a read.

Once you’re done reading Kirwan’s piece, though, make sure to come back to vikings.com to stay up-to-date on all Vikings and 2013 NFL Draft news.

Click here to review our coverage of the 2013 Senior Bowl.

Click here to review our coverage of the 2013 Scouting Combine.


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Te’o To Take Center Stage At Notre Dame’s Pro Day

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 26, 2013 – 6:14 am

One of the highest-profile football programs in the country will host its pro day on Tuesday, and that will set the stage for one of the highest-profile prospects in this year’s draft class to workout in front of what will surely be a packed house of NFL GMs, coaches and scouts at the Loftus Sports Center.

Senior LB Manti Te’o is that player, and his performance will likely be the top story in the Tuesday NFL news cycle.

Te’0 was impressive at the Combine last month in terms of his on-field drills, media obligations and, reportedly, in the team interview process as well. But he ran a slower-than-expected time in the 40-yard dash, prompting his detractors to question whether or not he could cut it in pass defense as a starting LB in the NFL. He was clocked with a 4.82 time in the 40-yard dash. On Tuesday, Te’o will have a chance to dispel his detractors and reassert himself as one of the top defensive prospects in this year’s draft. If Te’o can cut the time down to the mid-4.7s, that could do enough to restore the confidence many lost in him following the Combine.

There will be 14 Notre Dame players participating in Tuesday’s pro day, according to the school. Those players are: WR John Goodman, OL Mike Golic Jr., OL Braxston Cave, RB Theo Riddick, WR Robby Toma, TE Tyler Eifert, RB Cierre Wood, DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, S Zeke Motta, S Jamoris Slaughter, LB Manti Te’o, P Ben Turk, LS Jordan Cowart and S Chris Salvi.

Here’s a schedule of all pro days leading up to the NFL draft at the end of April.

teoclob


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