Posted: 12:23 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2013
By Nick Chiamardas
NFL free agency is the big news today, but Pro Days do continue. Today's schools include: Delaware State, Florida, Jacksonville State, Kansas State, Lehigh, Monmouth, Oklahoma State, Portland State, Toledo, Towson, Tulane, and UCLA.
It's no surprise that Florida will likely dominate pro day headlines today with 10 potential draft picks in 2013. Sharrif Floyd isn't going to take part with his former teammates. Instead, Floyd will hold his own pro day on March 22nd after sustaining slight ankle injury at the Combine in February.
The rest of the Gator draft hopefuls include safeties Matt Elam and Josh Evans, running back Mike Gillislee, linebackers Jelani Jenkins, Lerentee McCray, and Jon Bostic, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, tight end Jordan Reed, and kicker Caleb Sturgis.
Evans is a lean safety at 6-1, 207lbs. He'll likely be a late round pick and special team's contributor. Showed improved ball skills in 2012 and an aggressive style of play netting him 2.5 sacks from his free safety position.
Reed is a converted quarterback capable of filling the ‘joker' tight end role several teams covet. Versatile enough line up at H-back, tight end, wide receiver and even running back, Reed is an intriguing tight end option that has drawn similar comparisons to former teammate and current New England Patriot, Aaron Hernandez.
Sturgis is the second best kicker in this year's draft. Should the Niners miss or pass on Dustin Hopkins from FSU, Sturgis would be a worthy selection. He improved his accuracy year over year especially at long distances.
Oklahoma State's Quinn Sharp would be 2B to Sturgis' 2A as far as top kickers are concerned. The strong legged kicker booted 220 touchbacks of 384 kickoffs during his four year career.
UCLA has a few prospects of their own worth noting.
Fan favorite, defensive end Datone Jones will also be working out. Jones is a legitimate possibility for the 49ers in the backend of round one (Even ESPN's Mel Kiper thinks so), especially now that the Seahawks no longer have a first round pick. Jones is a ‘one hit wonder' at UCLA but that could be a credit to a more aggressive style defense style by former 49er defensive coordinator Jim Mora, Jr.
Running back Johnathan Franklin has been turning some heads lately. A solid 4.49 forty at the combine showed he was faster than scouts thought. He'll need a duplicate effort to reassure that feeling.
Kansas State will feature quarterback Collin Klein as he tries to find a home in the NFL. It's believed by most he'll need to change positions to make his dream a reality. Linebacker Arthur Brown is likely going to be a first round selection. Capable of playing inside or outside, Brown, like his brother Philadelphia RB Bryce Brown, was a top prospect out of high school and finished his career at K. State after two years at Miami.