By Tony Pauline, TFY Draft Preview
The third full week of March saw some terrific pro-day performances and other major news that is bound to shake up draft boards around the NFL.
Darrelle Revis/CB/Pittsburgh: Considered one of the best cornerbacks in April's draft, Revis answered the few questions some had about his speed. He twice clocked in the low 4.4-second range, with a few stopwatches reading 4.38. Revis now grades as a mid-first-round choice.
Trent Edwards/QB/Stanford: During his rain-soaked workout, Edwards looked sharp throwing the ball. He completed 47 out of the 50 passes, displaying an NFL-caliber arm and the ability to make all the throws. He will now battle to be the third signal-caller drafted next month.
Patrick Willis/LB/Mississippi: Willis took it to another level, shocking scouts by running 4.4 in the 40 after weighing in at 238 pounds. This performance could push him into the draft's top 18 selections.
Lamarr Woodley/OLB-DE/Michigan: After almost two months of inactivity Woodley knew his draft stock was slipping mightily. He reversed that trend on March 16 by completing 29 repetitions on the bench and running his 40 times just under 4.8 seconds. His vertical jump of 38.5 inches was better than all but six of the receivers from the combine. He has solidified himself as a top-60 choice.
Tim Shaw/OLB/Penn State: Shaw improved on a terrific combine performance by bettering many of his marks at Penn State's pro-day. He ran in the low 4.4-second range, more than 1/10th faster than he had in Indianapolis. His broad jump of 10-feet-6 inches was almost a foot farther than his combine mark. Shaw has moved into the middle rounds of April's draft.
Calvin Bannister/CB/Hampton: Taking a backseat to teammate Travarous Bain, whom many project as a middle round choice, Bannister has opened some eyes recently. Running in the low 4.3s at his pro day, the 5-foot-7 cornerback also turned in a vertical jump of 39.5 inches. He favorably compares to Jason David of the Indianapolis Colts.
Danny Verdun Wheeler/OLB/Georgia: Affirming his reputation as a tremendous athlete, Wheeler put on a show for scouts. He weighed 247 pounds, ran 40 times in the low 4.6-second range, posted a vertical jump of 35.5 inches and turned in a great three-cone run of 6.93 seconds. Verdun Wheeler vaulted himself into the late rounds as a back-up linebacker/special teams player.
Darren Stone/S/Maine: A king-sized safety who some project to linebacker, Stone improved all his marks from the combine. After measuring 6-3 and 220 pounds, Stone ran his 40s at 4.5 seconds, touched the vertical jump at 39.5 inches, posted a 11-foot-5 broad jump and completed 15 reps on the bench.
Jacob Bender/OT/Nicholls State: The little known tackle completed two separate pro-days in less than a week. Looking very athletic at 6-6 and 317 pounds, Bender ran the 40 in 5.03, turned in a 30-inch vertical jump and pushed up 27 reps on the bench.
Jyles Tucker/DE-OLB/Wake Forest: A sleeper of sorts, Tucker ran in the mid 4.7s after weighing in at 258 pounds. He looked good in all the drills after the physical tests.
Alan Branch/DT/Michigan: As was the case at the combine Branch looked out of shape at pro-day. Participating in just the defensive line drills, he was winded only a few minutes into the session. At one point Branch was considered a potential top-six pick, but now he will likely slip out of the draft's first dozen selections.
Tony Hunt/RB/Penn State: After showing up at the Senior Bowl overweight then not working out at the combine, Hunt needed a huge pro-day performance. He did not meet expectations. Unable to break 4.7 in the 40, his draft stock will take a beating. Many teams now project Hunt as a fullback.
Dave Ball/WR/New Hampshire: The record setting I-AA receiver ran poorly and was unable to break 4.7. Most surprisingly, a high jumper on the New Hampshire track team, Ball was only able to reach 33 inches in the vertical jump.
Marques Murrell/LB/Appalachian State: A college defensive end that projects to linebacker at the next level, Murrell looked un-athletic in front of scouts. Weighing 245-pounds, his marks included a slow 4.9, a poor vertical jump of barely 30 inches and just 18 reps on the bench.
Dan Inman/T/Georgia: Considered a soft, non-aggressive blocker, Inman held true to form at his workout. Measuring 6-7 and 317 pounds, Inman was unable to break 5.80 in the 40 and completed a measly 13 reps on the bench.
Notes: The news couldn't get any worse for Louisville's Michael Bush. The big running back was forced to undergo a second surgery on his injured leg after the initial procedure from last September did not produce the desired results. (Bush broke his leg during the first game of the season last year.) Considered a top 45 selection prior to the second surgery, Bush is now in jeopardy of not being selected at all next month. ...
The news is not good for Ohio State junior Tedd Ginn Jr. either. The speedy receiver has been slow recovering from the foot injury he suffered during an end zone celebration in the national championship game in January. There is now real concern that the speedy wideout may not be ready to run or workout for scouts before draft day. ...
The Buckeye's other underclassmen receiver is watching his draft stock move north. Several teams are considering using a pick early in Round 2 for Anthony Gonzalez as they feel he will be an asset off the field as well as on it. Teams understand Gonzalez is an outstanding football player and a young man of high character, yet they also feel his ethnic background could be key in reaching out to surrounding communities