Draft Dish: Mixed results from Virginia, Vanderbilt

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Draft Dish: Mixed results from Virginia, Vanderbilt
    .Russ Lande


    As on-campus pre-draft workouts, otherwise known as "pro days," continue to be conducted around the nation, prospects' stocks are ever changing:

    Virginia defensive tackle Nate Collins helped his draft stock following the East-West Shrine Game.
    Virginia's March 18 pro day turned out to be a mixed bag for Cavaliers draft prospects. OT Will Barker, who was viewed as either a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent, definitely helped himself.

    Barker had an outstanding workout, showing a surprising combination of athleticism, flexibility and quick feet. For a big tackle (6-7 1/8, 317 pounds) to move like he did, it pretty much assures Barker of being drafted.

    As for DT Nate Collins (6-2, 279) who had a very good week of practice leading up to the East-West Shrine Game, continued his strong spring with a good all-around workout. For an undersized tackle who once looked like he was undraftable, Collins' performance was convincing enough to merit late-round consideration.

    While Collins and Barker helped themselves, CB Chris Cook (6-2, 212) went in the opposite direction after being one of the spring's fastest risers. He was good at the Senior Bowl and worked out well at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he really struggled back in Charlottesville.

    Cook did not look prepared for his pro day and did not seem to be interested in being his best. Some of those in attendance commented that his performance was a "waste of a day."

    • Vanderbilt's pro day on March 19 was another up-and-down event with some players helping their values while one in particular hurt his.

    DE Steve Stone (6-5, 277) looked good and turned in a fine all-around workout, including a 35-inch vertical jump, 9-foot 9-inch broad jump, a 4.4-second short shuttle, a 7.1-second 3-cone drill and a 4.9-second 40-yard dash. After struggling with injuries during his college career and then flashing NFL talent as a senior, Stone's performance could wind up getting him drafted.

    OT Dwayne Welch also had a solid workout, improving upon his performance at the Combine. For a player who was viewed as an undrafted prospect two months ago, Welch's performances in Indianapolis and Nashville likely put him in position to be drafted late.

    It was not a good day, however, for CB Myron Lewis, considered by many to be a top draft sleeper. After a bad showing, he could end up freefalling down draft boards. He looked stiff throughout his workout and struggled to change directions quickly and fluidly. Nearly as bad was that he seemed to lack intensity and energy during the workout, which makes one wonder if he really wanted to be there.

    • As Tulane also held its pro day on the 19th, not much was expected of its prospects after neither WR Jeremy Williams nor RB Andre Anderson shined at the Combine. Those NFL observers in attendance got a pleasant surprise.

    Williams greatly improved his 40-yard time by running in the mid 4.4-second range. Also important, he ran good routes and showed great hands when catching the ball. For someone considered a sleeper before his struggles at the Senior Bowl and Combine, Williams needed that kind of pro day to get his name back into the mix as a possible third- or fourth-round pick.

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    .Although Anderson didn't show the same blazing speed, his overall workout may have been even more impressive. He stayed in the 4.5-second range in the 40, while recording a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump and a 39-inch vertical jump. He also showed great agility with a fine 3-cone drill (6.91 seconds) and some pop in the short shuttle (4.10 seconds).

    He also looked strong in position drills, showing off good pass-catching skills and unexpected athleticism. Anderson's workout was good enough to make him go from going undrafted to a selection as high as the fifth round.

    For more than 640 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts—plus updated Mock Draft, Super 99 rankings and more—go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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