Seven former Bulldogs ran the L-cone drill during Fresno State's Pro Day on Tuesday. Check inside…
Pro Day Preview
For Ryan Colburn, Chris Carter, Jamel Hamler, and Andrew Jackson, Tuesday's pro day should be less nerve racking than last month in Indianapolis. "Prospects tend to perform better in familiar surroundings, and testing for scouts on their own college campuses for pro day makes the evaluation process for them less panicky," said NFL agent Elbert Lee. This pro day will also have a different vibe as the NFL owners and Players Association have yet to come to a new collective bargaining agreement. The current contract expires Friday, and if a new one is not in place, a work stoppage is likely for the first time since 1987. "NFL teams plan to not negotiate any rookie contracts if there is a player lockout," said Lee. "Therefore, undrafted free agents will remain unsigned following the draft, or at least up until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place." Fresno State could have as many as four players drafted in April, but unlike last year with Ryan Mathews, there is no guaranteed pick. With such uncertainty, there is far more on the line than in past years. Most to Gain Andrew Jackson is a likely draft pick, but the question is what round? Heading into his senior season, Jackson had the possibility of being the Bulldogs second offensive linemen drafted in the first round (Logan Mankins, 32nd pick 2005 being the first). However, an injury-plagued season hampered his stock and development. He needs to add bulk and strength, which eliminates him from being a potential second or third round draft pick. His quickness and ability to pull are his strengths. There are no questions about his effort, and he plays with a mean streak. A good showing on Tuesday could push him up some draft boards. Most to Makeup Jamel Hamler decided to forgo his final year at Fresno State in hopes of being drafted this April. His road to the NFL has been bumpy thus far after having a subpar performance the NFL Combine. Hamler ran a 4.62 forty-yard dash. Hamler fits the mold of an NFL sub-package receiver, specifically a slot receiver. He's big, physical and is not afraid to go over the middle. However, he has trouble against zone defenses. As well, he doesn't have the top end speed to stretch a defense. Tuesday's pro day will be his chance to erase those negatives and increase his strengths. The timing he has with Ryan Colburn will make his routes look crisper. But if he doesn't improve his forty-time, he likely will go undrafted. At this point, anything in the 4.5s will help Hamler's stock. His 32" vertical at the NFL Combine wasn't impressive either. Hamler can go from an undrafted free agent to a late round pick with a great pro day. Most to Lose Ryan Colburn didn't have a great NFL Combine workout, but he didn't have a bad one either. But playing on his home field with his receivers in familiar surroundings, NFL scouts will expect him to be atop his game. Colburn doesn't have great arm strength, but his intangibles are off the charts. He needs to show scouts he can complete short and intermediate routes with consistent accuracy. Hitting the long ball would be gravy at this point. Right now, Colburn is a borderline seventh round draft pick. More than likely, he will be an undrafted free agent sought after by teams looking for quarterback to develop. He can't afford to have a bad workout. Big Man on Campus Chris Carter had one of the most impressive workouts at the NFL Combine. But it was as a defensive lineman. He will not play defensive end in the NFL. Before his combine workout, most projected him as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense based on his size. He is an explosive pass rusher. He has great instincts that translate to an outside linebacker, but he lacks coverage skills. He can use pro day to show NFL scouts he can transition to a 4-3 outside backer. NFL teams using 3-4 defenses should be all over him as a weak side rush backer. Carter doesn't necessarily have to improve any numbers on Tuesday. But another solid workout will continue to show scouts he's a hard worker and a tremendous athlete. The Next Cameron Worrell Lorne Bell is a hard-hitting safety that earned All-WAC honors while leading the Bulldog secondary the last three seasons. He's a great story regardless if his career continues considering many didn't expect him to play again after suffering a knee injury in Nov. 2007. He has a chance at the next level but don't expect an eye-opening workout on Tuesday. But Worrell wasn't much different. "Cameron was never a prospect that turned a lot of heads with his workouts," said Worrell's agent Lee, who coincidently represents Bell too. Despite being a 2002 All-WAC safety former Bulldog Cameron Worrell was not drafted in the 2003 NFL Draft nor was he signed as an undrafted free agent. He had to earn his spot with the Chicago Bears in a tryout. "Ultimately, it was his work ethic and tenacity that made him a six-year NFL veteran and success story," added Lee. Bell is physical, but he must play in the box. He doesn't have great speed, and his cover skills are average. His work ethic, physical play, and intangibles will set him apart from many prospects. Like Worrell, Bell is projected to be undrafted. But an impressive pro day will only enhance his opportunities to sign with an NFL team. Who Could Surprise Desia Dunn is a former walk-on running back that switched to defense eventually earning a starting spot midway through his sophomore year in 2008. His cover skills don't transition well to the NFL. But his speed and athleticism are hard to overlook. He is shooting for a 4.3 forty-yard dash on Tuesday but anything in the low 4.4 range will get him into an NFL training camp. The Indianapolis Colts have already scheduled him to fly in next Monday for a pre-draft workout. Look for Dunn to make the transition to safety and be a player on special teams. His size will keep him off many draft boards. But a good pro day should make him a highly sought after undrafted free agent. Who to Watch Cornell Banks – He can be a NFL defensive tackle, no question. But Banks showed a tendency to take plays off in his career. He's not going to impress too many with his workout, but can he do enough to entice scouts as an undrafted free agent? Devan Cunningham – We are going to see how much he wants this – if he made the effort to drop some weight. He played at well over 350 pounds last season. A trimmed down Cunningham could open some eyes on Tuesday. Ben Jacobs – His limited athletic ability hurts his stock. His cover skills are questionable, but Jacobs is a tackling machine. He has good instincts. He needs a good workout to show scouts he has the speed, quickness, and skills to play in space. Chris Lewis – He had his season cut short last year with a knee injury in November. Unlike Carter, Lewis has the size to play d-end in the NFL. Tuesday will be a chance to show NFL scouts he's recovered from his injury and capable of playing on Sundays. Kenny Wiggins – The former high school basketball player has always been light on his feet. He has a great frame but lacks bulk and strength. Behind the four players that went to the NFL Combine, Wiggins is arguably the best prospect among the rest. You can now follow BarkBoard.com via Twitter. Discuss in BarkBoard.com Forums. If you have not by now, subscribe to BarkBoard.com. Click HERE to get access to the members-only content from BB.C and the nation-wide Scout.com network. ©Copyright 2011, BarkBoard.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.
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