A Big Day in Pro Workouts

Florida, Penn State, Illinois and Tennessee all hosted their Pro Days Wednesday.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

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The halls in the coaching and scouting departments were strangely empty yesterday at the Ravens’ training facility.

That’s because many major schools hosted their pro days Wednesday afternoon.

According to the National Football Post, Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was in Florida to watch his former Gators. Gainesville is home to cornerback Joe Haden, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Brandon Spikes and tight end Aaron Hernandez. And who could forget, quarterback Tim Tebow?

Other prospects and schools conducting their workouts included defensive tackle Jared Odrick of Penn State, wide receiver Arrelious Benn of Illinois and defensive tackle Dan Williams of Tennessee.

Reports from the pro days show that nearly everyone improved their stock. Here is a scouting report on some of Wednesday’s intriguing prospects:

Carlos Dunlap, Florida
Defensive End; 6-6, 277
2009 Stats: 34 tackles, 9 sacks
Plus: Dunlap has the size and speed to get around the edge. He ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at his Pro Day to improve it. He’s solid against both the run and the pass and, according to Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, he looked good in positional drills Wednesday.
Minus: A good Pro Day can’t erase the fact that Dunlap was arrested for a DUI last year. Any team who takes him will certainly have that on their mind.
Draft Stock: Dunlap had tumbled out of many first rounds. But after Wednesday’s solid showing, he could level out some.

Aaron Hernandez, Florida
Tight End; 6-2, 250
2009 Stats: 68 receptions, 850 yards, 5 touchdowns
Plus: Hernandez is one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the draft and he may be one of the most athletic. He put on a show at his Pro Day. Hernandez ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, posted a 33-inch vertical leap and had 30 bench press reps, which would have tied for best at the Combine.
Minus: Hernandez is shorter than many of the other pass-catching tight ends in the draft. Mayock has reported some “off the field issues” and a back injury that kept him out of the Combine didn’t help.
Draft Stock: Draft analysts are all over the board with Hernandez. NFLDraftScout.com has him projected in the third round. The National Football Post’s Wes Bunting thinks the Ravens will take him in the first round.

Brandon Spikes, Florida
Linebacker; 6-3, 258
2009 Stats: 52 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions
Plus: Spikes was the catalyst on Florida’s defense during his four years. He had an amazing 2007 season in which he recorded 131 tackles. His leadership and production are assets.
Minus: Spikes didn’t run well at the Combine and didn’t improve at his Pro Day workout. He couldn’t break the five-second barrier in the 40-yard dash, running a 5.03 Wednesday.
Draft Stock: NFLDraftScout.com has Spikes’ stock dropping. He’s still projected for the second round, but the former first-round prospect’s stock is sinking.

Joe Haden, Florida
Cornerback; 5-11, 193
2009 Stats: 57 tackles, 4 interceptions
Plus: Haden was a three-year starter in Gainesville, something not many Gators accomplish. He was a shutdown corner on the 2008 national championship team and the game tape shows his production.
Minus: Haden was widely considered a Top 10 draft pick before he ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at the Combine. But Haden, a Washington D.C. local, rebounded with a 4.41 at his Pro Day, showing he has top-end speed.
Draft Stock: Haden’s draft stock rebounded at the Pro Day and he’s back to being projected in the top 10 of the draft.

Jared Odrick, Penn State
Defensive Tackle/End; 6-5, 306
2009 Stats: 43 tackles, 7 sacks
Plus: Odrick was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. He’s a tenatious, relentless rusher who sheds blockers well and gets penetration into the backfield using his great strength. He got under 5.0 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Minus: NFLDraftScout.com sites that Odrick was charged with disorderly conduct and fined in February 2009. The site also says he doesn’t have elite quickness or change-of-direction ability.
Draft Stock: Odrick has hovered around the late first round, early second round for much of the offseason. Several mock drafts, including one at CBSSports, has Odrick going to the Ravens.

Navorro Bowman, Penn State
Outside Linebacker; 6-1, 242
2009 Stats: 93 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Plus: Bowman was very productive during his final two years in Happy Valley. He logged a combined 199 tackles as a sophomore and junior. He has great sideline-to-sideline coverage and ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Minus: Bowman doesn’t have ideal size, but his biggest flaw is off-the-field issues. After a fight in 2007, he was suspended for two games and received one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. He then received another year of probation for violating the terms of the probation.
Draft Stock: NFLDraftScout.com has Bowman currently landing in the third round. He has been higher than that in previous months.

Arrelious Benn, Illinois
Wide Receiver; 6-2, 220
2009 Stats: 38 receptions, 490 yards, 2 touchdowns
Plus: Benn has all the tools. He has good size, great strength and big, soft hands. He improved his 40-yard dash time from the Combine by a tenth of a second, running a 4.36. So yeah, he has speed too.
Minus: He didn’t have the breakout campaign many expected after a 1,055-yard sophomore season. Benn was slowed by an ankle injury and an inconsistent quarterback.
Draft Stock: Benn was projected by many mock drafts to go to the Ravens at No. 25. Now that Baltimore could be set at wideout, he’s still floating around the late first round or very early second round. His Pro Day workout will help.

Dan Williams, Tennessee
Defensive Tackle; 6-3, 327
2009 Stats: 62 tackles, 2 sacks
Plus: Williams had a breakout final season in Knoxville and sent his draft stock from the mid rounds easily into the first round. He’s a massive space-eater that also gets good push into the backfield.
Minus: Williams has reportedly had some troubles managing his weight, but what interior nose tackle-type doesn’t? He didn’t have great college production until his senior year.
Draft Stock: Williams is right behind Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy in the first round. That’s a huge leap from perhaps not being drafted, which is what Williams’ former college coach Lane Kiffin predicted before last season.

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