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In light of Wednesday’s much-anticipated pro day of University of Maryland wideout Torrey Smith, what more can a team learn about a prospect after months of scouting and the NFL Combine?
While a pro day won’t make or break a draft hopeful, an additional benefit tomorrow will provide clubs is a chance to get even more up-close and personal with the player and in many instances, speak with the college coaches for the first time to get a better feel for the prospect.
“In some cases, our coaches haven’t even talked to their peers at the college level,” Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta said. “So this is really a good chance for our coaches to network and meet some of the guys they’ve worked with in the past to continue to get more information about the guy.”
The Ravens have already been spotted at several major pro days, and this week, Pittsburgh, LSU, Florida State, Virginia and Virginia Tech take place.
The top players might not run the 40-yard dash and bench 225 pounds like they did at the combine, but the Ravens pride themselves on owning a complete book on each draftable guy.
For example, Smith had a standout combine, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and posting a 41-inch vertical leap, which was third among all offensive players.
With those numbers, he could potentially sit out some drills in College Park.
Still, DeCosta believes that even if a prospect doesn’t run, jump, or lift, pro days offer “another piece of the puzzle.”
“The biggest thing is a lot of guys don’t work at the combine, typically because of injuries,” DeCosta explained. “So, this gives those guys a chance to work out and show us what they can do. The positional workouts are important. We get to be down there close, which we don’t get to do at the combine. And, our coaches can see the guys up close.”
DeCosta also said he takes into consideration how a players’ body looks from the NFL Scouting Combine – which took place in late February – to the pro day, and how he responds to up-close instruction.