March 17, 2017
Players that didn’t receive an invite to the NFL Combine or didn’t like their performance at the Combine still have a chance to catch the eyes of NFL scouts. Across the country, schools are holding what are known as Pro Days.
Draft-eligible players will workout in front of scouts at their respective universities. There are sometimes Canadian Football League scouts at these Pro Days, as well, looking for players that the NFL might not draft or sign as undrafted free agents.
This is one of the final chances for most players to showcase their skills to the NFL, and it might be the only chance for players at smaller schools to work out in front of scouts. A good Pro Day could get a player’s name called in the later stages of the draft or a phone call to join a team as an undrafted free agent. This is a day that can make or break players’ futures in football.
Four schools in this state have set up Pro Days, according to a schedule released on NFL.com. Universities have been holding Pro Days since March 7, but none of the schools in our state have held their mini-scouting combine.
The first school to hold a Pro Day is Mississippi State University on Wednesday, March 22, at 8:30 a.m. Any MSU players that are eligible for the draft can participate, including wide receiver Fred Ross, who will want to run faster than his 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Jackson State University will hold its Pro Day on Thursday, March 23, at 10 a.m. JSU didn’t have any players get an invite to the Combine, so this will be their chance to show out for the first time in front of scouts.
The next Pro Day is for the University of Mississippi on Monday, April 3, at 9:45 a.m. Quarterback Chad Kelly didn’t get an invite to the Combine but will still have a chance to prove to NFL teams that he’s worth a shot.
Tight end Evan Engram might not run after a sensational Combine performance but could choose to show of his ability to catch passes to help move him up draft boards. Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo could do the same with pass catching and route-running drills.
The University of Southern Mississippi is the last school to hold a Pro Day, with the Golden Eagles getting in front of scouts on Tuesday, April 4, at 2 p.m. in the lone afternoon workout in our state.
Like JSU, none of the Golden Eagles received invites to the NFL Combine. This will be a chance for quarterback Nick Mullens to showcase his skills. Several other Golden Eagles could work their way into the draft with a good day, including offensive lineman Cameron Tom.
Players who attend a school that doesn’t hold a Pro Day are allowed to travel to one of these four universities. Most of the time, players attend a Pro Day held in the same state, but it isn’t unheard of for a player to return to his home state for a chance at an NFL career.
Some schools choose to stream their Pro Days, so check the website for your university of choice to find out get how their players did.