From Teddy Bridgewater's no glove debacle to Johnny Manziel working out in full equipment, Pro Day can mean do a lot to a player’s draft stock.
For the former Louisville quarterback, it derailed his stock from being the possible top-overall pick in the 2014 draft to being the final selection of the first round. On the other hand, Manziel aimed to be a trendsetter by going through scripted throws with all of his equipment on in order to simulate in-game repetitions. The move didn't hold true, but it goes to show just how much is invested in a single workout.
Over the next 40 days, teams around the league will be on a crash course to continue to gain more information about prospects at their respective Pro Days and top-30 visits. Each team is allowed 30 opportunities to meet and greet NFL hopefuls and introduce them to coaches, front-office executives and scouts. On these visits, prospects will also tour the team’s facility, address any questions, discuss scheme-specific things and undergo a medical examination.
But before they get there, they have one very important workout.
With many prospects opting out of certain events at the NFL Scouting Combine, they will use their Pro Day to showcase skills they have previously shown on tape. Thursday marks the official start date, and while there will be hundreds of them throughout the country, here are the three Pro Days evaluators will have a close eye on.
South Carolina (March 19)
Javon Kinlaw, DT
Javon Kinlaw’s talent and inspiring backstory will make him a hot commodity next month. After battling some knee tendinitis, he opted not to participate in anything at the combine. All eyes will be on his Pro Day workout to see how well he moves on his knee. Kinlaw may also clock a 40-yard dash faster than what’s expecting of him. If he’s able to perform well, Kinlaw could cement his status as a top-15 selection.
Alabama (March 24 and April 9)
Trevon Diggs, CB
Trevon Diggs, the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, went through a full transition in his earlier years at Alabama. Trevon Diggs, originally a wide receiver, gradually made the switch to the other side of the ball following his freshman season. The move to cornerback proved to be a good one but he's still working out some kinks. Trevon Diggs possesses the length, attitude and ball skills teams covet at the position and they will have their eyes glued to Trevon Diggs after he elected not to test in any events at the combine. He did, however, participate in some drills where he looked twitchy, fluid and, as expected, his ball skills shined during multiple portions.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB
On April 9, Tua Tagovailoa is expected back on the field for the first time since suffering a gruesome hip injury that ultimately ending his career at Alabama and later resulted in surgery. Tagovailoa is projected as a top-five pick in April and continues to hold that stock after all medical reviews have remained positive. Now, what's left to be seen is how well he can actually function while throwing the ball. Durability is the one large stain in Tagovailoa's resume, but during that passing session, he will have a chance to silence some of the concerns about his long-term future.
Minnesota (March 25)
Tyler Johnson, WR
Every year there's a prospect the NFL remains split on. In this year’s cycle, the prospect is the Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson. After breaking every record imaginable in his collegiate career, Johnson has had a unique draft process. He committed to the Shrine Bowl but later pulled out for unspecified reasons. While some have him slotted as a Day 2 selection, there is some belief that he could be available in the later portions of Day 3 due to his lack of speed and pass dropping concerns. Regardless, there will be many stopwatches in hand when Johnson lines up to run the 40-yard dash, and how he's perceived could take a turn depending on how fast or slow he runs.
Ohio State (March 25)
J.K. Dobbins, RB
With all of the other top-tier running backs performing well at the combine, J.K. Dobbins was the lone rusher that didn't participate in any portions of the week-long event. After starting in 40 of the 42 career games he played in, Dobbins constantly got better year after year before exploding for 2,003 rushing yards last season. Teams remain highly intrigued by his potential and what he offers as a Year 1 starter, but the testing portion of his workout will be essential to project just how high he may be selected.