BATON ROUGE, La. — One of the most scrutinized NFL pro days in LSU history will take place Wednesday morning. More than 100 personnel, including eight general managers and five head coaches, are scheduled to descend on the Charles McClendon Practice Facility to check out a slew of LSU prospects.
There is good reason for the attention. Three players — running back Leonard Fournette, safety Jamal Adams and cornerback Tre’Davious White — are considered first-round material. And with 14 other players participating, there’s no lack of potential for later-round gems.
Here are five things all those NFL eyes will be on the lookout for on Wednesday:
The coveted running back answered many questions at the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis but more remain.
Fournette raised eyebrows — not necessarily in a good way — by weighing in at 240 pounds at the combine. However, his 4.51-second time in the 40-yard dash was the fastest ever for a running back his size, quickly dissuading those worries.
Fournette did not participate in the 3-cone drill and shuttle runs in Indy, so look for him to get plenty of attention in those events.
What can Kendell Beckwith do?
The linebacker looked like he had potential to climb into first-round territory until he tore his knee ligaments in a season-ending injury against Florida. Now, he’s a candidate to be picked on Day 3. Perhaps no player has more to prove on pro day.
NFL teams aren’t going to have unrealistic expectations for a player who suffered a devastating injury in November. But if he can show he’s ahead of the curve with his rehab and excel in the weight room for lifts that don’t require him to use his knee, he could salvage some of his draft position.
Will Jamal Adams clinch top safety status?
This could end up being a record-breaking draft for safeties taken in the first round. And competing to be at the top of that very deep class is LSU’s Jamal Adams.
Adams’ primary competition for that distinction is Ohio State’s Malik Hooker, either of whom could go as high as No. 2 to San Francisco or No. 3 to Chicago.
Pro day is just one piece of the puzzle, but a great (or poor) showing for either player could be the minute detail that makes a difference.
Are LSU’s receivers worth taking?
With LSU’s offense being so run heavy the last two years, receivers Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre are a pair that intrigue pro scouts because it is unclear what their ceilings are.
Neither player blew away the scouts at the combine. Dupre did display his athletic skills in Indy, especially in jumping events. However, he struggled catching the ball. Dural, on the other hand, didn’t have mind-blowing measurables, but did a good job in receiving drills.
They’ll need to shore up their weak points from the combine.
Diamonds in the rough
Finding first-rounders is great. But it can be even more rewarding to hit on an unexpected star in, say, the fifth round. Just ask the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.
Linebacker Duke Riley is one player who caught the attention of scouts in his senior season, his only one as a starter. They’ll want to see if his measurables can make him this year’s Deion Jones. Or maybe someone like Dwayne Thomas will turn heads as a potential nickelback and special teams contributor.
Because LSU produces so much talent, there are multiple players who don’t have a great deal of tape because they waited their turn to get onto the field. Pro day is big for them, and for the teams looking for any edge they can find.