End of Pro Days

April 4, 2022

The final week of official Pro Days, for this Draft cycle, is almost done. There will be some private, individual workouts scheduled but most of those are unlikely to provide specific workout numbers of any kind. During the process of the Combine and Pro Days some serious numbers have been generated to either confirm or question said numbers as they relate to what we saw of certain players during actual game action last Fall. And unfortunately, there is always a slug of medical information that gets out during this time span. Although, I must also add the disclaimer that a lot more medical info is gathered, especially at the Combine Medicals, that is kept privy to NFL teams.

Two weeks ago I published my Top 105 prospects, in alphabetical order, post-Combine. The tinkering has now begun on my part, based on more data that was generated during the past month of said Pro Days. I have identified 6 players who I honestly feel I must put into my Top 105, which covers the first 3 Rounds of the 2022 Draft. That also means however, that I must also find 6 players who I think they are clearly better than, to take out of my Top 105. I will remind you that I am still listing my Top 105 list in purely alphabetical order. So I will give you 6 six players that are Movin’ On Up, and thumbnail why:

CAM JURGENS    OC    Nebraska   6’3/303    The potential Beef Jerky King, who I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago after the Combine, is an underclassman who is a legitimate Top 10 IOL. He was among the record number of OL who ran under 5-seconds (4.92) for their Combine 40-time. He’s a tough competitor who shows strength and athleticism, not to mention mobility. He is clearly one of the better players that Scott Frost has been able to recruit since returning to his alma mater. His 33 3/8″ arms will come in handy in pass-pro and on the assumption that he might spend bit of time covering all 3-Interior spots to begin his NFL career. And those 10″ hands will help him make snaps in cold/wet weather games next Fall. He also put up an impressive 25 reps at the Combine Bench Press station. Look for him in Round 3.

CHARLIE KOLAR   TE   Iowa State    6’6/252      A very productive TE for the Cyclones Offense with 62 receptions for 756 yards & 6 TD in 2021, from an erratic throwing QB named Brock Purdy. KOLAR has a huge catch radius based on over 6’6″ height, with 34 1/2″ arms. He has also shown that he can snatch the ball with soft 10″ hands. He did not do work-out drills at the Combine, which caused him to slip a bit post-Combine, but he came back strong at the Cyclones Pro Day. His 35 1/2″ Vertical and 10′ Broad Jump were numbers scouts wanted to see to prove he had some explosion in those legs of his. But the number that may have really turned the tide for him was when he posted a 6.98-second 3-Cone drill. The magic number for 3-C is 7.00 seconds. Get under that time and scouts will believe a player has NFL hip flex and change of direction attributes. At his height and weight breaking that 7-second mark is almost magic. For me, KOLAR has put himself back where he was going into the 2021 season… a solid Round 3 Prospect.

DAMARRI MATHIS    CB     Pittsburgh    5’11/196      MATHIS first popped onto my scouting radar when JIM NAGY and his Senior Bowl scouts invited him to Mobile late in the college regular season. His hands are a bit small (8 1/4″), which means don’t expect him to ever lead the NFL in Interceptions. But his 31 7/8″ Arms are more than long enough to break up throws and would-be catches. By  the time Senior Bowl week was over most in attendance felt he was at the very least a potential starting Slot Corner for the pro game. Then at the Combine MATHIS posted a 4.39/40-time, with a 1.54-10 yd Split. Finally, we got to see his explosion during his PITT Pro-Day. His 43 1/2″ Vert and 11’1″ BJ clearly marked his legs as explosive. Roll it all together and I just have to have in my Top 105. Just as a throw in… his 2021 season featured 43 T- 32 of them solo- 5 PD- 2 INT. Case closed!

COLE STRANGE    OG/C     TN/Chattanooga    6’5/308    Strange was another guy who got initial luv based on a Senior Bowl invite. But I chose to be a bit skeptical, not wanting to buy into the QUINN MEINERZ carryover luv from the 2021 Senior Bowl. STRANGE showed well in Mobile as a lean/mean athlete who who displayed the attitude that drives opponents to distraction. He also looked just as natural at OC as he did at OG. I was almost sold. Then he went to the Combine and backed it up, and then some. His 5.03/40 was a nice surprise as were his 31 BenchPress reps given his 33″ long arms. He was right near the top of my second tier (106-205) prospect rankings group and he came through again with a solid Pro Day effort. He looks like another Round 3 guy to me.

MATT WALETZKO     OT   North Dakota   6’7/312     Another long, lean athlete from an FCS Division school way up north. Surprise (not), another guy that Mr. Nagy and his scouts liked lot. He quietly did his work and scouts fell in luv with the long guy, with the very long arms (36 1/8″) and 88″+ wingspan, which I feel is super important outside OT, especially in pass-pro. I went to Mobile with him as an after thought, left there in anticipation of a big time Combine show from him. And he came through running a 5.03/40 and posting a 30″ Vertical. One of the other nice things about Waletzko is that he still has upside to be developed by pro coaching. He has to be a Day Two Draftee.

JELANI WOODS    TE    Virginia  6’7/253      The Ok St transfer hit the jackpot at Virginia. After years of almost exclusively blocking for the Cowboys run game the UVA staff decided he could catch as well. And catch he did. After receptions totaling just 361 yards in 3 seasons in Stillwater, he caught 44 balls last season for 598 yards and 8 TD. He carried over his excellence at the Shrine Bowl and did find himself at the Combine. At 6’7/259 he amazed scouts with a 4.61/40. In spite of long 34 1/4″ arms he also Bench Pressed 24 reps. He did his Vert at his Pro Day and recorded a jump of 37 1/2″. Athletically, he scored a perfect (sorta) 10 score on this RAS. More on that later… He is the star TE prospect that we all thought JALEN WYDERMYER/Texas A&M was. So it is fitting that he takes Jalen’s spot as a 2nd Round Draft prospect in my Top 105. He has the numbers coming out of college to be the new GRONK to my eyes.

So those are the risers on my Board. They will be inserted in my Top 105 in a day or so, at this website. Here are the 6 prospects who will be sliding down into my second ranking group.

JALEN WYDERMYER  TE Texas A&M    Almost everyone’s top ranked TE prospect 6 months ago. But he struggled without Kellen Mond as his QB. He also was a disastrous under-achiever at his physical testing. At his Pro Day he couldn’t even break the 5.00-second mark for his 40. I am not sure what he can possibly do to redeem himself this month. At this rate he may not even stay in my second hundred list.

VERONE McKINLEY   S     Oregon     Surprised a few folks by declaring for the Draft and his numbers backed up the skepticism. After Combine and Pro Day mediocrity he is lumped into Day 3 contention. But he still has enough juice to play in the NFL.

CAMERON THOMAS    DE   San Diego St    Purely and simply, this guy lacks the size and strength right now to impress as a pro. Shows some natural pass rush, but short arms (32 1/2″) don’t help him keep blockers at bay. Recorded 20.5 TFL, which included 10.5 Sacks last season.  Has pro potential, but I had no problem thinking of 105 guys who are better overall prospects than him. I did see him ranked ahead of  Jermaine Johnson in one Draft Magazine, which I then vowed never to buy in future years.

CADE OTTON  TE  Washington   6’5/247     Spent latter half of ’21 season injured and still wasn’t ready to participate at Combine time. A solid college TE with 9 1/2″ hands, that still betray him too often. At best strikes me as a WILL DISSLY  who has not developed as expected in Seattle.

Now the heart breaking guys with injuries I can no longer overlook…

MARCUS JONES   CB/RS   Houston   A quick, explosive player who covers well in the slot and is dangerous Return Specialist. Even has shown flashes as a receiver. At 5’8/174, he may be seriously limited as a pro. In fact he is now recovering from operations on both of his shoulders. I can guarantee you that he’s off a lot of BOARDS right now. Sad to see for a gifted athlete and intense competitor.

DAMONE CLARK    LB    LSU    A tackling machine who leads by example with high rev energy. But the COMBINE medical revealed a spinal injury which required surgery, and will likely keep him from playing this coming season. The amazing thing is some of the numbers he put up at the Combine despite the medical discovery. At 6’3/239 he ran a 4.57/40, had a vertical of 36.5″ and a 10’7″ Broad Jump. I expect someone to grab him and Red Shirt him this coming season, but not until sometime on Day 3.

In several instances above I have referred to RAS scores. This the creation of a math based comparison of prospects with former prospects. Like every number we get for scouting and ranking players it’s not perfect, but it deserves to get consideration if you track and rank NFL Draft Prospects as a hobby. It is the mathematical creation of Kent Lee Platte and you can find his work by following him on Twitter @MathBomb. It’s cool stuff to add to your tool chest of Draft Info. Thanks to the guys at Draft Countdown for turning me onto his stuff. Deep Fried Draft guy Brian Bosarge is a serious follower of Mr. Platte’s work. Enough said.

Cheers  Draftniks