LSU Football: Trio of Players Impress at Tigers' Annual Pro Day

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive back Morris Claiborne of LSU waits for his turn to return punts during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay better be prepared to talk plenty about LSU in the coming 2012 NFL Draft this year.

The annual draft—which will begin on Thursday, April 26, and last three days until Saturday—will feature a bevy of Tigers players this year. It won’t match Ohio State’s record in 2004 when 14 players were selected, but it is possible that as many as eight players will be picked this year.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect here is that of those eight potential draft candidates from LSU, three could be selected in the first round.

That became a legitimate possibility after Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers and Rueben Randle all had impressive showings at last Thursday’s pro day.

Claiborne has been a first-round lock since he announced he would be going pro after his junior season. But Brockers and Randle had some pressure on them after their average showings at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. Now, after impressive showings at their pro days, both could be first-round possibilities.

Brockers, who is considered by many to be the top defensive-tackle prospect in this draft class, showed up to the combine overweight, which startled many NFL scouts at the time. But he shed six pounds off the 322-pound frame he showed up with at the combine, which is closer to a comfortable weight for his position.

In addition to shedding some necessary weight, Brockers also improved his 40-yard dash time, running a 5.15, compared to his miserable 5.36 showing at the combine. That improvement alone should make Brockers a near lock to be a first-round selection.

Randle, on the other hand, is a borderline first-round selection who could make the cut depending on team's needs at that point in the draft.

Right now, he is considered to be somewhere between the No. 2 and No. 5 wide receiver in this draft. Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon is the clear cut No. 1 wideout, but after that, Randle falls into a group that includes Michael Floyd, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill.

However, Randle’s showing at LSU’s Pro Day may have boosted his stock among those other wide receivers. The 6’3” big-play threat ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds, which was more than a tenth of second faster than his 4.55 time at the combine. His ideal height, combined with his speed and great hands, make him a late first-round possibility.

Other draft hopefuls from LSU include Ryan Baker (OLB), Ron Brooks (CB), Jordan Jefferson (QB), Deangelo Peterson (TE) and Brandon Taylor (SS).