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SEC Football: Former Players Who Need Huge Pro Days

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIMarch 5, 2014

SEC Football: Former Players Who Need Huge Pro Days

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Several SEC prospects, including South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, shined at the NFL combine, leaving little left to prove at their respective pro days.

    But while that duo—along with LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. and others—performed well in Indianapolis, others weren't so lucky.

    We'll break down the situations that face several SEC players who struggled in Indy up ahead.

    Additionally, we'll take a look at two of the league's stars who were held out of combine workouts due to injury but should be back in time to impress scouts during their school's pro day. 

     

    Note: Pro-day schedule via Saturday Down South. Combine statistics via NFL.com.

QB Aaron Murray, Georgia

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Georgia Pro Day: April 16 

    A torn ACL ended Aaron Murray's storied career at Georgia early, and it also prevented him from showing his skills at the NFL combine.

    However, he expects to be full-go for Georgia's April 16 pro day, as he told Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News.

    “It’s feeling great," he said of his knee. "I’m ahead of schedule, seeing Dr. James Andrews every week. We’re on the same page, to pretty much be 100 percent for the pro day.”

    In front of scouts next month, he'll have to show the skills that made him one of the best quarterbacks in UGA history to solidify his draft stock.

OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Alabama Pro Day: March 12

    The combine couldn't have gone much worse for Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio

    He was projected by some to be a first-round pick and has the size necessary, measuring at 6'7", 322 pounds. However, as NFL.com's Ian Rapoport tweeted, he failed physicals with several teams.

    To make matters worse, he didn't show any elite explosiveness or speed, which crippled his stock. He hit just 21 repetitions on the bench press and ran poor times in the 40-yard dash and cone drills.

    One of the biggest fallers after the combine, he'll need to change his perceptions during his pro day.

WR Jarvis Landry, LSU

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    LSU Pro Day: April 9

    Jarvis Landry was LSU's top receiver last year, even edging out Odell Beckham Jr. with 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    However, Beckham came out on top at the combine.

    While the Tigers' No. 2 receiver has little left to prove, Landry has room to boost his stock during his pro day. He ran a terrible 4.77-second 40-yard dash, which was worse than several defensive linemen in Indy.

    If he expects to stay afloat in a deep wide receiver class, he'll need to show improvement.

DE Michael Sam, Missouri

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Missouri Pro Day: March 6

    Missouri's Michael Sam was one of the hot topics at the combine, but he didn't perform well with the spotlight on his back.

    He led the SEC with 11.5 sacks last year, but that didn't translate to a strong combine.

    His 4.91-second 40-yard dash, 17 reps on the bench press and 7.80-second three-cone drill numbers were all pedestrian, leaving him on the fringe of being draft-worthy.

    Bucky Brooks of NFL.com called Sam's a make-or-break pro day:

    Although the 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year earns high marks for his effort, energy and hustle, Sam must show scouts that he has enough blue-chip qualities to merit consideration in the later rounds. Sam must show more smoothness and fluidity executing turns/transitions as an outside linebacker or impress scouts with his first-step quickness and burst. Regardless, Sam must put on a stellar performance at Mizzou's March 20 pro day to salvage his chances of hearing his name called on Day 3 of the draft.

CB Marcus Roberson, Florida

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Florida Pro Day: March 17

    The 2014 cornerback class has several players on the fringe of the first round, but while some (see: Bradley Roby) boosted their stock at the combine, Florida's Marcus Roberson struggled.

    He ran a poor 4.61-second 40-yard dash and put up just eight reps on the bench press.

    He has good size at 6'0", 191 pounds, but he hasn't shown that he has the speed or strength to complement his frame.

    If he expects to stop his stock from its free fall, he'll need to show more at the Gators' pro day.

CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida

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    Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    Florida Pro Day: March 17

    Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy must be workout partners in Gainesville. 

    Both had impressive collegiate careers but were very disappointing at the combine, matching each other's 4.61-second 40.

    While Roberson hit eight reps on the bench, Purifoy hit six—the worst among cornerbacks. 

    Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel expanded on Purifoy's poor performance at the combine:

    Loucheiz Purifoy's draft stock suffered another blow during a rough Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine for the former Gators' cornerback.

    Those poor numbers, plus off-the-field concerns, continued Purifoy's precipitous decline in the eyes of NFL decision-makers.

    If he can do better at the combine, it isn't too late to repair his stock.

DL Dominique Easley, Florida

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Florida Pro Day: March 17

    Dominique Easley was one of college football's best defensive linemen with some great draft stock before he suffered a torn ACL—one of many injuries that halted Florida's drive in 2013.

    As a result, he didn't participate at the combine. But he was in Indy, where he said that he prefers watching cartoons to football, via Eric Edholm of Yahoo.

    While that might make some teams think twice about his passion for the game, his comments to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco are positive. He said that he expects to work out at UF's pro day and come back faster from the ACL injury:

    One of the more intriguing prospects in this year's draft is Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley. He had the ability to be a top-10 pick, but he tore his ACL last season. Easley said he expects to work out at his pro day in April. This is the second ACL tear for Easley, who tore it on the same knee in 2011. "I tore my ACL in 2011, [and] I got faster in 2013," Easley said. "So when I get back from this ACL, it's going to make me nothing but faster."

    If he shows that he has been working hard to make a full return, he'll be back in favor with scouts.

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