NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Plenty of projected first round picks are set to take part in their respective pro days this week, with none garnering more attention than Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Ducks will conduct their pro day this Thursday (March 12) as scouts, general managers and head coaches flock to Eugene to observe Mariota's workout.
Tampa Bay has been coy about who it will pick with the first overall selection on April 30, but many believe it's a foregone conclusion that the Bucs will select either Mariota or Jameis Winston. That leaves one of the top signal callers for the taking with Tennessee's second overall pick.
As Titans GM Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt said at the combine, the team will do its due diligence on both quarterbacks and explore every option. That means you can bet Titans brass will be making a trip to the Pacific Northwest this week.
Here's a look at the week's schedule with different players and storylines to keep an eye on.
Ball State, Grand Valley State, Montana, Northern Arizona
Akron, Alabama-Birmingham, Arizona, Army, Harvard, Kansas State, Kent State, Monmouth, Samford, Tennessee State, UCLA
Players to Watch: Harvard LBZach Hodgesis expected to be a mid-to-late round pick. Hodges was forced out of the Senior Bowl after being injured in practice. He returned at the combine, running a 4.68-second 40-time and jumping a 33.5" vertical … Kansas State WRTyler Lockettis out to prove he is more than just a slot receiver and can play split wide. The 5-foot-10 receiver ran a 4.40-second 40 at the combine and possesses great lateral quickness. Lockett made it miserable for DB's to keep up with him at the Senior Bowl and could go as soon as the third round … UCLA QBBrett Hundleyis in a battle to be the third quarterback off the board, along with Baylor's Bryce Petty. Coming from a spread offense at UCLA, Hundley will likely take plenty of snaps under center at his pro day … UCLA DE/LBOwa Odighizuwa** is in the second tier of edge rushers and is expected to go in the late first/early second round of the draft.
Alabama, Central Arkansas, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Emporia State, Louisville, Marshall, Oklahoma, Rice, Rutgers, South Florida, USC, Wisconsin
Players to Watch:The focus at Alabama's pro day will be all about the skill players. WRAmari Cooperis vying to be the first receiver taken ahead of West Virginia's Kevin White. RBT.J. Yeldonmight be undervalued in a deep class of ball carriers. At 6-foot-1, 226 pounds, Yeldon will try to show he can be a featured back in the NFL. **Landon Collinsis the clear-cut choice as the best safety in the 2015 draft class and might widen the margin between himself and whatever safety goes next. QBBlake Simsand GArie Kouandjioare other Alabama prospects who will get attention … Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson owns every notable school passing record and is trying to show he belongs in the mix with Hundley and Petty to be the third QB taken … Louisville WRDeVante Parkeris expected to be the third receiver taken behind Cooper and White. He could land in Minnesota with the 11th pick, reuniting with former college teammate Teddy Bridgewater. DE/LBLorenzo Mauldin is expected to be in the third-round range and will need a good workout after a fairly quiet combine performance … USC
has plenty of notable names, including the consensus best defensive player in the draft Leonard Williams. His status is essentially set which makes WR Nelson Agholor, S Josh Shaw and LB Hayes Pullard the more intriguing prospects to keep an eye on. Of the three, Agholor probably goes first … Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon might be the first running back to go in the opening round since 2012. Most see him as a lock to be one of the top two backs in the draft along with Georgia's Todd Gurley. The Badgers RT RobHavenstein is another intriguing prospect to keep an eye on in the middle rounds as the Titans are in need of a right tackle.
Buffalo, Delaware, Fresno State, Idaho, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Oklahoma State, Oregon, UNLV, Washington State, Wyoming
Players to Watch:Kentucky LB/DEBud Dupreewas one of the biggest risers of the combine and is now a near-lock to go in the first round. Some have him ranked as high as the likes of Dante Fowler Jr. and Randy Gregory … Miami (OH) CBQuinten Rollinswill be a second round pick at worst. The former hoops star has excellent ball skills and natural athletic ability to play the position. Now he needs to be polished … Michigan WRDevin Funchesscould use a good workout after a subpar combine performance. Funchess wants to play receiver in the NFL but could prove to be a better tight end. He has the size, 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds, but his 4.70-second 40-time has scouts wondering if he has the speed to get separation as a receiver … Beyond Mariota, Oregon DE/LBArik Armsteadis a man on the rise following an impressive combine. Likely to be a first round selection in April, Armstead is a small step behind the top pass rushers in the draft. Ducks TJake Fisherand CHroniss Grasu** are also expected to be early round picks.
Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Oregon State, West Virginia
Players to Watch:Ohio State WRDevin Smithis one of the prospects with the widest range of evaluations. Some think he's the next guy after Cooper, White and Parker, while others think he's a late second-round prospect. Everyone knows Smith is a burner, but scouts want to see him run the full route tree at his pro day … Oregon State QBSean Mannionwill get drafted, we just don't know where. It's possible that a team falls in love with his size (6-5, 220 pounds) and takes him in the top half of the draft. It's also possible he falls to the sixth or seventh round. CB Steven Nelson is a big, physical defensive back that is another Beaver to watch … West Virginia WRKevin White** shocked everybody with his 3.35 40-time at the combine. He is going to be a top-15 pick regardless of what happens Friday, but his pro day is one final opportunity to show NFL teams that his game is polished enough to be an immediate impact player as a rookie.
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