NFL pro day schedule: Small school prospects to watch in Thursday's workouts


Schools such as Louisiana-Lafayette and Sam Houston State host pro day workouts Thursday. Here are a few potential draft sleepers to keep an eye on.

The BYU Cougars host Thursday's headlining NFL pro day workout; more specifically, it's defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the second-rated prospect at the position in Matthew Fairburn's rankings for SB Nation, who'll likely attract the most attention.

There are, however, six other smaller schools with pro days Thursday -- Central Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Sam Houston State and Yale -- and among them, there are prospects you may hear of again during April's NFL Draft. Some attended the NFL Combine and some didn't; either way, their respective pro days are huge in regards to getting the word out about their talents.

Sam Houston State cornerback Daxton Swanson earned first-team All-Southland Conference honors after a 2012 season in which he recorded four interceptions and 14 pass breakups. A transfer from Toledo, he's listed as a "sleeper to watch" by Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl. At the NFL Combine, the 5'10, 186-pound Swanson ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash and posted a 33.0-inch vertical jump.

Other Bearkats worth following include strong safety Darnell Taylor, offensive tackle Kaleb Hopson and wide receiver/kick returner Trey Diller, who led the Southland Conference in all-purpose yards in 2012.

Wide receiver Javone Lawson and cornerback Melvin White from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns could also generate some buzz. Lawson's best collegiate season came in 2011 when he caught 63 passes for 1,092 yards and eight touchdowns. As a senior, he followed that campaign up with five touchdowns on 40 catches for 611 yards. As for White,'s prospect profile says his favorable size could ultimately lead him to switching over to safety. Versatility is always a good thing.

Additionally, defensive end Cordian Hagans, at 6'5 and 280 pounds, may get some interest at the Ragin' Cajuns' pro day.

Coastal Carolina's Dontavais Johnson, a safety who transferred to the Chanticleers after two seasons at Hofstra, showed his playmaking abilities in 2012, recording six pass break ups, four interceptions, 4.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He could be another potential mid-to late-round addition to the NFL that showcases his skills on Thursday's all-important pro day.

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