If Ryan Nassib wants to hang on to hopes of being reunited with his former college coach, Doug Marrone of the Buffalo Bills, he'll have to have a really strong showing at Syracuse's pro day on March 7. Meanwhile safety Shamarko Thomas will look to show an unbelievable performance at the NFL Combine wasn't a fluke.
Nassib is a potential first-rounder: he's easily one of the top five or so quarterbacks, but that doesn't exactly make him a first-rounder - he's not in Dan Kadar's top 32 after the combine over at Mocking the Draft. However, he does have the potential to earn a high selection after what Syracuse blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician wrote was a strong combine. It doesn't seem like he's going to get picked by the Bills -- they have the eighth pick -- but a strong pro day could help get him out of the second round.
There's a few other players who will be looking to make strong impressions as well. Thomas improved his stock with an amazing combine, running a 4.42 40 (the fastest amongst all safeties) but had a little bit of a problem, faceplanting once his run was over. NFL teams won't judge him for the stumble -- Thomas has the speed, and he clearly only ate dirt because of a transition between strips on the ground -- but it would be nice for him to run 40 yards without tripping and falling. Thomas also managed to take top honors amongst safeties in the bench press with 28 reps of 225 pounds, in the vertical jump with a reach of 40.5 inches, and he was just an inch off the best figure in the broad jump. Thomas is a hard hitter who can clearly cover ground, and he should be gone by the end of the second day come draft time.
Justin Pugh also has top half potential, but the 6-4, 307-pound tackle is in a stacked class of linemen. He didn't bench at the combine but is expected to for his pro day. A nice performance there could ensure his stock as a third-rounder or better.
All-Big East wide receiver Alec Lemon was also invited to the combine, and although he's not likely to get drafted, he isn't off NFL teams' radars entirely.