Nine schools will hold pro days on Friday, the most notable of which is Ohio State. Four Buckeyes are projected to go in the first two rounds, and Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby have realistic chances of going on Day 1. In addition to the workouts going on in Columbus, pro days are being held at Northern Illinois, Arizona State, Arkansas State, Prairie View A&M, Savannah State, South Alabama, Southern Miss and Wofford. Including Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward and Arizona State's Carl Bradford and Will Sutton, there are a large number of highly touted prospects in action.
Here is a rundown of the major schools and players in action on Friday.
The main attraction for NFL teams on Friday is Columbus, Ohio, where some 69 scouts were expected to converge.
All 32 NFL franchises and the B.C. Lions had scouts and front office personnel at Ohio State's Pro Day.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) March 7, 2014
The notable attendees included a slew of NFL head coaches.
Faces in the crowd at Ohio State pro day: Marvin Lewis, Rob Chudzinski, John Cooper, Bills GM Doug Whaley, Chip Kelly, Mike Zimmer.— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) March 7, 2014
Ryan Shazier runs sub-4.4 40
Shazier, a potential first-round pick, was unable to run the 40 for scouts at the combine because of a hamstring injury. On the downside, he aggravated the injury again during his pro day. On the plus side, he did so while running an absurdly fast time.
He'll be sidelined for the rest of the day, but that 40 time will be enough to have scouts chomping at the bit.
Bradley Roby skips 40
Another main attraction is Roby, who SB Nation rates at the third-best cornerback in the draft. Matthew Fairburn actually projects Roby going higher than Shazier in his latest mock draft, predicting a No. 16 selection by the Dallas Cowboys.
Roby ran well at the combine, so he skipped the 40 on pro day. He took part in position drills and the three-cone drill, where he did well enough to draw some attention from Mike Zimmer, whose Vikings are in desperate need of a secondary upgrade.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has been spending an awful lot of time with Ohio State CB Bradley Roby. Talking one on one now.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) March 7, 2014
Injury keeps Carlos Hyde out of measurable drills
Hyde is hoping to jump Tre Mason as the first running back off the board in May (SB Nation ranks him the No. 4 running back prospect), but his 40 time may keep that from happening. He tweaked his hamstring while running a 4.66 at the combine and was hoping to improve upon that bad number for his pro day. Unfortunately for him, the injury seems to have lingered.
#Buckeyes RB Carlos Hyde didn't participate in measurable drills but he is working out with other skill-position players in on-field drills.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 7, 2014
Jimmie Ward impresses
Thanks to a foot injury, scouts were unable to get a look at Ward at the NFL Combine, so they were expected to show up in strong numbers on Friday to watch him work out. Ward, ranked as the the No. 3 safety by SB Nation, didn't participate in any drills in Indy after it was revealed he had a Jones fracture in his foot, something that will require minor surgery after his pro day. The surgery is of no major significance, and shouldn't have a major effect on his draft stock.
Nevertheless, he needed a strong day to back up his second-round projection. It seems like that's exactly what he has delivered.
NIU S Jimmie Ward having a great pro day. Reportedly 4.47 40, 38-inch vert, 10-5 broad.— Jeremy Stoltz (@BearReport) March 7, 2014
The 38-inch vertical jump would have been good enough to tie for first among safeties at the combine.
Jordan Lynch works out as QB, DB
Lynch is an intriguing prospect. Despite finishing third in the 2013 Heisman Trophy voting, most NFL experts question his ability to play quarterback at the next level. As an explosive, athletic player, some believe he projects better as a running back or receiver -- even a safety -- in the NFL. Lynch, who struggled with his accuracy and deep touch at the combine, remains adamant that he can throw the ball in the league.
Initial reports out of DeKalb indicate he's looking better than he did at the combine.
In addition to his quarterback duties, Lynch was asked to work out with the defensive backs as well.
Jimmie Ward joined by Jordan Lynch in DB drills.— NIU Huskie Athletics (@NIUAthletics) March 7, 2014
Will Sutton sheds pounds, addresses weight concerns
The man with the most to prove in Tempe on Friday is defensive tackle Will Sutton. The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year -- who is projected as a second- or third-rounder -- entered his senior year with a lot of added weight, raising questions about his ability to stay in shape. He didn't help himself much at the combine, where he posted the third-slowest 40 time among defensive tackles.
It seems Sutton has been working to shed pounds, as he came in under 300 pounds on Friday.
No official word has been had on his 40 time, but reports indicate it's an improvement over the combine.
Just about everyone at the ASU Pro Day had Will Sutton in the 5.10-5.15 range on the 40. Two-tenths of a second faster than at the Combine.— Adam Stites (@AdamBCC) March 7, 2014
Carl Bradford improves 40 time
Bradford will likely be the first Sun Devil to go in the draft and is considered by many to be a sure second-round pick. The outside linebacker impressed with his athleticism at the combine (he finished in the top five of the broad jump), but underwhelmed with a 4.76 40-yard dash. It appears that he made an improvement on that time Friday.
Sounded like Carl Bradford just told ASU's trainer he ran a 4.64.— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) March 7, 2014
Bradford projects as 3-4 outside linebacker, but said that he has been talked to by scouts for a variety of positions, including inside linebacker and defensive lineman as well. Scouts made sure to get a look at his abilities with his hand on the ground as well.
Carl Bradford now doing DL drills and doing well.— Brad Denny (@BDenny29) March 7, 2014
Neither Bradford nor Sutton took part in the weight lifting portion of the day, according to Tyler Lockman of FOX Sports Arizona.
Grice schedules later pro day workout
Other potential ASU draft picks include running back Marion Grice and strong safety Alden Darby, although Grice has been out since suffering an injury in a November game against UCLA. He did not participate in the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine and was unable to participate in drills on Friday as well.
While he was walking without a limp during the session, he did nothing more than play catch, but told reporters after the Pro Day that he will have a workout for scouts in early April.
ASU running back Marion Grice, still working to get back into shape following his foot injury, will have a Pro Day on April 8 at ASU.— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) March 7, 2014
Khyri Thornton gets bigger and faster
If any player from the Southern Mississippi roster gets drafted, it's likely to be defensive tackle Khyri Thornton and he helped bolster that possibility at the Golden Eagles Pro Day on Friday. After weighing in at 6'3, 304 pounds at the NFL Combine and recording a 5.03 40-yard dash, Thornton managed to do accomplish the rare feat of adding weight and losing time.
According to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider, Thornton weighed in at 311 pounds and managed to knock his 40 time into the 4.90-4.96 range. Also per Pauline, Thornton met extensively with defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro of the Philadelphia Eagles, who were one of 16 teams in attendance.