Three more major schools held pro days this week, and Tuesday was a great showing of future NFL talent. USC, Penn State, and South Carolina were all out on the field, showcasing their latest product of their programmes. Among the names today, Amon’Ra St Brown, Micah Parsons, and Jaycee Horn.
USC (University of Southern California) Amon’Ra St Brown and team mates put on a show in the sun
We’ll start with USC, who held their work outs in the California sun on Tuesday, allowing wide receiver Amon’Ra St Brown to workout with his shirt off. St Brown’s older brother Equanimeous plays for the Green Bay Packers, and his other brother Osiris plays college ball at Stanford. Football runs in the veins of these boys, and Amon’Ra is on a mission to earn his place at the end of April.
St. Brown is likely to be a day two guy, in a draft once again stacked with wide receiver talent. He certainly looks to be in good shape, looks after his body, and was keen to showcase his abilities on the day.
His 40 time was a little disappointing for him, recording a 4.51 and a 4.52. He noted in his following interview that he’d hoped to make it into the 4.4s, but fell just short.
However to counter that point, Daniel Jeremiah made a great point on the NFL Network, stating that St Brown always plays the game fast. Which is different to actually BEING a faster guy. He doesn’t slow down in his routes, always plays at full speed 100% of the time, and his tape supports the argument.
Amon’Ra St Brown ran his routes with college team mate, and quarterback prospect for next season Kedon Slovis. Sovis has a way to go and is not a fully polished blue chip prospect by any means, but will be one of the key names in a very weak QB draft next season if he decides to come out. On the day, he threw for Amon’Ra, wasn’t perfect in doing so, but St. Brown noted that it was great to have his quarterback out there throwing to him. Typically, the receivers will catch balls from the other QBs at the combine, and rotate, so timing and everything is totally new to them on the day most of the time. So there’s a positive there for these guys working out locally rather than in the typical combine fashion.
St. Brown ran well, looked sharp in his routes and the cone drills, and overall did himself a good service to show that he’s in shape and ready to go at the next level. His touchdown to yardage ratio improved heavily in 2020, as he stepped up once team mate Michael Pittman Jr was drafted by the Colts.
I’d expect to see Amon’Ra St Brown late on day two, or maybe early on day three. Overall he’s going to be a hard working, solid receiver, with the potential to step up into a starting role in the NFL.
Also present at USC’s pro day, Alijah Vera-Tucker, the versatile offensive lineman. Vera-Tucker is considered one of the top line men in the draft this year, and impressed with his quickness and power on Tuesday.
Vera-Tucker looks up to Quenton Nelson at the next level, the pro bowl guard of the Indianapolis Colts, and tries to model his game on him as best he can. Vera-Tucker has great tape getting downfield and putting linebackers and DBs on the ground, and will suit the pulling style on an offensive line that encourages this type of play. He’s nimble, and very agile for his size.
The opportunity to plug him in anywhere across the line is going to be appealing to NFL scouts. This season he featured mainly at left tackle, but could also easily slide in at guard. Likely to be picked in the top 15 or so picks this year.
Also working out at USC’s pro day this year, safety Talanoa Hufanga, defensive tackle Jay Tufele, and receiver Tyler Vaughns.
South Carolina CB Shines
So yesterday I wrote about how impressive Patrick Surtain looked for Alabama just a day earlier. Now all eyes turn to Jaycee Horn, the cornerback out of South Carolina, who’s already touted a first round pick. Jaycee Horn is another prospect this year with NFL blood in his veins. He’s the son of ex NFL receiver Joe Horn.
Surtain is regarded the number one corner in the draft by many, only debated with the case for Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech. Jaycee Horn is then expected to land on a teams roster later on day one. What was interesting, was the timing of Jaycee Horns workout, being the day after Surtain, and the fact that he ran faster, benched one more rep, and measured better in body length and size.
Horn ran a 4.39 forty time, and did it on the first try. He only ran once, that was all he needed. He then repped 19 bench press reps, compared to Surtains’ 18. His arm length came in at 41.5″, Surtains was 39″, his vertical came in at 133″, Surtains was 131″. He won in every category except the broad jump. So that’s certainly a story to keep an eye on come draft day, and teams definitely took notice.
Horn has been a very solid corner in the SEC for three years, against top talent week in week out within his division, and has everything on tape for NFL teams to fall in love with him. A great day for Horn.
Penn State Parsons & Co
The athletes just seem to be getting faster and faster and bigger and stronger. All at the same time. 20 years from now we’re going to have defensive linemen running 3 second forty times. It’s getting out of hand.
Defensive end Jayson Oweh ran a 4.36. Defensive end. 4.36. He’s long, athletic and comes with a great upside to develop at the next level. He’ll likely be a day three guy. He needs to bulk up a little, and develop as he grows. But there will certainly be interest in his athleticism and traits.
That being said, it was first round prospect Micah Parsons who forced his name into every draft conversation around the country, after recording a 4.39 40 yard dash of his own. Parsons, already heralded a high draft pick on day one, was one of my favourite talents to study this off season. I wrote that he seems to get to the play so quickly, almost as if he has the play before the snap. Now it makes sense as to why. We are seeing these extremely quick sideline to sideline linebackers becoming a more and more valuable commodity in the modern day NFL. When the quarterbacks are quicker, and the running backs are more agile, the linebackers need to keep up.
Micah Parsons should and most likely will be the first linebacker off the board, and Giants head coach Joe Judge was the most notable attendee on the day, on hand to watch Parsons show what he’s capable of. His highlight tape is very very impressive, and if you don’t know Micah Parsons yet, he’s certainly one to learn all about!