Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Preview of USC Pro Day

by: Michael Steffes

As some of you may have seen me state, my plan tomorrow is to attend the USC Pro Day. I am very close to campus and I thought it would be an interesting experience. They are closing it off to the public this year, but I am told I have access via a friend. Anyway, I thought I would provide a write up previewing who will be on display tomorrow and what interest the Hawks may have. This of course will follow with observations afterwards. To continue...

DT, Sedrick Ellis... Well I would expect the Hawks would have a ton of interest, however, there is no way he makes it even to a pick that the Hawks could acquire. Look for Sed. to be a top 10 pick, and because of this he may not even work out much.

LB, Keith Rivers...Generally considered the best weakside linebacker in the draft. He is going to be a good player and will probably be off the board before the Hawks pick. Much like Ellis, he probably doesn't stand to gain much by working out, so his participation may be cursory. If he slides for some reason, and the Hawks expect Hill to be tough to sign, they could pull the trigger on Rivers.

DE, Lawrence Jackson.. His projections are kind of all over the board, but it seems he will be available when the Hawks pick in the first. I don't expect he presents a good value you there. He is a true DE, though, he has played with his hand down for the last four years. He may be trying to improve his stock tomorrow, so my guess is he works out.

TE, Fred Davis... Davis will defintely be working out. He was the clear cut, top TE in the class until an average combine. He will probably run again, along with do some position drills. This the player the Hawks will be watching closely tomorrow. Look for their to be rave reviews of Fred, that vault him back up into consideration for a first round pick.

OT, Sam Baker.... Big Sam is a pretty darn good prospect. As a reader pointed out earlier, he probably would be talked about a lot more favorably in any other year. Not sure how much Baker can improve his stock. His forty time doesn't matter. He may run some of the shuttle drills to highlight his athleticism, which some question.

OG, Chilo Rachel.... Chilo seems to be a possible first day pick, maybe sliding to the beginning part of day two(3rd round). The Hawks are most certainly looking at lineman, however Rachel left school early which often turns Ruskell away. Again, not much he can do to improve his stock at this point, but he may jump in and do some drills anyway. If you ever see him on TV, he has massive traps which are quite impressive. He looks like a sturdy powerful guard.

QB, John David Booty.... JDB is an interesting prospect. I could see the Hawks being interested in him. He reminds me of David Greene, but he has better physical skills. He isn't flashy, but he knows how to win games. I would much favor Booty during the second day than any of the other QBs in the second. Booty will definitely be participating tomorrow, especially in throwing drills.

OG, Drew Radovich... Radovich is likely to be a later pick, but he is a decent player. Doesn't have the upside of a Rachel, but likely will make a roster and be a contributor at some point. He will probably be doing any drills tomorrow that highlight his athleticism as well, as he is know to be kind of slow and stiff. I could see the Hawks taking him in the second day if he is still on the board for a while.

CB, Terrel Thomas... Thomas is a decent corner who could come off the board as early as the third. The Hawks interviewed him at the Senior Bowl, however, their situation has changed a bit since then. Well the team is always looking for good players like Thomas, I am not sure I can see them taking a corner that high. My guess is that are mostly focused on safeties. Either way, Thomas should have his skills on display tomorrow as the middle round corners are all trying to separate themselves from each other.

RB, Chauncey Washington... Chauncey is going to be a 7th rounder at best, or so the experts say. In my opinion, he looked very good at the Senior Bowl. Regardless, he doesn't have the good measurables. He has had some injuries and inconsistencies but could surprise people at the next level. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I expect him to go hard tomorrow.

C, Matt Spanos... I included Spanos in the SA Draft Preveiw 7th round, so you know I believe the Hawks could be looking at him. He will need to show he is more athletic tomorrow and should be participating in drills. Also, he is fairly new to the center position, and can also play guard, so he fits in well with the Hawks are looking for. He is BIG for an interior lineman, but he needs to show better feet and more strength.

Here is a list of some of the other players working out I did not feature:

LS, Will Collins.....LB Thomas Williams....TE Dale Thompson
QB Michael McDonald...G Alanti Malu........DT Chris Barrett
DE Alex Morrow.......RB Herchel Dennis.....RB Desmond Reed

If there is anything specific you want me to take note of, please feel free to leave a comment. I will hopefully have a nice report tomorrow afternoon, and if possible some pictures. We will see, it is the first time I am going to a pro day. Hope you enjoyed!