|Bob Levey / Associated Press|
|Kenneth Acker is the latest SMU defensive back with a chance to make it in the NFL.|
Last week, I gave the names of 15 lesser-known players who helped their chances in the draft by putting in impressive workouts at their pro day. That list included potential second-day picks like Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, Montana linebacker Brock Coyle and SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
The 15 players listed below probably aren't in that class. They're likely to be free agents, but they nonetheless put in a lot of hard work after the season and got noticed by teams who watched their pro day workout.
As I mentioned last week, there were 49 undrafted free agents who made the 53-man roster heading into the 2013 season. The players below might not hear their name called at the draft, but that doesn't mean they won't make it onto a roster, and their pro days certainly helped their cause.
Kenneth Acker, DB, SMUEvery year a defensive back from SMU makes a roster, and Acker (5-foot-11 5/8, 190 pounds) is as good as any who have been there in previous years. He had a strong pro day, with a 4.50 40, a 36-inch vertical and a 6.94 three-cone drill. He'll be a seventh-rounder or a priority free agent.
Denicos Allen, LB, Michigan StateAllen (5-foot-10 1/4, 225 pounds) ran a 4.74-second 40 and had 26 bench-press reps at his pro day. He played linebacker in college, but I think he has a chance to be a great special teams player as a pro. He'll be a seventh-rounder or a priority free agent.
Lonnie Ballentine, FS, MemphisBallentine (6-foot-3, 219 pounds) ran the 40 twice at his pro day and posted times of 4.39 and 4.45 seconds. He also posted a vertical jump of 38 inches. He played all four years in college, but is a very young player -- he turns 21 Wednesday -- playing a new position at free safety. I expect him to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
Zach Bauman, RB, Northern ArizonaIf it's possible to have a running back this size play in the NFL, Bauman (5-foot-7 1/4, 194 pounds) will do it. He was a four-year-starter who made the all-conference team all four years. At his pro day, he ran the 40 in 4.50 seconds. He's likely to be a free agent.
Glenn Carson, LB, Penn StateYou have to take a look at players like Carson (6-foot-2 5/8, 238) who started at a big school. At Penn State's pro day, he ran a 4.75-second 40 and had a 35-inch vertical and 30 bench-press reps. He has a chance to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
Ryan Eppes, RB, South FloridaEppes (6-foot-1 5/8, 232 pounds) is worth a look as a free agent based on his size, speed and strength. He posted a 4.62-second 40 and had 26 strength lifts at his pro day.
Greg Hardin, WR, North DakotaHardin (5-foot-10 1/8, 171 pounds) has athletic ability and ran the 40 in 4.44 seconds, but he might lack the necessary weight to play in the NFL. He should be a free agent.
Torin Harris, DB, USCHarris (5-foot-11 5/8, 189 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.46 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.96 seconds at USC's pro day. Those numbers, along with his height, are solid for his position. He also posted a good vertical and broad jump. Harris will probably be a free agent.
Micah Hatfield, WR, Oregon StateHatfield (6-foot-1, 182 pounds) is a big, fast, athletic receiver who didn't play a lot at Oregon State. The question is, why not? At his pro day, he ran the 40 in 4.44 seconds and had fast times in the shuttle and three-cone drills. He also posted a 38-inch vertical.
Best of 2014 college pro daysCheck out the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft in action at their on-campus pro days.
Aaron Hill, LB, MinnesotaHill (6-foot 5/8, 231 pounds) has good speed and is a top-flight competitor, which should make him a very good special teams player. He ran the 40 in 4.73 seconds and threw up the bar 21 times at his pro day. He's most likely a priority free agent.
Ryan Jones, LB, Montana TechJones (6-foot-3 1/4, 249 pounds) is a small-college player who showed off his speed, athletic ability and strength at his pro day. He posted a 4.68-second 40, a 34-inch vertical, a 6.95-second three-cone drill and 28 bench-press reps.
Andrew Norwell, OL, Ohio StateNorwell (6-foot-5 3/4, 315 pounds) was a starter on a very good Ohio State team. He has long arms (33 5/8 inches) but needs to get stronger and will. I think he'll be a seventh-round pick or priority free agent.
Zach Orr, LB, North TexasOrr (5-foot-11 7/8, 237 pounds) has good bloodlines (his dad played in the NFL) and is a very tough player, one of those hard-to-run-off types.
Tyler Russell, QB, Mississippi StateRussell (6-foot-4 3/8, 227 pounds) had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and did not run or work out at his pro day. He has good athletic ability and is a candidate to change positions in the pros. I think he's worth a try at tight end.
Marcus Williams, CB, North Dakota StateWilliams (5-foot-11, 196 pounds) has good height for a cornerback and has been well coached. He posted a 4.57-second 40 and a 35-inch vertical at his pro day.
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