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2015 NFL Draft: What we learned from Thursday's pro days

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The NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone, and the calendar flipping over to March means only one thing on the road to the 2015 NFL Draft: pro days. College Football 24/7 will be your one-stop shop for information on workouts from Alabama to Yale and everybody in between.


» 2015 pro days schedule and results


Here's a look at the key takeaways from Thursday's pro day action.

2015 NFL DRAFT

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Clemson: Plenty on hand to see Beasley

Big draw: OLB Vic Beasley
Don't forget: LB Stephone Anthony
Notable attendees: Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Eagles coach Chip Kelly, Bills coach Rex Ryan and Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan were among those from all 32 NFL teams at the Tigers pro day.
The skinny: Several players off college football's top defense last year will end up being taken early in the 2015 NFL Draft, but none will go higher than Beasley, the star of Thursday's show. He drew praise by looking good in both defensive line and linebacker drills and continued to boost his stock coming out of the combine. Plenty of big names were on hand -- a reported 72 scouts or coaches from all NFL teams -- to evaluate Beasley as well as other top defenders such as Anthony, defensive end Tavares Barnes, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and safety Robert Smith. It seems like they got their money's worth from the trip to Clemson with so much talent on hand.

Illinois: Potential rookie pickups show off

Big draw: RB Donovonn Young
Don't forget: TE Jon Davis
Notable attendees: Representatives from 15 NFL teams
The skinny: The Illini might not have a player drafted this year, but there were several intriguing undrafted free agent possibilities in action at the pro day. NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt reported that Young had a good positional workout and ran a 4.75 in the 40-yard dash at 219 pounds. Davis ran well with a 4.64 at 257 pounds and caught the ball well. Several small school players from around the state also worked out for scouts.

Ole Miss: Thompson jumps onto the radar

Big draw: S Cody Prewitt
Don't forget: CB Senquez Golson
Notable attendees: A defensive backs coach from the Jets was among the representatives from 27 NFL teams on hand.
The skinny: The two big draws for the Rebels were in the secondary. Prewitt ran better than he did at the NFL Scouting Combine with a solid 4.46 in the 40-yard dash. He and Golson looked good during drills, according to Gil Brandt, and each might have helped his stock. They were overshadowed a bit, however, by the strong showing from defensive end Carlos Thompson. He ran a 4.75 in the 40 and had such an impressive workout for scouts that he could end up being drafted according to Brandt. Given the amount of talent still on the Rebels roster, scouts should probably get used to heading to Oxford in early March.


» Abdullah: I'm the best back in the 2015 draft


Nebraska: Gregory looks athletic in LB drills

Big draw: LB Randy Gregory
Don't forget: RB Ameer Abdullah
Notable attendees: Jets LB coach Mark Collins and director of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger, Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, Steelers LB coach Jerry Olsavsky were among the 26 teams with a representative at the workout.
The skinny: Gregory was the big draw at an action-packed day for scouts and did nothing but impress. Though he didn't run the 40, he looked very comfortable during linebacker drills and prompted one coach to exclaim that Gregory was "one athletic freak" after seeing the workout. Not to be overlooked was Mike Mayock's No. 3 tailback, Abdullah, who improved his 40-yard dash time from the combine and was able to employ some violent cuts during a nice outing on the drill portion. Also turning heads was receiver Kenny Bell, who said he hit the 4.3 mark in the 40-yard dash.

College Football 24/7 is following four 2016 draft prospects as they pursue their NFL dreams.

New Mexico: Highlands star turns heads

Big draw: OL Jamal Price
Don't forget: LB J.J. Johnson
Notable attendees: Chargers executive Randy Mueller was among those on hand.
The skinny: Although there was some interest in the Lobos prospects, it was New Mexico Highlands wide receiver Tyler Slavin who was the one who generated some buzz at the pro day on Thursday. He ran in the 4.5 range in the 40 and apparently caught everything thrown his way during drills to turn some heads. Slavin used to be at Arizona before transferring out of Tucson and really helped himself after being an unknown coming into the day.

Utah State: RB runs 4.28 40

Big draw: LB Zach Vigil
Don't forget: OL Kevin Whimpey
Notable attendees: Nineteen teams sent a representative to the workout.
The skinny: Vigil will probably be the only Aggies player drafted. He had a good positional workout while running a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash, Brandt reported. His performance was back-page news, however, as running back Joe Hill blazed a 4.28 in the 40, which matches the fastest time recorded at the combine last month. That might be enough to get him some additional looks after a solid 2014 season last year in which he was coming off a knee injury. Also impressive was Whimpey, who put up 39 reps on the bench press.

Also in action on Wednesday: Arkansas-Monticello.

On deck for Friday: Appalachian State, Arizona State, Newberry, Northern Illinois, Southern Miss.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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