The NFL Scouting Combine is meant to be a place where talented players confirm the level of athleticism they showed on the field during their college careers. For some, however, unimpressive performances (or not competing at all) creates more questions than answers about the ability of prospects to handle the size and speed of opponents they will encounter at the next level.
The good thing is that players have a second chance to impress scouts at pro day workouts. Although teams might not put as much weight on pro days as they do on combine workouts since a pro day is a more controlled environment, an improvement in speed, strength, or agility could help allay concerns about a player's transition to Sundays.
The following seven players have work to do at their pro days as they try to answer questions left unanswered at the combine.
1. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Pro Day: N/A
Foster came to the combine a bit smaller than anticipated (6-0, 229), and then was forced to leave earlier than he would have preferred. Foster apparently lacked patience during the medical exams, getting into a verbal altercation with one of the medical staff and was sent home from the combine. He met with teams on Tuesday night to explain his actions during the incident. He was not going to work out at the combine (shoulder surgery), and it's not known when, or if, he'll work out for teams before the draft (he didn't work out at Alabama's pro day on Wednesday). He'll have to satisfy teams with his explanation for the combine incident, and answer any lingering questions about his health, to maintain his stock.
2. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Pro Day: March 16
He's put all his eggs in one basket by choosing not to run the 40 with his cohorts in Indy. Williams did perform in the positional drills, where he looked like a natural pass-catcher. Scouts could see from the workout that he wasn't the fastest player out there -- though he was one of the largest true wideouts in the group at 6-foot-3 1/2 and 218 pounds. It helped him that another top receiver, Corey Davis was unable to run, as well. A solid pro-day performance will help keep him in the top-10 conversation.
3. Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
Pro Day: March 28
Johnson didn't do any drills at the combine after weighing in at just 298 pounds despite standing one-quarter inch from the 6-7 mark. He'll need to show impressive movement skills and better-than-expected strength in Tallahassee if teams are to believe he can handle the power of veteran NFL pass rushers.
4. Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
Pro Day: March 28
Brantley came into the combine with a reputation of being one of the more athletic defensive linemen in the class, but his results didn't match the hype. He won't be able to do much about his relatively short arms (32 inches; average for defensive linemen was over 33), but he can try to improve his 40 time (5.14, with 1.78 10-yard split) and below-average jumps at his pro day.
5. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Pro Day: March 15
After looking like a solid middle-round back at the Senior Bowl in January, Clement didn't test as he would have liked in Indianapolis (4.68 40, 28.5-inch vertical). If he can get to the low 4.6s and add an inch or two in the vertical at his pro day, teams will be more interested in selecting him early on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) of the draft.
6. Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
Pro Day: March 23
When a player measures at 5-foot-8 1/2 inch and weighs 176 pounds, scouts expect to see low numbers on runs and high numbers in jumps. Pumphrey was just about dead-on average in his 40 (4.48) and his jumps (9-9 broad, 33.5 vertical) despite being 30 pounds lighter than the average back. Pumphrey also did not partake in the agility runs, an area in which he must excel at his pro day to make teams think he has a chance to be a factor on offense and/or special teams at the next level.
7. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Pro Day: March 11
Jones ran well enough (4.47 at 6-0, 186) but he did not look like an elite corner prospect in position drills. He struggled to catch the ball and looked stiff in his movement. Teams will see his coverage ability on tape, so he'll still be a top corner prospect. But looking more confident in his backpedal and catching the ball during the Washington pro day would help his cause. Jones would also do well to improve his vertical (33.5 inches) and broad jump (10-3) marks, and hit double-digits in his bench press (did not participate in Indy).