For Greg Robinson, Auburn's pro day event Tuesday isn't exactly pressure-packed. That's the luxury afforded to the former Tigers left tackle after a jaw-dropping display of athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis nearly two weeks ago. For defensive end Dee Ford, however, pro day is far more critical, according to NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock.
Doctors at the combine told Ford not to work out in Indianapolis due to concerns about a procedure he underwent in 2011 for a herniated disc in his back. One of the draft's most promising pass rushers, Ford said at the time that he would make up the missed drills at AU's pro day.
"There are some medical concerns, but beyond that, he needs a big day today. He's gained nine pounds since the Senior Bowl. At 252 pounds, he wants to show teams that he can carry that kind of weight. I'd love to see him run in the 4.5 range," Mayock said on "NFL AM" Tuesday. "Then I think it would force teams to make a decision, like a couple years ago, when Seattle pulled the trigger on Bruce Irvin from West Virginia in the first round. I think this is a huge day for this kid. He's going to fall somewhere between the middle of the first, and the middle of the second round. And how he does (Tuesday) will say a lot toward where that is."
Robinson, by contrast, has the hard part behind him.
"I'd be stunned if he did anything but positional workouts today. All he has to do is stay healthy and not do anything stupid, and he's a top five pick in this draft," Mayock said.
Tre Mason, one of Mayock's favorite prospects at the running back position, went through combine drills in Indianapolis as Robinson did. Mason turned in a 4.50 40-yard dash and a 38.5-inch vertical jump that ranked third at the position, but Mayock said Mason's positional drills at pro day as a receiver and blocker will be important.
"The next time he blocks somebody is going to be his first, and if he wants to play on third down, he's going to have to clean that up," Mayock said.