If you're in the business of scouting talent for an NFL team, chances are you know a good restaurant in the Baton Rouge area. LSU has produced a remarkable number of NFL players over the past few years under Les Miles, and that will certainly continue when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around.
Seventeen prospects took to the Tigers' indoor facility on Wednesday for the program's annual pro day, and NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock was on hand to take in the action. While he was, of course, focused on players such as quarterback Zach Mettenberger and receiver Odell Beckham, the amount of depth at LSU was readily apparent to everyone in attendance.
"As far as pro days, it doesn't get a whole lot bigger than LSU," Mayock said. "The way I look at it, 11 potential draft picks. Five or six draft picks in the top 100. They put on a show today, trust me."
That's ... a lot of draft picks. And yet nobody will be all that surprised to hear LSU called that many times at Radio City Music Hall come May.
The highest drafted player from LSU will probably wind up being Beckham. His stock has shot up since the NFL Scouting Combine, to the point where he's become a likely first-round pick with buzz continuing to build throughout the pre-draft process. Recent NFL.com mock drafts have him going as high as No. 18 overall to the Jets.
The main attraction Wednesday, however, was Mettenberger. He suffered a season-ending ACL tear last year and had surgery to repair it at the beginning of January. Despite the medical issues, he impressed scouts when he strapped on the shoulder pads and helmet -- a la Johnny Manziel -- and tossed the football around.
"I thought he looked great. I've been at almost every top level quarterback pro day this year and he threw the ball with as much velocity, arm strength, accuracy as any quarterback in the draft," said Mayock. "You're going to hear a lot of people talking about how even though he's only 13 weeks out (of ACL surgery), that he could be a quarterback that goes at the top of the second round."
Insider Albert Breer was also at the workout and tweeted one interesting comparison for Mettenberger he heard from evaluators: former New England Patriots pro bowler Drew Bledsoe. Mettenberger won't come close to Bledsoe's draft position this year -- Bledsoe was the No. 1 overall pick in 1993 -- but the similarities between the two are certainly intriguing.
Among the notable head coaches in attendance to see Mettenberger zip the ball around were the Vikings' Mike Zimmer, the Eagles' Chip Kelly and the Steelers' Mike Tomlin. NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt has all of the details of LSU's pro day here.
Receiver Jarvis Landry, running back Jeremy Hill and offensive lineman Trai Turner were among the other players who Mayock thinks could go in the first 100 picks of the draft based on their performance at the pro day as well.
Given LSU's youth on defense and potential NFL talent all over the board on their 2014 team, Mayock and his friends in the NFL scouting community better get comfortable making the trek to Baton Rouge again in the future.