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Pro Day Watch: FSU, Syracuse, more

With free agency mostly behind us, the run up to the 2021 NFL Draft ramps up

Syracuse v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

In the wake of the cancellation of the NFL Scouting Combine, the focus has turned to college “pro days” for scouting for the 2021 NFL Draft. Here is a breakdown of some of the biggest prospects Pro Days from over the weekend.

Florida State

Tallahassee was the site of Monday’s most notable pro day, and the Seminoles have three major players to be on the look out for.

First up is senior defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 310 pounds, Wilson is an intimidating interior pass rusher and has been one of the best in the ACC when healthy. In the first nine games of 2019, he put an elite 44 tackles (8.5 for loss), 5 sacks, 4 passes defended with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery prior to a hand injury that sidelined him. He garnered first round projections in 2020 but chose to return for his senior season. However, a leg injury prompted Wilson to opt out of the remainder of the year. Now considered a Day 2 player with tremendous upside but risk of injuries, Wilson could be a potential steal for a team should he stay healthy.

NFL fans will of course recognize Asante Samuel Jr., the son of former Patriots, Eagles and Falcons corner Asante Samuel. An All-ACC First Teamer last season with 31 tackles (one for a loss), three interceptions, six pass breakups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, Samuel Jr. is making a name for himself ahead of the draft. While his 5-foot-10, 184 pound frame is on the slightly smaller end, Samuel plays above his size with his tenacity and tackling ability while demonstrating impressive athleticism and man coverage technique. He has room to grow in zone, but he could be a starter on Day 1.

Offensively, Tamorrion Terry stands out in this stacked class of receivers. At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, he is one of the bigger receiving threats in the draft and has produced at a high level in spite of the Seminoles inconsistency at the QB position during his career. Finishing with 118 receptions for 2,221 yards and 18 touchdowns in is career, the redshirt-junior is a solid Day 2 pick who offers his size as a tantalizing weapon for offensive coordinators,

Syracuse

Headed upstate now, Syracuse’s pro day was headlined by a trio of defensive backs: Trill Williams, Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu.

The 6-foot-3, 213-pound Melifonwu has garnered the most attention up to this point. The 2020 All-ACC Third Team member, who put up 10 passes defended with 9 breakups and an interception, possesses an elite combination of size and athleticism that has made him an enticing mid-to-late round option.

The 6-foot, 209-pound ball hawking safety Cisco finished his career as the FBS’ active career interception leader with 13 and was twice a member of the All-ACC teams. Williams, who used his 6-foot-2, 198-pound frame to play a combination of safety and cornerback, had 93 tackles (65 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and six pass breakups in his career. Williams and Cisco both missed time in 2020 with injuries.

Looking ahead

Tuesday will be a big day in the NFL Scouting world, as Alabama will host their Pro Day. With media availability today occurring today, an interesting piece of news began to make the rounds: Heisman winning wideout DeVonta Smith said he currently weighs 170 pounds, and will not take part in the Pro Day.

Despite having a dominant season (as evidenced by his Heisman), Smith is not the clear-cut top receiving prospect for this draft. Some rank him as low as fourth (when factoring in TE/WR hybrid Kyle Pitts) despite the highlights he put up. His weight has been at the center of pre-draft scrutiny and will continue to be until draft night. Smith has hardly seemed to care, going so far as to address those views in his Heisman acceptance speech and more recently tweeting his appreciation for NFL legend Chad Johnson coming to his defense.

Finally, Adam Schefter broke the news that potential first-round pick Caleb Farley would be undergoing a microdisectomy on Tuesday.

The procedure, which is required for those with a herniate lumbar disk in their spine, will likely have major implications on Farley’s draft stock. Seen as a potential top-10 pick, the news of surgery this major will certainly cause Farley’s stock to fall. Given his draft status prior to the surgery announcement, its likely a team will take a flier on Farley at some point in the draft. But where remains to be seen.