Pro Day Primer: Purdue and UTEP (3/1)

CB Josh Johnson will try and steal at Purdue’s Pro Day (Photo: US Presswire)

If it feels like the combine just ended for you imagine being a NFL scout right now with a full month of non stop travel ahead of you. With the combine officially wrapping on Tuesday the NFL Pro Day schedule kicks off on Friday with a pair of FBS schools that will get to show off the best prospects in front of a contingent of NFL scouts. Both Purdue and UTEP elected to have their Pro Days early this year setting them apart from what is a very packed schedule for the rest of March.

Purdue
For most football fans who are just starting to get into the draft swing the pro day may seem like one of the smaller ones but its loaded with some pretty good under the radar talent that could surprise some people.

DT Kawann Short-6’3, 299 lbs.
Unfortunately a hamstring issue will keep Short out of workouts today but he is holding his own private workout on March 25th. One would expect Short to still be at his Pro Day to root on teammates and talk to any NFL scouts and personnel people who will be in attendance.

CB Josh Johnson-5’9, 199 lbs.
When you click the tape on and watch Purdue player two players consistently stand out on defense. One is the aforementioned Short and the other is Josh Johnson. The undersized and fiery CB backs down to no challenge and loves to throw his body around. Johnson ran a disappointing 4.65 in Indianapolis on Tuesday so I expect him to work out and potentially put up some better numbers.

QB Robert Marve-6’1, 211 lbs.
The former Miami Hurricanes recruit came to Purdue via a transfer and never quite lived up to the hype that surrounded him coming out of HS. He’s a good athlete with a nice arm but he’s struggled with turnovers and poor decisions for most of his career. He may have a shot at the next level, I’m just not sure if that’s in the NFL or the CFL.

RB Akeem Shavers-5’11, 205 lbs.
Shavers is an interesting back due to his size and ability. He has never been a big numbers guy so he’s been often overlooked but he’s quick on film and could put up a good workout. Purdue’s OL left a lot to be desired so a team could see Shavers as a potential diamond in the rough.

QB Caleb TerBush-6’4, 225 lbs.
TerBush and Marve seemed to rotate as often as the wind changed direction and that was due in part to injuries and in part to inconsistent play. He’s got classic pocket size and a strong arm. TerBush won’t get drafted but if he looks good throwing the ball today he could get a camp invite.

OLB Robert Maci-6’4, 242 lbs.
If you’re going to get excited for one player tomorrow let it be Robert Maci. He was not always put in the best position while at Purdue but he’s got great size, some speed, and loves to hit. Maci is one of those guys who with his size and potential could easily move up with a good workout.

WR Antavian Edison-5’11, 175 lbs.
Edison is a quicker than fast slot WR who has nice hands but a small frame. While Edison was Purdue’s most consistent target in the passing game I’m not sure how well his game will translate. He’s not very physical nor does he show a lot of ability to separate.

UTEP
There isn’t a single draftable prospect at UTEP so it will likely be a lightly attended pro day. There are still a few prospects to see though in OT James Nelson, WR Mike Edwards, and DB DeShawn Grayson. Nelson is a massive OT prospect who may need to kick inside at the next level. Edwards was the Miners only true offensive weapon this past season, while Grayson manned that role on the defensive side. Out of this group I’d expect Grayson to impress.

There won’t be any pro days over the weekends as NFL scouts finally get a couple of days off.

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Josh Johnson, Kawann Short, Pro Days, Purdue. UTEP

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