Pro Day is here: Biggest ever for USF football?
The headline is a question, but there's probably no need for the question mark. Two years ago, USF had a likely first-round draft pick in cornerback Mike Jenkins, but today, there are six draft picks working out for NFL scouts at USF's soccer/track stadium, including defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who is in position to be the highest-drafted player in Bulls history.
It's an intriguing day, because you don't know who the big story will be: Can Pierre-Paul solidify his status as a mid-first-rounder? Can Nate Allen, who didn't run at the combine due to a leg injury, put up a 40-yard time that gets him into the bottom of the first round? Can Jerome Murphy improve his stock with a quick time?
Then there's receiver Carlton Mitchell, who has gone from a questionable early entry to a likely second-day pick -- and the second day of the draft is now rounds two and three, on a Friday night. And where do George Selvie and Kion Wilson fit in, especially Selvie, once seen as a first-rounder after being a consensus first-team All-American as a sophomore in 2007?
For fans, the biggest interest might be in quarterback Matt Grothe, who hasn't worked out on USF's campus in six months and expects to do all the drills today, showing how well his injured knee has healed. Grothe worked out for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats earlier this month, but there's no telling what the next few months hold for Grothe -- can he find his way into an NFL camp?
To put today's importance in perspective -- USF in the next month should have as many if not more draft picks than the Bulls have totaled in the last six drafts. In the program's history, USF has had just three players taken in the first three rounds -- that figure could more than double next month.
A few quick links: NFL.com's Mike Mayock, who should be at the Pro Day today, has Pierre-Paul as the No. 11 prospect on his draft board. His colleague Charles Davis has JPP going 16th to the Titans. And here's the latest draft diary from Mitchell at Moving the Chains.
We'll have lots of notes from Pro Day, and it's a good day to follow the blog at Twitter.com/gregauman.