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Insider

Mathews, Gerhart showing good hands

3/19/2010

Here's a look at results from various on-campus pro day workouts from around the country and what they mean for the draft stock of the players involved:

Mathews showing versatility

Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews (5-foot-11⅝, 218 pounds) is a fierce competitor on film so it came as little surprise that he decided to run the 40-yard dash at his pro day despite posting an excellent time of 4.45 seconds at the combine. Mathews ran 4.48 and 4.49 in his work out and also caught the ball well during position drills, which is important because . We have concerns about his ability to contribute as a receiver early in his career given the limited role he played in the passing game in college but is starting to show the ability to be an effective receiver.

Overall, Mathews still ranks as a possible late-first round pick and it's worth noting that San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith -- who recently released LaDainian Tomlinson -- attended the workout.

Gerhart shows some athleticism

Stanford RB Toby Gerhart (5-11⅞, 231) is viewed as a bruising, between-the-tackles runner so his 40 times don't carry as much weight as they would for a smaller back. Still, we would have liked to seen him run the 40 at his pro day and improve on the 4.60 time he posted at the combine. On a more positive note, Gerhart showed above-average lateral mobility and caught the ball well during position drills. He projects as a late-third or early-fourth round pick.

Mental toughness a question for Robinson

Florida State CB Patrick Robinson (5-11¼, 190) ran his pro day 40s in 4.41 and 4.44, which is an improvement over the 4.50 he ran at the combine. He should come off the board the late first or early second round, but would be higher if not for questions about is consistency and mental toughness. The athleticism and natural ability are there, but Robinson reportedly had to start several drills over at his pro day because he failed to execute them correctly the first time around and that's concerning for a player facing those kinds of questions.

Blount's stock stabilize

Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount (6-0.5, 238) ran two 40-yard dashes in the 4.5 range at Oregon's second pro day workout, both a substantial improvement over the times he posted at the Combine and a good overall time considering he weighed in at 238 pounds. Blount appeared to be in excellent shape, and while he wasn't fast enough time to negate his substantial characters issues and concerns about his pad level the performance should help stabilize his position as a late-fourth or early-fifth round pick.

QB Nichols making a move

Eastern Washington QB Matt Nichols (6-1⅞, 219) was a combine snub but he impressed us with his pocket mobility, poise and accuracy at the East-West Shrine Game and his stock appears to be rising at the right time. Nichols ran the 40 in the high 4.8s at his pro day, which is a strong time even if it was wind-aided, and he reportedly threw the ball very well. We currently give him a mid-fifth round grade.

Benn's 40 impressive but Thomas has the edge

Illinois WR Arrelious Benn (6-1, 219) ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.35 range at the Fighting Illini's pro day, considerably quicker than the 4.59 and 4.61 official times he posted at the combine. Benn isn't a burner on film but he certainly appears that he plays faster than those combine results indicate. Benn is at his best after the catch and would fit perfectly in a west coast system.

Benn is more polished than Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas -- who broke his foot in February and is expected to run for teams in April -- but Thomas is a bigger (6-3¼, 224), more explosive athlete with greater upside. As long as Thomas is cleared medically we expect him to be the second receiver off the board just slightly ahead of Benn, but both should be gone in the top 40 overall picks.

WR White increasing his value

Michigan State WR Blair White (6-22, 209) ran in the 4.5 range at the combine but was around 4.45 and appeared to be in outstanding shape at his pro day. There are some concerns about White's consistency catching the ball but he could prove to be an excellent value in the later rounds.

Minor injuries affecting pro days

There are a few injuries of note that popped up during recent pro days. Tennessee DS Eric Berry (Scouts Inc. No. 4 overall) sprained his toe early on in his workout and didn't finish the workout, Arkansas DE Alex Carrington was absent from Arkansas State's pro day with an undisclosed injury, and Illinois G Jon Asamoah did not work out because of a shoulder injury he sustained at the Senior Bowl. However, none of these injuries are considered serious and Carrington and Asamoah are both expected to work out for teams on April 8th.