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2011 NFL Draft: Defense on display at West Coast pro days

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The West Coast got its chance to shine in pro day events this week. Today's headline act happened in Washington, where Jake Locker threw the ball in the hopes of securing first round status. For the St. Louis Rams, pro day events in their old home town carried a little more interest, as a couple of players at USC and UCLA gave teams another chance to see them up close and personal. 

At today's USC pro day, LB Malcolm Smith put on a show for NFL teams. Snubbed for the Combine, Smith did 28 reps on the bench press and ran a 4.47 forty. Tony Pauline said he also did well in position drills, and called him the "big winner of the day." The 225 lbs Smith hasn't had much draft chatter about him, mostly because he's seen as a likely undrafted free agent. Today's performance put him on the map. NY Giants' WR Steve Smith's younger brother, he now has visits lined up with Chicago and Seattle. Smith might be a little small for what Flajole looks for in a linebacker, but if he could bulk up you have to wonder whether or not he's an option for the WLB spot. 

At defensive tackle, USC's Jurrell Casey pulled a hammy on his second forty attempt, but came back and went through position drills. Casey is likely a third round pick. 

At UCLA's pro day yesterday, DT David Carter turned in a solid effort that should definitely earn him a shot at the NFL, likely in the sixth round. He did well at the Shrine game, but still was left off the Combine invite list. He ran a 4.93 in the forty, 25 reps on the bench and a 9-foot-3 broad jump. 

Finally, though the Rams have no interest in QB Jake Locker, his teammate, LB Mason Foster, did nothing to hurt his draft stock. He mostly duplicated his results from the Combine, and NFLDraftScout.com said he looked like a solid third round pick, good but not without questions about his game.