Believe it or not, we're in the midst of college pro day season. All the NFL free agency headlines kind of bury that story, but it's important as the march toward the 2014 NFL Draft continues. The St. Louis Rams continue taking in their fair share of pro day events, which will later be followed by private workouts and visits with individual players. Here's a look at some of the pro day events from this week where the Rams have been spotted.
UT - Martin
I had to look it up myself. It's in Tennessee ... obviously. The name to know here is Jeremy Butler, a 6'2, 218-pound wide receiver. He's got a long list of statistical achievements from college, but the one to pay close attention to is his touchdown total from 2012 and 2013: 10 in each season.
The best part is what Butler's favorite routes are, from an interview with Draft Diamonds:
Probably pro style offenses where I can work pro style routes such as skinny posts play action passes.
He cites his hands and work ethic as his best traits, and speed as his weakness. However, he has posted a 40 times as low as 4.45.
Wait? Small school ... big guy ... good hands ... where have we heard this before? Oh, that's right, when the Rams drafted "the next T.O." with the 33rd pick in 2012. Who's to say this player would be different? Nobody, except that he's likely to land in the NFL as an undrafted free agent.
Pittsburgh State (Kansas)
Another small school, another promising wide receiver prospect. John Brown is a different type of player than Butler. Brown's a smaller, speedy slot receiver who made the draft community take notice with a 4.33 at the Combine.
He also turned heads on the gauntlet drill, showing off his hands. He was also the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Year. He looks a lot like a poor man's Tavon Austin, and maybe something of an insurance plan if last year's first-round pick doesn't work out.
He's projected to go in last two rounds of the draft.
This is sort of no-brainer since it's a stone's throw away from Rams Park. The main attraction here is cornerback Pierre Desir. He's projected as a second day pick, thanks in part to his size and athletic ability.
Another small school ... wait, you're picking up a theme here, right? Ben Edwards is a 5'11, 200-pound receiver twice named a First Team All-CAA (Colonial Athletic Conference) player. Richmond's pro day also featured Kerry Wynn, a defensive end. Both players are expected to be UDFA additions.
Okay, this is not a small school, not in the traditional sense ... though I wonder if Les Snead went to the TT pro day since Kliff Kinsbury might give him a run for the most stylin' man in all of sports.
One name I wonder about here is tight end Jace Amaro. He's seen by some as a late first-round pick. This happens to be the last year on Lance Kendricks' contract, and with Jared Cook limited to a single role, another tight end would be important.
Wide receiver Eric Ward and free safety Trey Porter are a couple other late-round/UDFA types to file away so you can pretend to know who they are in May.