Clemson’s class of prospects for the 2016 NFL draft, which has a chance to be the first in school history to include three first-round picks, will be back in town and on display for NFL scouts Thursday.
More than a dozen members of Clemson’s 2015 national runner-up football team plan to participate in Thursday morning’s event at Clemson’s indoor practice facility, where they will run through a variety of drills to put their skills and athleticism on display.
NFL scouts, coaches and personnel executives will evaluate prospects in seven measurable tests: bench press, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle. Participants will also go through a series of football-related drills specific to their respective positions.
Some Clemson draft prospects already worked out for evaluators at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. Those players could opt to participate in only a limited capacity. For Clemson’s other prospects, pro day will be the only opportunity they have to simultaneously work out in front of a contingent that will likely include representatives from all 32 NFL teams.
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Cornerback Mackensie Alexander is a projected first-round pick who drew attention at the Combine when he proclaimed himself to be “the best corner in this draft class.” He did not participate in on-field workouts at the Combine because of a hamstring injury suffered in the national championship game.
In his draft diary published Sunday at WalterFootball.com, Alexander said the health of his hamstring is “about 90-92 percent right now.”
“I feel really good,” Alexander wrote. “I’m about to blow some people away at my pro day. I’m really excited for it.”
Former Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd is another potential first-round pick who could complete a full workout Thursday after being unable to do so at the combine. While Dodd started his day of on-field drills in Indianapolis by running a 4.86-second 40-yard dash on his first attempt, he pulled up with an injury on his second attempt, which prevented him from participating in the jumps, agility drills and positional drills.
Shaq Lawson, who is also widely projected as a first-rounder after starting opposite Dodd at Clemson last season, is among those who already did a full workout in Indianapolis. Even so, he too plans to participate in Thursday’s workouts, including the 60-yard shuttle, which defensive linemen do not participate in at the Combine. Lawson is looking to prove he can play outside linebacker if drafted by an NFL team that runs a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Draft hopefuls from Clemson who were not invited to the Combine but could impress scouts Thursday include running back Zac Brooks, offensive linemen Joe Gore and Eric Mac Lain, defensive tackle Roderick Byers and linebacker Travis Blanks.