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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Players Look To Improve Stock At Pro Day

Jordan Schuchmann |
March 13, 2014 | 12:50 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Marqise Lee only participated in a couple of drills at USC Pro Day (Neon Tommy)
Marqise Lee only participated in a couple of drills at USC Pro Day (Neon Tommy)
USC hosted several NFL scouts at Cromwell field for Pro Day yesterday. Players who graduated or chose to left early had the opportunity to participate in combine drills to either increase their draft status or get themselves on NFL team's radar.

About 20 players were expected to participate in the drills, most notably wide receiver Marqise Lee, center Marcus Martin, tight end Xavier Grimble, safety Dion Bailey, linebacker Devon Kennard, and defensive lineman George Uko. However, these players were at the NFL combine in Indianapolis and already had the opportunity to preform in front of scouts, so most of them were focusing on their position drills. 

For Marqise Lee, a player already expected to go in the first round, his main goal between  now and the draft is to set himself apart from other receivers like Texas A&M's Mike Evans and Clemson's Sammy Watkins. Lee opted out of most drills, such as the 40-yard dash because it would not greatly affect his draft status. For players like Lee and Martin that already had the opportunity to show their ability in front of scouts at the combine, Pro Day wasn't as important. However, it gave players like offensive lineman John Martinez to get recognized. That's exactly what Martinez did. 

Martinez needed a good showing at Pro Day if he were to get recognized and earn himself either a late draft pick or at least an invitation to training camp as an undrafted free agent. Martinez preformed well, recording 42 reps at the bench press, a number that would have been tied for for first at the NFL combine. 

Another former USC player that had a lot riding on his Pro Day performance was cornerback Torin Harris, a player on the fringe of being drafted. Harris stood out in the vertical and standing jump, recording a 41-inch vertical and 10'10 in the standing jump, making him a standout performer in that category. 

Overall, USC Pro Day's impact on players' stock will be fairly minimal. Martinez probably came out as the biggest winner of the day, possibly earning himself some extra looks by teams after having a good day. 

In the end, no major changes occurred in the players' stocks. Lee will still be a mid-first round pick and Martin will still be the second Trojan off the board sometime in the second round. Kennard, Grimble, Uko, and Bailey will all remain as players taken in the second half of the draft. 


Reach Staff Writer Jordan Schuchmann here or follow him here.



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