Yes, we're all talking and thinking about Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers, and impending free-agency period, which never lacks in excitement. But remember, the scheduled pro day circuit can serve as a calming reprieve from all the chaos. With some marquee prospects choosing not to do much at the 2023 NFL Combine, many pro days will provide major opportunities for many.
This article doesn't outline every single prospect to watch at every single pro day. It outlines the prospects with the most to gain at their respective pro day workouts over the next two months -- as well as the school-by-school schedule at the bottom.
For more draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our new weekly podcast, "With the First Pick," featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. (Check out the latest episode below.)
Illinois (March 10)
Biggest opportunities: CB Devon Witherspoon
Witherspoon watched at the combine while his cornerback contemporaries in this class, some of whom measured-in bigger and lengthier than him, like Oregon's Christian Gonzalez and Maryland's Deonte Banks. There were some rumblings Witherspoon wouldn't be quite as physical impressive as some of the other top cornerback prospects in this class, and he did measure in at under 6-foot and 181 pounds with arms under 32 inches.
His pro day will provide the stud Big Ten defensive back a grand opportunity to prove he's as explosive and fluid as Gonzalez and Banks -- who both ran in the 4.30s in Indy. He'll need to at least test close to those two to remain in contention to be the first cornerback off the board in April.
Clemson (March 14)
Biggest opportunity: EDGE Myles Murphy
Murphy ticked the size box at the combine, measuring in at 6-foot-5, 268-pounds with arms nearly 34 inches; he looks like a defensive end who's already spent at least a year in an NFL strength and conditioning program. And we all know he's not a pass-rush move master at this stage of his football-playing career. But can be prove to be a freaky specimen?
The edge-rusher group collectively didn't crush the combine, although the much smaller Nolan Smith ran 4.39 at 238 pounds. With explosive jumps, a 40-yard dash around 4.60 and, maybe, a three-cone close to the 7.00-second threshold would do wonders for Murphy's draft stock. He needs it.
Army (March 16)
Biggest opportunity: EDGE Andre Carter II
All the other prospects in this article didn't work out in Indy. Carter did. This pro day opportunity is all about the pass-rusher with elite productivity atoning for a disappointing effort in Indianapolis, when he had a vertical and broad jump in the 16th percentile among edge rushers since 1999.
On film, he looks more sudden, and there was plenty of bend from him around the corner, even at nearly 6-foot-7. Training for and ultimately acing the three-cone drill would go a long way in boosting Carter's stock to close to where it was before the combine and Senior Bowl.
Syracuse (March 20)
Biggest opportunity: CB Garrett Williams
Williams was hurt relatively early in the 2022 Syracuse season, and he was a constant playmaker for the Orange before he was sidelined with four picks and 21 pass breakups in 28 career games. What we've now realized is that in a loaded cornerback class, Williams, once widely believed to be a first-round caliber talent, has fallen into the background.
He looks plenty athletic on film, both changing directions and when flashing speed and leaping ability down the field. Anything sub 4.45 with a vertical near 40 inches would remind everyone he has early-round pick written all over him.
Alabama (March 23 and April 6)
Biggest opportunities: QB Bryce Young, CB Eli Ricks, S Jordan Battle
Not having to throw immediately before or after Anthony Richardson will make Young's throwing session much more stress-free at Alabama's second pro day April 6, and in the scripted setting with receivers he knows well, the former Heisman Trophy winner should put on a ball-placement spectacle.
Will he run, though? Jump? Do anything besides throw the football? Probably not. Even just throwing will allow Young to showcase his arm strength and anticipatory skills.
As for Ricks, this is a former No. 2 cornerback recruit in the nation in the class of 2020 -- behind only Georgia's Kelee Ringo -- who transferred from LSU to Alabama and starred in Nick Saban's defense last season. At 6-foot-2 and 188 pounds with nearly 33-inch arms, Ricks looks a lot like the rest of the litany of long, light cornerbacks in this class. We just need to see how athletic he is.
Battle was the preseason big name at safety at Alabama and is humming quietly under the radar right now. His film is super clean as a multi-year productive player for Nick Saban. But how athletic is he? He was 6-foot-1 and 209 pounds at the combine, and speed is the name of the game at the safety spot today.
Bowling Green (March 20)
Biggest opportunity: EDGE/DL Karl Brooks
Someway, somehow, Brooks wasn't invited to the combine after registering the second-most pressures in college football in 2022. He's a unique dude at over 6-foot-3 and 303 pounds with the movement skills typically found in a 260- or 270-pound edge. He can also win inside with quickness and karate-style pass-rush moves.
In today's hybrid-based NFL, Brooks should have a home, and after what I expect will be a quality showing at his pro day, I won't be shocked if he lands somewhere in the middle of the draft -- early-ish Day 3 seems most likely. How much will he weigh before his workout? And can he really test like a traditional heavy edge rusher at more than 300 pounds?
Utah (March 24)
Biggest opportunity: TE Dalton Kincaid
Kincaid's 2022 tape is a season-long highlight reel. In fact, you could convince yourself you're watching a highlight reel by just watching the first USC game -- Travis Kelce-like from the Ute tight end. Anyway, Kincaid didn't workout in Indy, and the likes of Old Dominion's Zack Kuntz and Iowa's Sam LaPorta tested very well.
To put a stamp on his increasingly growing status as TE1 in the class, Kincaid will need a workout comparable to what those two did in Indy. Remember, too: Notre Dame's Michael Mayer ran 4.70 -- not a brutal time for a tight end yet one that is reasonable for Kincaid to beat during his pro-day workout.
Arkansas (March 29)
Biggest opportunity: EDGE/LB Drew Sanders
Sanders didn't test in Indy but, of course, measured-in. A fixture in the first-round of mock drafts, the former Alabama-turned-Arkansas star was 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds with arms just over 32 inches. He's built like a tall off-ball 'backer but registerd 39 pressures on 148 pass-rush snaps, mostly as an edge rusher in 2022. He's bendy with burst and deceptive power.
Sanders will be able to show everyone how close he is athletically to Smith from Georgia, who tested like a fast wide receiver. With a strong showing at his pro day, Sanders can re-establish himself as the first off-ball linebacker/edge rusher hybrid in the class.
Texas Tech (March 29)
Biggest opportunity: EDGE Tyree Wilson
It feels like Wilson can't gain that much. He can. Seeing as though Will Anderson Jr. measured in much smaller than him and only ran 4.60 in the 40, the opportunity to be the first non-quarterback off the board may be there for the taking for Wilson, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 258 pounds with arms nearly 36 inches long. Simply put, he's a more imposing physical specimen at the position than the highly decorated Anderson.
If he tests like a premier athlete, the idea will percolate that Wilson could actually be selected ahead of Anderson in late April.
Kansas State (March 31)
Biggest opportunity: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, RB Deuce Vaughn
In a deep, talented edge-rusher class, Anudike-Uzomah has yet to showcase his athletic chops in a measured setting, and he'll get his opportunity to do so late in the process, which always bodes well for prospects. At 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds with arms over 33 inches, he checked the measurables box at the combine. He'll need to prove he has first-round-caliber tools to be picked on Day 1 of the draft.
Then there's Vaughn, the impossibly small, lightning-quick back who became a living legend during his time in the Little Apple for routine juke-filled runs each Saturday. He measured in as the smallest player in officially recorded combine history at 5-foot-5 and 179 pounds. His 35-inch vertical was impressive, but his 9-foot-8 inch broad was average at best. Everyone wants to know, how fast is Vaughn? Mid 4.5 guy? Faster? Slower. He can solidify himself in the middle of Day 3 with a strong workout.
Pick Six Newsletter
Crafted By The Best NFL Experts
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Full Pro Day schedule
- Coastal Carolina
- Oregon State
- South Carolina
- Air Force
- Central Michigan
- Ferris State
- Michigan State
- Eastern Michigan
- Georgia Tech
- South Alabama
- Virginia Tech
- Iowa State
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Old Dominion
- San Jose State
- Penn State
- Boston College
- Ball State
- Arizona State
- North Carolina
- Boise State
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- West Virginia
- Southern Miss
- Mississippi State
- N.C. State
- Washington State
- East Carolina
- Texas A&M
- North Dakota State
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
- Wake Forest
- Fresno State
- Florida A&M
- Appalachian State
- Florida State
- South Dakota State
- Kansas State