by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)
Northwestern will hold its annual Pro Day on Tuesday, March 5, and while it won’t be the most anticipated Pro Day in the country, it’s certainly an important day for NU’s NFL Draft hopefuls — none of whom were invited to the NFL Combine.
Despite having the winningest class in NU history, the class of 2013 isn’t high on NFL Draft talent. It’s an even lighter talent pool than last year’s “winningest class in NU history,” which produced just two players who were drafted — Jeremy Ebert of New England and Drake Dunsmore of Tampa Bay. Al Netter also earned a spot on the San Francisco practice squad, and Jordan Mabin did the same in Baltimore before he was cut.
This year, NU has seven players participating in Pro Day — DT Brian Arnfelt, CB Quinn Evans, WR Demetrius Fields, K Steve Flaherty, LB David Nwabuisi, OT Pat Ward and DE Quentin Williams — but as of now, none of them have particularly high NFL Draft stock. Evans, Flaherty and Arnfelt aren’t even listed on ESPN’s NFL Draft player list, and the top ranked player — Brian Mulroe as the No. 31 OG — isn’t even pursuing the draft.
CBS has just Mulroe, Nwabuisi and Ward listed, with Mulroe as the No. 25 OG, Nwabuisi as the No. 36 OLB and Ward as the No. 45 OT. So if any of these players have hope of getting drafted, they must perform well at Pro Day in order to get noticed. That doesn’t happen often, but such was the case for Jeremy Ebert last year.
Ebert wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, but he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, which was good enough to help him get drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots. Right now, the national scouting services aren’t projecting there to be any Eberts in this year’s class. Tuesday will be the first and final chance for these NU grads to prove them wrong.