BATON ROUGE – Thanks to an impressive pro day down, quarterback Zach Mettenberger, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jeremy Hill could be 2014 NFL draft day steals for the right team.
Mettenberger, 13 weeks removed from surgery on a torn ACL injury looked very impressive in throwing over 100 balls on Wednesday. In showing arm strength, velocity and accuracy, the 6’5, 229-pound gunslinger from Watkinsville, Georgia—and one-time Bulldog—could be taken as high as eighth overall by the Minnesota Vikings or the top of the second round.
Due to his background in both a vertical passing offense under former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who worked under current Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
While this may be the biggest reach in the NFL draft since Ryan Tannehill, Mettenberger would be a perfect fit for Minnesota. Before tearing his ACL, Mettenberger passed for 3,082 yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Another Tiger that really boosted his stock junior wideout Jarvis Landry. Landry, a 5’11, 205-pound second-team All-SEC wide receiver, caught 77 passes for 1,193 yards and ten touchdowns, including five 100-yard games.
While not as explosive and talented as his teammate and counterpart Odell Beckham Jr., Landry displayed excellent body control and great route-running that could enable a team to draft him as a possible slot/possession receiver on offense and a key contributor on special teams.
Perhaps the best LSU prospect of the bunch, the fore-mentioned Beckham Jr. secured his spot in the mid to late first-round thanks to a display of smoothness, good hands and ability to caught everything thrown his way. A 6’0, 194-pound flanker with quality speed, Beckham Jr. would be a great fit for a team in need of a quality number two wideout such as the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Lastly, Tigers running back, Jeremy Hill is also rising up mock drafts thanks to a solid season in rushing for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns. While not as highly touted as Carlos Hyde, Bishop Sankey or Dre Mason, Hill would be a perfect fit in either a zone-block running scheme or a traditional I-formation power formation.
At 6’1 and 233 pounds, Hill is built in the same mold as former SEC rival running back, Eddie Lacy in being both physical at the point of attack and the ability to slash either inside or outside and explode into the second level for big plays.
Which ever team lands him could use him either as a feature tailback or as a secondary complementary one.
With the draft less than a month away, don’t be surprised to hear the names of Mettenberger, Landry, Hill and Beckham Jr. on the lips of many as players to watch.
Robert D. Cobb Is the CEO/Founder/Senior Editor-In-Chief of the InscriberMag : Digital Magazine and a member of the PFWA(Pro Football Writers Association), please follow him on Twitter at @RC_TheInscriberMag