Draft evaluation process shifting gears

AP

With the calendar flipped this weekend, the 2018 NFL Draft evaluation process is about to enter its final phase before the April 26-28 annual selection meeting.

There are only a few pro days on college campuses left on the schedule this week, and most of the high-profile workouts have already come and gone.

Today’s pro day slate includes Indiana State, North Carolina A&T, and Southeast Missouri. Tuesday brings Alcorn State, Boise State, Duke, North Carolina, and Tulane. Wednesday offers Ball State, LSU, New Mexico State, Sacramento State, and Southern. Thursday brings  Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, and New Mexico. Friday’s the last day of the pro day calendar, and features Georgia Southern, Memphis, and South Alabama.

Other than at traditional draft prospect supplier LSU (Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and others) and Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, there aren’t many top prospects left to see.

That allows teams to focus on private workouts, which have to be conducted on college campuses. Not all players are willing to participate, since it represents one more opportunity to get hurt or offer things to lower their stock. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey turned down all those requests last year, and was selected eighth overall by the Panthers.

Otherwise, teams are bringing a few players in for visits to their facility (maximum of 30), and are working to finalize their draft boards. And also gossiping, and lying, and sending out smokescreens. Because that’s the bulk of what’s happening over the next three and a half weeks.