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Cincinnati Bearcats Pro Day Primer

When it comes to the NFL draft prospects only have time to make a public impact twice. Once is at the recently concluded NFL combine in Indianapolis, the other is at their pro days on campus. Because the Bearcats were shut out of the combine tomorrow is the big day for all of the departing Bearcats.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Top Prospect

Jeff Luc - The changing dynamics of football have made guys like Jeff Luc a dying breed. 10 years ago a thumping run stuffer like Luc would have had the chance to be selected in the top three or four rounds. Now Luc is going to have to sweat out the late rounds in the hopes that he gets selected. As off this writing Jeff is considered a 7th round or free agent pick.

Where Luc fits really comes down to what kind of defense the team that selects him wants to play. As a one gap run stuffer in a 3-4 Luc can be phenomenal, but if the team that selects him wants him to be a conventional cover 2 middle linebacker they will probably not like the results. As so many things in life are, it's all about the fit. Jeff has NFL skills, but its a matter of being placed in a situation where those skills can shine through.

Highest Ceiling

Eric Lefeld - Lefeld did not have the senior season that he was hoping for to say the least. He struggled mightily early in the year, and came up short in his biggest job interview of the year against Ohio State.* Lefeld found his footing as the year went on, and ended the year with another first team all conference nod, the third of his career, but he was notably better in 2013.

* It was Lefeld who was beaten by Joey Bosa on the play that first messed up Gunner Kiel's ribs

Though his senior year did not go according to plan Lefeld has all of the tools needed to have a prolonged NFL career as an offensive lineman, the question is at what position? For four years Lefeld held down the left tackle spot, but he will have to play elsewhere at the next level. Right tackle would seem to be the most logical fit given his dimensions. He could even slide inside to guard and play effectively provided that he is in a zone system.

Like Luc, Lefeld has the tools to have a meaningful NFL career, but getting him into the right context for his skills is going to be the battle, it always is. The fact that Lefeld is projected to be a undrafted free agent might actually play into his favor, because he can pick the team, the depth chart and perhaps most importantly the scheme that he is entering.

Most To Prove

Nick Temple - I make no bones about being firmly planted on the Nick Temple bandwagon, one of the first posts ever on this site was about Nick Temple committing to the Bearcats. I like everything about him and the way that he played the game. This could be delusional, but I think that Temple can carve out a niche in the NFL as a coverage linebacker for the right team. He isn't big or strong enough to be an every down linebacker, but he can make a living for himself on third downs. To make that happen he will have to run the fastest 40 of his life tomorrow.

There is precedent for a UC guy going from the fringes of the draft pool to a mid round pick on the strength of a phenomenal pro day, Adrien Robinson did it a few years ago. I really hope that Temple can make that happen for himself tomorrow.