With the NFL draft just a month away, Stanford's NFL hopefuls took to the field last Thursday hoping to impress scouts from every NFL team. Let's take a look at how the former Card players fared and speculate how each guy is trending as draft day approaches.
Zach Ertz: Stock up. Ertz's draft stock wasn't necessarily hurting before Pro Day, but he did a nice job improving on all his agility numbers, including cutting his 40 time down from 4.76 to an 4.57. That's just the boost he needed to keep his draft stock trending in the late 1st round or high 2nd round. At this point, NFL teams are just going to have to choose if they like Ertz or Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert better, because you can't go wrong with either one. Yahoo!'s Doug Farrar does suggest a way to pick between the two:
To me, Ertz vs. Eifert is a system choice. Eifert if you flex your TE out; Ertz if you want more the "traditional" type.— SC_DougFarrar (@SC_DougFarrar) March 25, 2013
Levine Toilolo: Stock up. The big fella did a nice job of drawing scouts' attention at Pro Day. His strength and agility numbers all improved (he ran the 40 in 4.75 seconds) and squads seemed impressed by him. For example, both he and Ertz spent more than 20 minutes after the pro day was over catching passes with scouts from the Raiders and Bengals. While neither TE has the "character issues" that would typically put them on the radar of those two teams, both squads are actually nice fits for the two players. Ertz could easily be the Raiders' 2nd-round pick, while Toilolo would definitely fit in with the Bengals as the backup to Jermaine Gresham.
Stepfan Taylor: Stock up. After a bad combine, Taylor ran much better (the 4.5-4.6 range) and at least gave scouts a number that they can know is accurate. Taylor's speed and size aren't his greatest assets - but I think teams will be ready to draft him in the 4th and 5th rounds this year. It's a bit of a weak running back class, so Taylor's ability to do it all will ultimately make one team very happy with the value they got.
Chase Thomas: Stock down. It's easy to say that Thomas' postseason hasn't gone exactly as planned. For an outside linebacker, Thomas 4.8-second 40 isn't going to wow anybody, and he's probably stuck somewhere near the 5th round now. He's a very good player and will definitely be a capable backup, but teams are looking for a little more speed and explosiveness than Thomas has shown so far.
Terrence Stephens: Stock up. Stephens probably was overlooked by a lot of people given the fact that he didn't play the last three games of the season, but he showcased huge strength (34 bench press reps), a necessary prerequisite to playing defensive tackle in the NFL. He's nowhere near as big as many of the DTs in the NFL and in this draft class, but Pro Day definitely helped make teams more aware of Stephens.
Daniel Zychlinski: Stock up. After suffering an injury in the last game of the regular season against UCLA, Big Z was back out on the field and seemed to kick well at Pro Day. Generally speaking, NFL teams don't draft punters, so Zychlinski will probably sign with a team after the draft and try and kick his way to a roster spot somewhere during the preseason. He's flashed a great ability to pin opponents inside the 20-yard line this season, using the drop-kick style with great success. He's definitely a good pro prospect, but there are only a few punting jobs open in any given year.
Terrence Brown: Stock up. Brown had nice agility numbers at Pro Day, posting a good shuttle run time as well as a big vertical leap (36.5 inches). It's hard to say that he's better than a late-round prospect at this point, but I think he probably earned a few high marks from scouts. Last year, Johnson Bademosi's good pro day earned him a spot with the Browns, and, well, Brown could easily do the same thing.
Sam Schwarzstein: Stock down. The center tweaked his hamstring while running the 40, which definitely hurt him in more ways than one. He's a good player with a lot of strength and good plays on tape, but I doubt NFL teams will be clamoring for his services. He'll be hoping that one of his coaches can put in a good word for him - and his coaches certainly will - to help him find a chance in a mini-camp or training camp.
Drew Terrell: Stock up. Terrell also showed that he had some good agility and a strong 36 inch vertical at Pro Day, some good measurables for a guy that can already do a lot - block, run routes from the slot and return punts. That makes him a valuable asset for anyone, even though he isn't that big.
Jamal Rashad-Patterson: Stock neutral. Patterson ran pretty well, looked strong and his size (6-foot-2, 213 pounds) may make some NFL teams curious, but I'd be a little surprised if he did enough at the pro day to earn a spot on an NFL roster.
Alex Debniak: Stock up. Debniak never played much during his time at Stanford for a multitude of reasons - most notably a knee injury and the fact that he switched back and forth between running back and linebacker - but he looked extremely strong and fast at Pro Day (his 40 time was around 4.5-4.6). Thanks to his good pro day and the fact that he was Stanford's special teamer of the year in 2011, I'd be pretty surprised if he doesn't wind up in some team's training camp as a special teamer.
Harold Bernard: Stock neutral. Bernard isn't really seen as a player that will find a home in the NFL, but he had good speed and agility at Pro Day, and he might be able to find a spot in some team's training camp.
For now, all of these players will have to wait until the NFL Draft, which gets underway on Thursday, April 25th at 8 p.m. EST in New York City.