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A look ahead to the 2012 Rutgers pro day

Let's quickly go over some of the departing players from last year's squad.

Mohamed Sanu - the first round prospect will draw the most attention and media coverage, but most of that will be overblown. Sanu is what he is; a fantastic possession receiver who is surefire, productive NFL starter in a year or two. Teams will not be fooled if he runs a particularly fast 40 time tomorrow; school tracks are often faster than the official Combine surface, and that is assuming they put that much weight into the metric anyway. It matters, and it definitely matters more for deep threats, but most teams (barring the Raiders under Al Davis) tend to look at players more holistically, without valuing deep speed above all other factors. Teams know what Mohamed can do. His ultimate draft status will depend on his film, not whatever time he clocks.

Justin Francis - Francis, along with Des Wynn, was reportedly red-flagged as an injury risk at the Combine. Their medical tests from Indianapolis more than anything will be telling as to where they go. As is, Francis definitely should be a late round pick as a defensive end. It is easy to speculate and imagine that Greg Schiano would want to bring someone like him in to help the other Buccaneers learn their new defense, but Francis will draw plenty of other interest as well. He was very productive as a player, and has good burst, but there is not a ton to suggest that he will put up eye-popping numbers.

Desmond Wynn - Wynn, like Francis, is hoping for a clean bill of health more than anything. If there are still any lingering questions from the Combine, teams will want to see how they are moving. Wynn had an inconsistent career as a guard, but really opened some eyes in the Pinstripe Bowl against Iowa State playing left tackle, which is the most prestigious spot on the offensive line. Most critical for him will be some of the agility drills to see how quick he is on his feet. The key factors for him are athleticism and arm length (measured at 34 inches in Indy.)

Manny Abreu - getting past the Combine invites, now we start to get to the players who will actually benefit the most from getting additional attention from NFL scouts. Abreu looked very good as a strongside backer as a junior before getting hurt. Last year, Greg Schiano wanted to upgrade the team speed on defense, and Abreu was seen as the best fit as an attacker; in theory, defensive end should have freed him up from coverage duties. The position involves a lot of run containment too though, and while Abreu did well there, he didn't provide all that much in terms of pass rush. Look for Abreu to work out as an outside linebacker, both as a pass rusher for 3-4 teams, and as a weakside backer for 4-3 teams. If you are down on Manny because of his relatively disappointing season, keep in mind that defensive end isn't really a standout position in Schiano's defense. This is basically the Khaseem Greene argument all over again. Greene is good, but at Rutgers, the will is always in a position to make plays. Where would Abreu be now if he had played WLB last year instead of DE?

David Rowe - in theory Rowe should be a borderline-draftable prospect that would be on the NFL's radar. At worst, he would get a few cups of coffee in a camp ala Ron Girault. Rowe has chosen to walk away from playing though to get started on his next career as a coach.

Joe Martinek - Joe might get a few looks as a third down specialist, with his respectable mix of receiving out of the backfield and power running.

Art Forst - it is quite difficult to evaluate Forst, as he probably was hurt more than any player not named Tom Savage by former offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca wrecking the Rutgers offense two years ago. Like Abreu to an extent, Forst never lived up to his billing as a blue chipper, but he deserves credit for working his way back onto the field as a senior. In theory, teams should at least be intrigued by his size, although I never really bought into the rumors that Forst was on the NFL's radar a few years back. Give him this at least, he's a better player than Sam Young, who somehow was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys for no discernible reason a few years back.

Desmond Stapleton - how do you go from the team's best lineman to fighting for playing time in a span of a year? One thing working in his favor is that he might fare better as an interior lineman

Caleb Ruch - like Forst, Ruch earned back a starting job as a senior. Despite his experience at center, most teams will look at him as a guard due to his inconsistent snapping.

Edmond Laryea - Laryea has switched between fullback and linebacker throughout his career, and has experienced a few injury issues.