Minnesota Gophers Football Pro Day Primer

Oct 13, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Mike Rallis (26) and linebacker Keanon Cooper (4) tackles Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter (2) after making a catch in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Wildcats won 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota will tout nine graduating seniors, including MarQueis Gray, on Monday to NFL pro scouts.  Pro Day with take place at 8 a.m. at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex.

Of the nine players, only Gray participated in the NFL Combine last week in Indianapolis.

While Minnesota has not had great success in developing pro players like other Big Ten programs, the Gophers boast three possible draft selections although none are projected to be drafted within the first few rounds in April’s NFL Draft.

The Gophers have not had a player drafted since 2010 when Eric Decker and Nate Triplett were selected.

The Pro Day List:

  • Michael Carter (CB, 5’11”, 185 lbs.)
  • Keanon Cooper (LB, 6’0″, 220 lbs.)
  • MarQueis Gray (QB/WR, 6’4″, 245 lbs.)
  • Brandon Green (WR, 6’0″, 190 lbs.)
  • John Rabe (TE, 6’4″, 255 lbs.)
  • Mike Rallis (LB, 6’2″, 245 lbs.)
  • Spencer Reeves (LB, 6’2″, 230 lbs.)
  • Troy Stoudermire (CB, 5’10”, 200 lbs.)
  • Jordan Wettstein (K, 5’11”, 185 lbs.)

Michael Carter:

Sept 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Syracuse Orange tight end Ron Thompson (80) attempts to catch a pass over Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Michael Carter (23) in the second half at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Carter was highly recruited in the Class of 2009 out of high school, but he was a disappointment in his first three seasons as a Gopher.  According to former coaches, Carter had off the field issues.

But Carter changed his attitude in his senior season.  The cornerback blossomed as a starter and finished as a honorable mention for All-Big Ten this season.  His signature game came against Purdue when he had an interception return for a touchdown and deflected six passes.

He will have something to prove on Pro Day to show scouts that he is not college bust.  If he impresses, Carter has a chance to be selected in the draft.

Keanon Cooper:

During his senior year in high school, Cooper gained some weight and switched from safety to outside linebacker.  His speed was essential in recruiting, and Tim Brewster was able to pry him away from Texas Tech on National Signing Day in 2008.

The former four-star recruit was a standout throughout his career at Minnesota.  He started for three seasons, but his playmaking abilities diminished entering his senior year.

His speed is nothing special, and he does not possess the pass-rushing ability that linebackers are playing at in the next level.

Cooper will likely be picked up by an NFL practice squad if he decides to stick with football.

MarQueis Gray:

Dec 28, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray (5) drops back to pass against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first half of the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No one doubts Gray’s athleticism.

However, the Gophers did not utilize his skills the right way during his four seasons in the program.  He moved around the offense and was never settled in a position.

Teams adore his potential, but at what position they want him to play is currently unknown.

Gray has the best chance of being selected in April’s NFL draft.

Brandon Green:

Green is a four-star recruit that never stepped up to his potential in Minnesota.

Battling multiple knee injuries and instability from the quarterback position after former quarterback Adam Weber graduated, Green was ineffective.  Last season, he only accumulated six catches for 70 yards.

Green will be the primary target for Gray’s throws on Monday.

John Rabe:

After transferring from junior college, Rabe proved to be a solid asset to the Minnesota football program.

He was good in the red zone and had six touchdowns in two seasons.

After former tight end Eric Lair was picked up by an NFL practice squad last season, it would not be shocking to see Rabe also get added to a practice squad roster.

Mike Rallis:

July 28, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers player Mike Rallis during the 2011 Big Ten football media day at the Hyatt-McCormick Place. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Rallis has a feel-good story behind him on Pro Day.

He walked-on without a scholarship from Edina, Minn. and impressed the coaches so much that he became a fixture in the linebacking corp after he redshirted his freshman year.

Rallis was a proven leader in his career, but he lacks speed and footwork skills.

There is no denying that Rallis is a hard worker, but he is still unlikely to see the NFL field in his lifetime.

Spencer Reeves:

Reeves never displayed the abilities to break the starting lineup for Minnesota in his four seasons.

He is nothing more than a graduating senior on Monday’s Pro Day.

Troy Stoudermire:

Between his ability to play multiple positions on the field and his knack to return kickoffs, Stoudermire is likely to be picked up by an NFL team.  With that said, it would be a surprise if is drafted.

Stoudermire was consistent at cornerback during his senior season.  The former wide receiver had a surprising sense of awareness at the position.

The cornerback also has something that scouts cherish: speed.

Sept 8, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Gophers defensive back Troy Stoudermire (2) gets tackled by New Hampshire Wildcats kicker Mike MacArthur (13) after running a kick off out of the end zone in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Expect scouts to key in on his abilities on Monday to see if he deserves a chance at the next level.

Jordan Wettstein:

The kicker made only 63.6 percent of his field goals and missed an extra point last season.

Wettstein has the ability to force touchbacks, but his inconsistent leg will decide his fate.