The six previous Tigers I've profiled in advance of the 2015 NFL Draft, starting Thursday, are the most prominent players hoping to hear their names called this weekend, but they're not the only ones. Here are a couple of departed Tigers that should at least get a few calls about free agent deals or try-out camps.
Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling Martin finds a way to hang on to a roster this fall. It wouldn't shock me if he even finds his way into the draft. He doesn't quite have all of the ideal NFL measurables for safety, aside from size, but Martin is more athletic than he seems. He led his high school team to a state title in basketball as a point guard, and despite being an afterthought in recruiting, was able to snag time in the most loaded secondary in LSU history. His growing pains could be very evident at times, but by his senior season things seemed to click and he made more than his share of big plays for the Tigers in 2014. If he'd had the benefit of a redshirt year, it would be fair to expect some bigger things out of him this season as a senior. It's not hard to imagine him fitting in as a Tampa-Two style safety, which doesn't necessarily have to cover as much area as in other defenses.
Rasco had to have major surgery on both of his shoulders at LSU, and it really prevented him from ever reaching the potential he showed as a big-time recruit. Still, as a senior he developed into a stout run defender despite being a little on the small side, who played hard on almost every snap. But ultimately, he's caught in that no-man's land of being too small to be a 40-front end and not really athletic enough to be a 30-front outside linebacker. Still, somebody will give him a chance to prove himself, and with some hard work on special teams he might be able to land a job.
More than anything, Porter's likely to have some medical red flags, as his late-2014 leg injury was allegedly serious. Still, he's managed to at least throw up some impressive bench numbers, especially for a center that wasn't particularly big, and thought of more for his quickness than his strength. But he's played a lot of football here, and with center becoming more and more valuable in the NFL that might count for something.
The true fullback is a dying position in the NFL, and that's both a good and a bad thing for ol' Bonesaw. On the one hand, there just aren't many teams that are looking for one. On the other, the ones that are will likely be giving him a hard look. He was always steady for LSU, showing enough value as a receiver to catch the occasional pass and generally getting the job done as a blocker. Coaches will love him, it's just a question of whether or not he can make the most of his opportunity.
Another player whose position is somewhat out of style, that of the true blocking tight end. Stokes isn't big enough to transition to the line, like Dillon Gordon might in the future, but he's still a big, strong tight end that helped set the edge for many a big LSU run the last two seasons. Players that make NFL rosters at as a blocking tight end or fullback are usually players that add special teams value, work their ass off and adapt to the playbook quickly. Stokes will at least have that in his hands.
He's undersized, but not as slow as you think. Welter played a lot of football here in Baton Rouge, and I imagine that at least gets him into a tryout camp.