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Marcus Lattimore similar to Willis McGahee entering draft

By Mark Gaughan

South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore ran through a series of agility drills at South Carolina's pro-day workout Wednesday in Columbia, S.C.

It was the highlight of the last big day of on-campus pro-day practice sessions leading up to the NFL Draft.

Lattimore's situation is similar to that of University of Miami running back Willis McGahee leading up to the 2003 draft. McGahee was viewed as a top 10 pick in the draft before tearing up his knee in a devastating injury in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. The Buffalo Bills picked him 23rd overall that April, and he sat out the entire 2003 season.

Lattimore might have been the top-rated running back in college football last season until he tore up his right knee on Oct. 27. Lattimore rushed for 1,197 yards and scored 19 touchdowns as a freshman for the Gamecocks in 2010. Lattimore also suffered a torn knee ligament in 2011, in the seventh game of the season. He came back from that injury to rush for 662 yards and 11 TDs in nine games last season. He missed the last four due to the injury.

Even without the latest injury, Lattimore probably was not going to be as highly rated as McGahee coming out of college. It's likely Lattimore will be a third-day pick, and eight to 10 running backs could be taken ahead of him.

Meanwhile, South Carolina outside linebacker DeVonte Holloman followed up his 40-yard dash time of 4.76 seconds at the NFL scouting combine with a run of 4.79 seconds Wednesday. He split time between strong safety and linebacker in his career and probably ranks as a fourth-round pick. Gamecocks safety D.J. Swearinger ran 4.67. He's probably a third-rounder.

Quarterback Matt Barkley worked out at the University of Southern California and completed 56 of 62 passes against no defense. Whoop-de-do. It''s hard to imagine what more NFL scouts need to see on Barkley.

He started 45 games over a four-year career. If NFL scouts didn't have a firm evaluation on him after talking with him in interviews at the combine, they never will get one. Southern California receiver Robert Woods, who could be a pick in the top half of the second round, opted not to run the 40, standing on his time of 4.51 seconds at the combine.

Brigham Young holds its pro day today.

There are some key prospects with injuries who have workouts scheduled in the next couple of weeks.

Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce, an intriguing prospect because of his ability to both catch and block, has a workout scheduled for April 4. He's recovering from a sports hernia. California receiver Keenan Allen, a likely first-round pick coming back from a knee injury, has a workout scheduled for April 9.


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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |