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03.02.2015 07:33
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<P>Tre Mason goes into NFL Draft with chip on his shoulder</P><P></P><P>Tre Mason is expected to be selected in the second or third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.(Photo: Amanda Sowards/Advertiser)Toughness won't be an issue for NFL teams contemplating selecting Mason during the NFL Draft. He played through a sprained left ankle in several games last season, including the BCS National Championship game, and a wrist injury for much of the Iron Bowl, his historic SEC Championship game performance and the national title game.</P><P></P><P>The Heisman Trophy finalist wore a walking boot on his left foot in the week following his collegiate career best 304 yards and four touchdowns against Missouri</P><P></P><P>"Once wholesale nfl jerseys we got to practice after Christmas, he never missed a practice," Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton said. "I didn't even know anything about a wrist injury."</P><P></P><P>Ah yes, the infamous wrist injury.</P><P></P><P>All the reports only serve as further motivation for Mason, who had a program record 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns on 317 carries last season.</P><P></P><P>"When you have as many carries as he did and to say that he missed four or five days of pre Christmas practice, after the SEC Championship game, that's a pretty tough sucker to me," Horton said. "I mean golly. I coached him and I didn't see any injury issues at all."</P><P></P><P>Horton charts how many yards his running backs gain after contact, or bull yards in coaching lingo. He said bull yards accounted for 45 percent of Mason's production last season.</P><P></P><P>"He's very good with the tough yards," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "He falls forward a lot."</P><P></P><P>The hope for Mason this weekend is that he doesn't fall too far in the draft pecking order.</P><P></P><P>He's considered a second or third round pick, meaning he's almost certainly going to be chosen during Friday evening's portion of the draft.</P><P></P><P>"His blocking needs to improve," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said. "But he caught the ball better and he's an excellent runner. He's a Ray Rice type runner I believe. I would say third round for him."</P><P></P><P>Teams who pass on Mason are doing so at their own risk.</P><P></P><P>He's been "fueled by doubt" since his days at Park Vista High School in Palm Beach, Florida, when people said he was too small to play in college. Now it's pass blocking or a wrist injury.</P>

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