SI.com's draft analyst
Four pro days dotted the schedule today, but they were more individual workouts than anything else.
Fifteen teams showed up in Madison to watch Wisconsin center Peter Konz perform. The junior, who struggled late in the 2011 season with a dislocated left ankle, did not run or complete any of the jumps as he continues to rehab his injury. He did 23 reps on the bench press, then participated in position drills.
Konz reportedly looked smooth and fluid throughout the drills, showing no ill-effects from the injury. The teams on hand feel Konz can play any of the three interior offensive line spots and even line up at right tackle in a pinch. He'll likely be drafted late in the first round.
Badger guard Kevin Zeitler also took part in position drills and showcased strength and terrific power. He's expected to go off the board early in Round 2.
In Iowa, defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who is returning from a labrum injury, stood out for the teams on hand. His marks included 4.93 in the 40, with a very quick 10-yard split at 1.59. Daniels touched 36.5-inches in the vertical jump and 9-11 in the broad jump. Those were impressive numbers for Daniels, who tipped the scales at 293 pounds, a good weight for a defensive line prospect who's been characterized as undersized.
Former USC defensive lineman Armond Armstead worked out in front of 11 teams at Sacramento State. He measured 6-feet, 4.5-inches and 289 pounds and was timed at 5.01 seconds in the 40 and posted a 3-cone best of 7.48 seconds. His other marks included a 30-inch vertical jump and 9-10 broad. Armstead later looked very athletic in position drills.
Armstead was a late addition to the draft and is an interesting story. He entered the 2011 season ranked as the top senior prospect on the Trojans, but ended up sitting on the sidelines with an illness last year. He chose to leave USC after a falling out with the coaching staff and entered the draft only after deciding not to transfer to another school.
Armstead offers the size and skill set to line up at several defensive line positions, but must show he hasn't lost the edge on his game after missing an entire campaign.
The second pro day for Arizona State is over and the reports for Brock Osweiler have been positive.
Scouts said the junior passer looked good today and was accurate on most of his throws. Osweiler, who possesses one of the strongest arms at the quarterback position, did not have receivers reaching for passes.
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict also improved his 40 time from the combine. I've been told the consensus on his times ranged between 4.90 and 4.94 seconds, though additional sources said the linebacker ran as fast as 4.85 seconds.
Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner erased any skepticism that lingered after missing the combine due to pneumonia, turning in a terrific workout today.
Wagner's testing numbers would've matched just about any linebacker who worked out in Indianapolis. He measured just over 6-feet tall and weighed 235 pounds. His early marks included a vertical jump of 39 ½ inches, 11 feet in the broad jump and 24 reps on the bench. Wagner's 40 times were as fast as 4.45 seconds, and he clocked 7.03 seconds in the three cone and 4.2 seconds in the short shuttle.
During position drills, Wagner looked incredibly smooth and quick in all his movements. Most importantly, he showed well in coverage drills, as Wagner got depth on pass drops and made several nice plays down the field. He also displayed good hands catching the ball, which impressed scouts, many who branded him as a two-down, run defender. The versatility and completeness shown in his pro day workout will push Wagner into the top half of the second round.
The final day of March is highlighted by a pair of important workouts on the pro day schedule.
In Logan, Utah scouts will finally get an opportunity to watch linebacker Bobby Wagner perform. The Utah State senior was in a hospital bed during the combine suffering from a bout of pneumonia yet is ready to go today.
At Arizona State, much maligned junior linebacker Vontaze Burfict is expected to run the 40 today and try to improve on his time of 5.0 seconds from the combine. Today is also a make or break day for Brock Osweiler, the junior quarterback who did not throw at the combine or participate in Arizona State's first pro day. The big-armed signal caller is expected to throw for scouts, who grade Osweiler all over draft boards.
The pro-day schedule for Thursday has come to a close.
At BYU, several of the senior prospects performed better than expected, yet it was a little known former basketball player from Westminster College who turned heads today.
Les Brown, a former college basketball player who has worked in the accounting department for Huntsman Gay Global Capital the past two years, wowed scouts with his athletic skills. The former NAIA Academic All-American, who never played college football, but lined up at small forward for the Westminster Griffins, measured 6-feet-4, 238 pounds and, despite a sprained ankle, ran a 4.44 in the 40. His other marks included a 39-inch vertical jump and 10-3 broad jump.
Scouts project Brown, whose younger brother Braden plays offensive tackle for BYU, as a tight end. During position drills, he did not struggle catching the ball. After the workout, he was privately interviewed by a handful of teams. There remains a question of whether Brown, who graduated from high school in 2006, is even eligible for the draft or will be declared a free agent. Regardless, he caused enough of a stir to get into a camp this summer.
Defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo, who only has one year of starting experience under his belt, looked good in position drills. The 325-pound plugger moved exceptionally well laterally and showed good power in his game. Several people commented how uncommon it was to see such a big-bodied person effortlessly move in every direction.
Offensive tackle Matt Reynolds, who struggled through his combine workout with a sprained ankle, also stood out in position drills. He was smooth and displayed solid footwork in pass protection drills. Some of his marks from today included 7.63 in the three cone and 4.64 in the short shuttle. Reynolds, who started at left tackle for BYU, is getting looks at right tackle and guard from NFL teams.
Several small school players also turned in good workouts.
Jewel Hampton, the former Iowa Hawkeye who struggled with injuries before transferring to Southern Illinois, looked very impressive at his pro-day workout. Hampton, who measured 5-9 and 215, posted a 4.47 in the 40 and vertical jump of 33 inches. His other marks included 6.9 seconds in the three cone and 4.2 in the short shuttle. Hampton rushed for 1,121 yards last season on his way to winning all-Conference honors. He plays to his size and speed and is a legitimate NFL prospect with next level skills, yet needs to show some durability on the field.
Northwestern State cornerback Jeremy Lane has been building some late draft buzz and proved why today.
His marks included 4.48 in the 40, 4.1 in the short shuttle as well as an impressive vertical jump of 42 inches and a broad jump which measured 10-10. Lane, who broke into the starting line-up on a full-time basis in 2011, caught the attention of scouts after a standout game against LSU last season. Thus far, the cornerback will be traveling to visit eight NFL teams before the draft.
Southern Connecticut defensive lineman Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, known simply as Ike, wowed scouts during his workout. Measuring 6-3½ and 288, he posted a vertical jump of 38 inches, a 40 time of 4.94 and three-cone mark of 7.06. Igbinosun has a versatile game as both a run stopper (58 tackles last season) and pass rusher (12 tackles for loss and seven sacks).
The 40 times for Alabama running back Trent Richardson from today's pro day were all over the place, ranging from a fast of 4.45 seconds to as slow as 4.61 seconds. So what gives? Unlike the combine, there is no real timing mechanism to clock players in the 40 during pro-day. Basically a group of scouts sit at the finish line with stopwatches in hand, timing each participant as they cross the line. Most teams use the times recorded by their scout on the scene. When the 40 is complete most of the scouts gather together and share the times they've recorded for the prospects who ran. A happy medium between the fastest and slowest 40 time is found, hence the "official" pro day 40 time. Still, teams will use the time clocked by their scouts at the workout. The times posted for Richardson on the SI.com tracker were readings from the stopwatches of several scouts at the finish line of the 40. I've since received additional confirmation from a separate team at the workout who timed Richardson between 4.58 and 4.62 seconds.
Big swings in 40 times from pro days are not unusual, yesterday's South Carolina pro day being a perfect example. The times for receiver Alshon Jeffery were initially reported as 4.37 seconds, then 4.53, before an "official" time of 4.49/4.50 was found.
The Alabama pro day has come to an end for the top three prospects who participated.
Though he failed to run an elite 40 time, Trent Richardson showed why he's considered far and away the best running back in the draft during position drills. He was fluid and smooth changing direction and practiced with his feet underneath him all morning. He moved his frame with great balance and displayed a quick change of direction. Richardson ran solid routes in pass catching drills, catching the ball extremely well and consistently grabbing the pass away from his frame. During blocking drills Richardson showed terrific power, at one point knocking a scout from the Cleveland Browns to the ground. Richardson did not answer the concerns about his lack of breakaway speed, but showed every other trait necessary to be a feature running back in the NFL.
Mark Barron had his moments during position drills. For the most part Barron looked very fluid moving about the field, displaying a good change of the direction and the ability to quickly flip his hips transitioning from moving backwards to running forwards. Barron was always on balance and looked very athletic on the field. He needs to improve his backpedal as Barron was a little stiff moving in reverse and the big safety showed little burst in drills and looked more like a one speed player. Considering he underwent double hernia surgery a little more than two months ago it was a solid performance by Barron, who solidified himself as a mid-to-late first round pick.
Opinions on Courtney Upshaw's workout are sure to be varied, but the productive college defender showed little in the way of speed and quickness during position drills. In many of the drills which required Upshaw to move laterally he struggled with his balance and seemed to trip over his feet. He displayed a minimal burst of speed and his change of direction was only adequate. During bag drills Upshaw displayed great punch and power. Upshaw, whose official 40 time came in at 4.78 seconds, is still likely to be selected in the first round, but his limited speed and lateral movement skills will narrow the number of teams willing to draft him in the top 32 .
Another big pro day on the calendar with two important workouts that could shape the first round.
In Alabama all eyes are on Trent Richardson, Courtney Upshaw and Mark Barron, three players who had yet to run the 40 for scouts. In the case of Barron, the safety has been recovering from offseason hernia surgery and hadn't done a workout of any kind for NFL teams.
Richardson, who is still only 75 percent after undergoing minor knee surgery after the national title game, struggled to break the 4.6-second barrier in the 40, timing an unofficial best of 4.59 seconds. The results for Courtney Upshaw were worse, as the feisty defender could not break the 4.8-second mark, timing 4.82 unofficially. Mark Barron's best time thus far was 4.55 seconds.
Down in College Station, Texas quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who struggled with a broken bone in his foot and missed both the Senior Bowl and combine, will throw for scouts today.
The pro day at South Carolina is over, and the Gamecocks' top four prospects all left a tremendous impression on the 32 teams on hand.
Melvin Ingram continues to receive rave reviews for his display of athleticism and football ability. Ingram was worked through defensive line and linebacker drills today and, according to one source at the workout, it was an A+ performance. He was described today as being a "freakish athlete" combining quickness, balance and tremendous movement skills. During coverage drills Ingram's ability to swivel his hips and transition from moving backward to running forward was comparable to many of the defensive backs who worked out. His explosion and ability to stay on his feet while swiftly moving in every direction wowed the teams in attendance. Ingram has solidified himself as a top-10 pick, but the question is, will the playmaking defender break into the draft's first six picks?
For the most part receiver Alshon Jeffery leaves the workout with improved opinions from teams than when he started this morning. His official 40 times are being charted as 4.49/4.50 seconds, and Jeffery posted an impressive three-cone time of 6.71 seconds. His other marks included a short-shuttle of 4.09 seconds and 60-yard shuttle of 11.10 seconds. Jeffery came to the workout looking buff at 6-2 ½ and 213 pounds. Scouts were impressed with his conditioning and the way he proceeded through the workout. During position drills Jeffery caught just about everything thrown in his direction, plucking the ball away from his body and effortlessly making receptions. His route running is still suspect, as Jeffery struggled to quickly get in then out of breaks, and its a skill he needs to improve. Overall the effort today is likely to push the big receiver back into the top part of round two.
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore stood on most of his combine numbers but was impressive in position drills. Gilmore was fluid and smooth in all his mechanics and displayed terrific quickness breaking to the ball. There were several people who told me last night that Gilmore will compete to be the second cornerback selected in next month's draft after Morris Claiborne of LSU.
Safety Antonio Allen also watched his draft stock improve today. Allen timed in the mid-4.5s today in the 40, an improvement over his combine hand time of 4.58 seconds. During drills he displayed a quick backpedal and fluid hip turn, all important for Allen, who lined up at a hybrid linebacker position last season for the Gamecocks and was rarely asked to make plays moving in reverse.
Finally, former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia turned in a noteworthy performance. Still a fan favorite, Garcia was greeted with loud cheers and a standing ovation from the Gamecock faithful as he entered the field for the workout. His testing numbers were impressive as Garcia measured 6-2 and 218 pounds, then posted marks of 31 ½ inches in the vertical jump, 4.3 seconds in the short shuttle and 7.26 seconds in the three-cone. Garcia's throwing was equally effective, as several noticed his improved passing mechanics and the ability to drive the ball downfield. Garcia delivered deep passes which had terrific velocity and were right on the money. His ability to place the longer throws into the hands of receivers without having them twist or break stride to catch the ball was impressive. Garcia missed on just four of the almost 50 passes he threw today. He's already scheduled to privately work out for a trio of NFL teams.
The anticipated workout of South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery is almost over, and thus far the reviews have been mixed. Jeffery weighed in at 213 pounds this morning, three less than his combine weight. His vertical jump touched 36 ½ inches, slightly better than the average of 35 7/8 inches for the wideouts who jumped at the combine. Unofficially, his broad jump measured 10-2, again slightly better than the average of 9-11 from receivers at the combine.
His 40 times averaged between a high of 4.55 seconds on his first attempt to a low of 4.47 seconds on the second run. Those in attendance said Jeffery seemed to stumble a bit at the start of his second run. All 32 teams are represented at the workout and the players are about to start position drills.
After a slow start to the pro day calendar the schedule picks up steam today, as South Carolina takes the field for NFL scouts. All eyes will be on receiver Alshon Jeffery, who did not run at the combine and is a prospect watching his draft stock drop. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive lineman/outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, both first round picks, are expected to take part in position drills. Former Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia, who was dismissed from the program midway through the 2011 campaign, will also be taking part in the pro day workout.
From yesterday comes word that Coastal Carolina cornerback Josh Norman, who performed brilliantly at the Shrine Game only to run poorly at the combine, improved his 40 time significantly during pro-day. Norman ran in the mid 4.5s (4.57 seconds) on a wet grass surface. The time is likely to be lowered by scouts to adjust for the poor conditions. Norman also lowered his three-cone time to 6.8 seconds, three-tenths from his combine mark of 7.1 seconds. Why the difference? Sources say the times Norman ran yesterday are more in line with his abilities, and the small-school corner was just a little bit tight at the combine.
At the Arkansas State pro day, linebacker DeMario Davis, who ran brilliantly at the combine, improved his 40 time by clocking as fast as 4.46 seconds yesterday, compared to a personal best of 4.49 seconds from Indianapolis. Davis later did position drills. It should be noted that the 6-2, 235-pound linebacker has always been penciled in as a weakside defender in a 4-3 alignment, but is now getting long looks from 3-4 teams.
Last Friday during the Southern Mississippi pro day, sleeper prospect Cordarro Law performed much better than scouts anticipated. Law, who accumulated 48 tackles for loss and 23 sacks the past three seasons, was branded as slow and unathletic by scouting services entering the season. He put those criticisms to rest, timing 4.74 seconds in the 40, 4.32 seconds in the short shuttle and posting 23 reps on the bench. Measuring 6-1 ½ and 257 pounds, the productive defender is sure to get late-round consideration.
Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis, who threw well at the combine, had another strong passing session during pro day and is also looking like a solid late-round pick.
A very light schedule on Friday ends what was a hectic week of pro days.
Nearly 20 teams traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the Vanderbilt pro day and concentrated on three prospects.
Cornerback Casey Hayward and safety Sean Richardson stood on most of their numbers from the combine, but completed 25 minutes of position drills. Hayward was solid in ball drills, displaying natural cover skills and catching every pass thrown to him. Richardson, who measured 6-2 1/2 and weighed 214 pounds today, looked comfortable moving in reverse and changing direction. In a draft void of safety talent, Richardson could surprise.
The buzz around the workout centers on sleeper Tim Fugger.
The Commodores' top pass rusher, Fugger posted 13.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks last season. Several NFL teams project the 6-3 1/2, 248-pound college defensive end to outside linebacker and an athletic workout was needed to place Fugger into the late rounds. He responded today by running both his 40s under 4.6 seconds, with a best of 4.55. This was after completing 29 reps on the bench. His times of 6.97 in the three-cone and 4.10 in the short shuttle were both solid marks.
Afterward, Fugger was put through defensive line and linebacker drills and looked effective in both. He was fast in pass rush drills, but also looked fluid and smooth dropping off the line in pass coverage drills. He displayed little stiffness in his game, which was a concern entering the workout.
Fugger's versatility to line up in a three-point stance or stand up over tackle will surely entice teams on the draft's final day.
• Another long day of pro-day workouts has come to a close as the excitement of Andrew Luck's passing workout gave way to the position drills of his teammates.
David DeCastro snapped the ball to Luck during the passing drills and the reviews were poor. DeCastro struggled with the shotgun snaps as the spirals were not clean or tight getting back to Luck. Yet during the position drills the big blocker displayed terrific footwork and movement skills. He was smooth moving laterally yet also strong. Scouts left the workout thinking that while DeCastro does not have a future at center in the NFL he can line up at either guard or right tackle. The latter will most definitely boost his draft stock if enough teams in the top 12 of the draft have a similar opinion.
Junior tackle Jonathan Martin started the workout strong, showing solid footwork and more importantly, blocking with good fundamentals. He was consistent bending his knees throughout the drills and showed well in pass protection. Martin became winded as the session progressed, but the feeling at the workout was he locked himself up as a first-round pick.
Scouts, coaches and general managers were amazed at the athleticism displayed by tight end Coby Fleener. Despite a gimpy ankle he played to his 4.5 speed during drills. Fleener caught the ball well and easily extended to make catches in the end zone. He was constantly on balance and practiced with tremendous body control. Did Fleener do enough to secure himself as a first-round pick? The opinions of many leaving the workout was Fleener is not a three down defender as his blocking is a liability. If a team is looking for a one-dimensional pass catching tight end at the end of round one, then he's your guy.
Defensive lineman Matthew Masifilo also turned in a solid workout. After completing 38 reps on the bench he showed a lot of skill in position drills. Masifilo has the ability to play in the NFL and was highly rated after a terrific junior campaign. He performed below expectations last season and some question his passion for the game, which has raised a few red flags.
During the South Dakota State pro-day receiver Dale Moss certainly met, and even exceeded expectations. Moss measured 6 feet, 3.5 inches and 213 pounds, posted a vertical jump of 41.5 inches and broad jump of 10 feet, 10 inches. His forty time clocked at 4.45 seconds then Moss ran an amazingly fast three cone time of 6.32 seconds and 60 yard shuttle of 10.82 seconds. One scout at the workout mentioned in seven years of attending pro day and combine workouts Moss' three cone time was the fastest he's witnessed. Moss was then run through about a dozen pass routes and asked to catch the ball.
What makes this story so intriguing is Moss was a member of the SDSU basketball team and never played college football until 2011. In his first and only season on the football field with the Jackrabbits he led the team in receiving with 61 receptions for 949 receiving yards and six touchdowns and Moss started just nine of 11 games. His upside is enormous and Moss worked his way into the draft's final day with his performance today.
• The Boise State pro day, characterized as low key by most in attendance, finished up earlier this afternoon.
As reported earlier, Billy Winn was the only combine participant to re-run the 40, and turned in significantly better times. Tyler Shoemaker, the Broncos' leading receiver last season and a prospect not invited to Indianapolis, ran better than expected in the 40, posting times in the mid-4.4-second area. He later looked solid in pass-catching drills, displaying soft and reliable hands.
Two players on the rise, Shea McClellin and Tyrone Crawford, both stood out in position drills. Each was worked in defensive line and linebacker drills and the reports have been positive. Scouts on hand said both players moved exceptionally well and really stood out in linebacker drills. That's important, as both McClellin and Crawford primarily played the defensive end position at Boise.
McClellin was used at multiple linebacker positions during the Senior Bowl and has looked seamless in the transition to linebacker. Crawford is likely to stay in a three-point stance at the next level, but the ability to drop into space will be attractive to zone blitz teams.
Finally, safety George Iloka rebounded from what was a tough combine workout and really impressed scouts on hand. He was fluid moving side-to-side and showed good ball skills. Those at the workout said quarterback Cody Hawkins, the former Colorado signal caller trying to catch on with a professional team in North America, tried to make it a bit difficult for Iloka with his passes, but the 225-pound safety came through.
• Andrew Luck's throwing session has ended at Stanford and the quarterback did nothing to hurt his status as the expected first pick in next month's draft.
Smiling and loose, Luck was poised throughout the entire workout and on the money with all his throws. Just four passes hit the ground, and three of them bounced off the hands of intended receivers. Throwing to his former Cardinal teammates, Luck was accurate and displayed great timing with every type of pass he tossed around the Stanford practice facility. His throws had good speed and he was able to deliver many of the deep outs on a line. Luck perfectly placed most all his throws into the intended target's hands, rarely forcing pass-catchers to break stride or reach vertically to grab the ball. He looked exceptional rolling outside the pocket and throwing on the move, losing no accuracy or speed on the ball. Luck was natural in all his movements and skills, looking off the invisible safety down the field and going through receiver progression and delivering passes with proper fundamentals.
His quarterback coach, George Whitfield Jr., added elements not witnessed at pro day workouts in the past. Whitfield came at Luck with an ordinary kitchen broom in hand, extended well over his head to simulate oncoming pass rushers. Throughout the workout Whitfield did a variety of other exercises to disrupt Luck's concentration and throwing, to no avail.
Luck's final pass was a 73-yard bomb which was accurately placed in teammate's Chris Owusu's hands, which Owusu promptly dropped.
The two criticisms of Luck's workout was the inability to drive deep passes through the wind, as early in the practice session his long throws tended to hang in the air. Unlike Robert Griffin's workout, which took place in an indoor facility yesterday, the wind was a factor during the Stanford workout today. This won't be an issue of the Indianapolis Colts select Luck in five weeks time. He also needs to improve his corner and fade patterns a bit.
All in all Luck delivered what was expected and there's no reason not to think he'll be wearing a Colts uniform in just a few weeks.
• Thus far tight end Coby Fleener has looked terrific on an ankle that's just 90 percent. Fleener has posted marks of 37 inches in the vertical jump, averaged 4.51 seconds in the 40 and 4.25 seconds in the short shuttle. Other marks from the day include 40 times of 4.41 seconds for defensive back Johnson Bademosi and 5.23 seconds for tackle Jonathan Martin.
At the Boise State pro day, the majority of the Broncos who participated in the combine sat on their numbers, except for defensive lineman Billy Winn, who improved his 40 time from Indianapolis by almost a quarter of a second, posting a time of 4.72 seconds.
Quarterback Kellen Moore had a solid passing session, as only two of the 50 passes he threw hit the ground. Doug Martin looks tremendous thus far in the early going and has really impressed in position drills, standing out in all aspects of the running back position.
• Early results from the LSU pro day are coming in, and thus far players have sped up 40 times from the combine on a swift surface.
Receiver Rueben Randle shaved one-tenth off his time, clocking 4.45 seconds. Linebacker Ryan Baker shaved .15 from his combine number running just under 4.65 seconds. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers saw a similar improvement, timing 5.18 seconds. Earlier in the workout, the 316-pound Brockers completed 21 reps on the bench press, a slightly disappointing number.
Other marks of note include top ranked cornerback Morris Claiborne, who posted 4.45 seconds today after a best of 4.50 from the combine.
In Maine, a pair of underrated safeties wowed scouts with their performance. Jerron McMillian, who participated in the combine, improved just about every one of his marks from last month. His 40 time clocked as fast as 4.35 seconds, vertical jump measured 39 inches and broad jump 10-6. Teammate Trevor Coston, who was not invited to the combine but is ranked ahead of McMillian on a number of boards, was slightly slower in the 40, timing 4.41 seconds but posting a vertical jump of 43 inches and three-cone time of 6.82 inches; both terrific marks.
The New England Patriots put both players through position drills for the teams on hand, and the reviews for each have been positive.
• Another circled date on the pro day schedule has arrived, as most of the league is in Palo Alto, California for the much anticipated Stanford workout. And though much of the outside attention has been focused on quarterback Andrew Luck, two other prominent Stanford prospects are also working out for the first time.
Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, projected as a first-round choice, was sick during the combine and only took part in position drills. He is expected to lift on the bench press, run the 40 and perform the other tests. Coby Fleener, rated as the top tight end in next month's draft and another projected first-round choice, received a medical exclusion from the combine due to an injured right ankle. Though the ankle is only 90 percent as of last night, Fleener's camp told SI.com he will participate in the full workout.
LSU is another big pro day on the schedule as scouts will be focused on receiver Rueben Randle and defensive tackle Michael Brockers to see if they can improve on their combine marks. Finally, we'll also be keeping close watch on the South Dakota State pro day, where basketball player-turned-wide receiver Dale Moss, a potential star in the making, will perform in front of scouts for the first time.
• Three West Coast pro days finished off what was a ridiculously busy day of workouts.
The Nevada pro day featured receiver Rishard Matthews, who ran the 40-yard dash in a best time of 4.46 seconds, a significant improvement from his combine mark. The big wide out also turned in a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches, also better than his performance from Indianapolis. The improved marks can be attributed to the fact Matthews is finally healthy as the receiver was still recovering in the off season from a knee injury, a sprained MCL, which he suffered late in the 2011 campaign. Matthews really should not have run during the combine yet gave it a go anyway. He looked solid in position drills afterward and did not drop a single pass thrown his way.
Linebacker Brandon Marshall also ran fast today, timing 4.64 seconds in the 40. The 242-pound defender ran a best of 4.72 seconds at the combine. He later participated in linebacker drills with teammate James-Michael Johnson and both looked terrific displaying a lot of athleticism and quickness throughout the session.
Former Nevada running back Mike Ball, who was suspended from the program midway through the 2011 season, was allowed to take part in the pro day and timed 4.55 seconds in the 40, which equaled his best from the combine. Finally underrated defensive back Isaiah Frey, who projects as a zone cornerback in the NFL, posted a 40 time of 4.45 seconds.
At San Jose State, safety Duke Ihenacho turned in a terrific performance at pro day. He bettered his combine makes in the 40 (4.52 seconds vs. 4.66s), vertical jump (39 inches versus 35 inches) and broad jump (10 foot, 3 inches). Later in drills Ihenacho looked outstanding, displaying terrific ball skills. He's established himself in the second tier of safety's in next month's draft. Ihenacho will be selected earlier than many people presently predict.
One player that also stood out was unheralded cornerback Peyton Thompson. The three-year starter posted a 40 time of 4.42 seconds, vertical jump of 37½ inches and broad jump of 10 feet, 7 inches. He also looked comfortable in drills. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound corner has good bloodlines as he's younger brother to Denver Broncos cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson.
Finally San Diego State drew a big crowd for their pro day event.
Quarterback Ryan Lindley was impressive throwing the ball during the entire workout. He was on the money with all his throws and displayed a solid deep arm. Lindley accurately placed all his throws, except for two passes in the early going, in which the timing seemed to be off with receivers unfamiliar with the signal caller.
Linebacker Miles Burris, who did not run at the combine but looked terrific in position drills, turned in some solid testing marks today.
Weighing just over 240 pounds his marks included 40 times of 4.64 and 4.68 seconds, 6.68-seconds in the three-cone and a short shuttle time of 4.21-seconds. His vertical jump of 37½ inches was also impressive. Later in the workout Burris looked comfortable and relaxed in coverage drills which are important as he was primarily used at the line of scrimmage for the Aztecs and did not do much dropping into space. Burris is a sleeper of sorts at the linebacker position as he can lineup at numerous spots in a 3-4 alignment or play on the strong side in a conventional scheme. Don't be surprised if he sneaks into the late part of the draft's second day.
• The pro day at Baylor is complete and scouts leave Waco, Texas even more impressed with quarterback Robert Griffin than they were at the combine.
A confident, poised but very loose Griffin looked terrific throwing the ball today. He was smooth and quick dropping into the pocket from underneath center to deliver the ball, something he rarely did at Baylor. Griffin's footwork was dynamic as he easily moved side to side, then fired the ball throwing on the move, staying on balance and in control during each maneuver. His arm was strong as passes quickly got to the intended target, but at the same time Griffin showed the ability to delicately put touch on throws and place the ball into pass-catchers' hands when required. Griffin displayed an explosive release as passes would fire from his hand, and all the throws were delivered with tight spirals. He was also deadly accurate throughout the entire workout, as receivers rarely broke stride or were forced to contort their bodies to grab passes that were behind or above them. Griffin practiced to the 4.41-second 40 time he ran at the combine, showing terrific rhythm and tempo from start to finish.
If there was one criticism to be had, it seemed Griffin's timing was slightly off early in the session, as receivers were forced to speed up to get to the pass, but that one blemish barely stood out. Even after throwing 77 passes, the athletic quarterback looked barely winded and finished the workout running 40 yards downfield to catch a pass thrown by his No. 1 receiver, Kendall Wright.
In the end, the junior passer delivered everything that was expected of him.
Kendall Wright also impressed today. He started the workout by running his 40 in times which ranged in the mid-4.4-second area (4.45s); much better than his combine mark but not as fast as many expected. It was a different story during position drills, as Wright showed a terrific burst of speed and second gear catching the deep throws. He ran outstanding pass routes, quickly getting into breaks then exploding to the ball on exit. His ability to quickly transition from making the catch to running after the reception was also impressive. Wright caught just about everything thrown in his direction and was smooth throughout the entire workout, displaying great balance and body control in all his movements. Today should stop any perceived slide in Wright's draft stock and should affirm the receiver as a top-20 choice.
Running back Terrance Ganaway also left a solid impression on scouts. The big ball-carrier tipped the scales at 241 pounds, then ran his 40 in just over 4.5 seconds (4.53). He looked good in limited work catching the ball.
The general consensus from the Rutgers pro day is receiver Mohamed Sanu made a lot of money for himself today. The junior carried the momentum of improved 40 times this morning into his position workout and a number of scouts said Sanu, "looked really, really good." He caught the ball well, which was no surprise, but also ran crisp routes and practiced as fast as he timed earlier in the day. Could Sanu now squeeze into the late part of round one? Maybe, but if he doesn't he will surely come off the board during the first half dozen picks of the second round.
Defensive lineman Justin Francis also turned in a complete workout and delivered more than teams expected. He easily moved about the field during position drills, looking fluid and smooth. The 270-pound lineman also looked solid in bag drills. Expect Francis to move into the early part of the draft's final day.
Offensive lineman Desmond Wynn, a versatile blocker who can be slotted in at tackle or guard, impressed in drills by showing a lot of athleticism moving about the field in bag drills as well as sliding his feet in pass blocking drills. Wynn is a bit of an unknown commodity; the prevailing thought in the scouting community is he has starting potential if properly developed.
Finally, running back/fullback Joe Martinek may have moved into the last round of the draft with his performance today. After turning in some terrific testing numbers, Martinek looked just as athletic in position drills. He caught the ball extremely well and practiced to his 40 time of 4.55-seconds.
At Boston College, the reviews for both Luke Kuechly and Donnie Fletcher have been positive.
Kuechly continues to impress scouts with his athleticism and quickness. The linebacker was swift today and looked better in pursuit drills than he showed at the combine. That said, most at the workout feel Kuechly grades as a late-first-round pick.
Fletcher started the day by timing 4.4 in the 40, though some watches had him as fast as 4.38. The cornerback looked smooth in position drills, though onlookers commented he dropped a fair number of passes in ball drills.
A pair of non-Boston College players participated in the workout and impressed scouts.
UMass tight end Emil Igwenagu, whose stock has been rising since January, sat on his numbers from the combine but looked exceptional catching the ball in drills. Holy Cross cornerback Chandler Fenner also displayed next level skills in the workout.
Early marks from the Rutgers pro-day are starting to come in and the results are good for receiver Mohamed Sanu.
The productive pass catcher stood on most of his marks from the combine, but clocked times under 4.5 today in the 40, stopping watches at 4.48 seconds on his second attempt. That's an improvement of almost .15-seconds from his mark in Indianapolis.
Defensive lineman Justin Francis did not run at the combine due to a quad injury yet moved his 270-pound frame to times under 4.9 in the 40 this morning, clocking as fast as 4.86-seconds. Francis also posted a 36-inch vertical jump and broad jump of 9-feet, 8-inches, both significant improvements from his marks in Indianapolis.
Joe Martinek, the Scarlet Knights feature runner in 2010 who moved to fullback last season, also impressed the 25 teams in attendance. Martinek ran 40 times in the mid-to-high 4.5's (4.57) after posting 32.5-inches in the vertical jump. The athletic Martinek is getting long looks as a west coast fullback by a number of teams.
• The first of two eagerly anticipated pro days this week has arrived, as the attention of the football world focuses on Waco, Texas, where Robert Griffin III will throw for NFL teams. But that only scratches the surface of today's menu.
Griffin's favorite target, receiver Kendall Wright, is also expected to take part in the workout to try and improve his disappointing 40 time from the combine. Another wideout who hopes to speed things up today is Mohamed Sanu, as he's scheduled to run during the Rutgers pro day. The big-bodied receiver's best official hand time from the combine clocked 4.62 seconds.
Finally, out west Ryan Lindley will throw the ball during San Diego State pro day. Lindley was relatively impressive at the combine and a good workout today will solidify his status as a middle-round pick.
Late yesterday afternoon a little-known linebacker impressed NFL teams at the Idaho pro day.
Korey Toomer, who sat on the sidelines in 2010 and was not considered training camp worthy by NFL scouts prior to the season, performed brilliantly in front of eight teams. The 6-2 Toomer tipped the scales at 236 pounds, then ran 40 times as fast as 4.49 seconds. His three-cone clocked 6.86 seconds, and he completed 20 reps on the bench. Toomer's vertical jump was a story in itself, as the athletic defender reached over the 40-inch maximum of the measuring machine on hand. Scouts decided to credit him with a mark of 41 inches.
Thus far Toomer has 16 official pre-draft visits scheduled with teams around the league. Not too bad for a prospect considered an afterthought just eight months ago.
• In Chapel Hill, N.C., Quinton Coples looked solid in both defensive line and linebacker drills. He was exceptional during defensive line drills and held his own at the linebacker position, though no one is going to select Coples on the basis of standing him up over tackle on a regular basis.
Receiver Dwight Jones was banned from the workout due to an incident in late December where his likeness was used on a poster to promote a New Year's Eve party. Though Jones had the posters with his image removed he reportedly attended the party, which did not sit well with UNC officials. As a result he held his own private workout up the road from the Tar Heel campus at East Chapel Hill High School. Jones ran two forty's, timing 4.47-seconds with the wind and 4.54-against it. He was then put through pass catching drills by the Denver Broncos with a team scout being used as the practice quarterback.
In Austin, Tex., Kheeston Randall and Emmanuel Acho stood on most of their combine numbers but participated in position drills and both looked solid.
One of the surprises of the day was Cody Johnson, the 258-pound fullback. Johnson ran times in the low 4.7-second range and showed good movement skills. Primarily a ball-carrier in the Longhorns' passing offense, Johnson possesses the size and body type to be a lead blocker in the NFL and can also line-up as a short-yardage ball carrier.
• The Iowa State pro day has come to a conclusion, with scouts impressed by two Cyclones who attended the combine and another pair who did not.
Cornerback Leonard Johnson significantly improved on his disappointing combine 40 times today by clocking in the low-to-mid 4.5s, with a fast of 4.51. His 35-inch vertical jump and three-cone time of 6.95 seconds were also improvements from Indianapolis. Johnson looked quick and smooth during position drills and performed to the expectations of scouts. The senior cornerback, highly thought of in scouting circles, struggled through his combine workout while suffering with a viral infection, which adversely affected his training two weeks prior to his arrival in Indianapolis. After today's performance, Johnson is sure to get consideration in the late part of the draft's second day.
Offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele also impressed NFL teams during position drills. He was both powerful and smooth, easily moving his large frame about the field. Several scouts in attendance said that Osemele looked better today compared to his impressive performance at the combine.
Fellow offensive lineman Hayworth Hicks, who was not at the combine, also displayed next-level skills. Hicks measured 6-2 and 329 pounds, ran his 40 just under 5.3 seconds and looked good in drills. He's a powerful lineman with terrific hand punch and a blocker who most teams think can play in a power blocking/ball-control offense.
Darius Reynolds, the Cyclones' leading receiver last season, also looked solid. The 209-pound wideout broke the 4.5-second barrier on a number of watches, timing as fast as 4.48 seconds. He also timed 6.73 seconds in the three-cone, touched 35 inches in the vertical jump and completed 23 reps on the bench.
Damon Harrison, a defensive tackle from William Penn University, participated in the workout and made scouts take notice. The NAIA All-American measured 6-3 1/2 and 339 pounds, then completed 34 reps on the bench and posted a vertical jump of 29 inches. He looked like he belonged during position drills and there are a few who now think the big lineman may sneak into the last round of the draft.
• The pace of the pro day schedule picks up today as Iowa State, Texas and North Carolina are the big workouts on the menu.
Iowa State cornerback Leonard Johnson will try and improve his 40 time from the combine, while word from Durham, North Carolina is Tar Heel linebacker Zach Brown may try and top his 4.44-second timing from Indianapolis.
Tuesday starts off with the mention of two sleepers lost in the shuffle of Monday's workout.
With all the star power at the Iowa pro day, it was easy to overlook Jordan Bernstine, the Hawkeyes' starting safety in 2011. But after his workout on Monday, scouts won't forget him anytime soon. Bernstine posted gaudy numbers, running his 40 as fast as 4.34 seconds, timing 6.75 seconds in the three-cone run as well as posting marks of 41 inches in the vertical jump and 18 reps on the bench. Still rough around the edges, teams feel Bernstine may finally be turning the corner in his football career.
Tiny Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama earned notice in the scouting community when receiver Cody Pearcy stole the show during the Alabama State pro day. Pearcy, a Division III all-American receiver who registered 44 receptions for 766 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, turned in a workout that would've made combine king Stephen Hill jealous. His numbers included 4.31 seconds in the 40, 3.76 seconds in the short shuttle, 6.7 second in the three-cone, a vertical jump of 44 inches and 10-6 in the broad jump. Only his marks in the broad jump and three-cone were bettered by receivers at the combine.
Measuring 5-11 and 165 pounds, Pearcy also excelled as a return specialist for Huntingdon. Yesterday's workout bought the small-school receiver a ticket to rookie minicamp, where he'll surely get an opportunity to display his skill as a slot receiver and return specialist.
• Two receivers must be mentioned as we finish a busy Monday of pro-day workouts.
While most of the attention at the Arizona pro-day was focused on Juron Criner, it was another receiver that came away the big winner according to scouts. David Douglas, who was the Wildcats second leading receiver after Criner, was the faster and more consistent wide out on the field today. Douglas ran times that will officially be charted as 4.45 seconds then looked effortless in horrible conditions during the position drills. He caught everything thrown his way and. according to onlookers, toughed it out when others had succumbed to the driving rain and hail.
Criner's numbers last season are nothing to dismiss as he posted 65 receptions for 666 yards and four scores. He'll now get an invite to camp and Douglas may even get consideration in the draft's closing stages.
Appalachian State receiver Brian Quick ran 40 times as fast as 4.51 seconds at pro-day, equaling his mark from pro-day. He too had a fine pass catching session during position drills, displaying strong, dependable hands.
• The conditions during the Arizona pro day went from bad to worse, as what started out as a hail storm turned into a torrential downpour during the workout.
Players ran the 40 on a fast indoor carpet and scouts will adjust the times due to the favorable conditions.
Receiver Juron Criner posted a mark in the low 4.6s, but when adjusted his official time will be closer to 4.68, similar to the time he posted at the combine. During the heavy downpour Criner looked terrific in position drills, catching everything thrown in his direction. Scouts love Criner's football skills, but believe he's a slow-footed receiver who also comes with off-field issues.
Quarterback Nick Foles looked solid in the adverse conditions. Scouts thought Foles took something off his passes in order to make the wet ball more catchable, but looked surprisingly effective rolling outside the pocket, then throwing on the move.
Defensive back Robert Golden ran well, posting a best 40 that will read somewhere around 4.46 seconds. The versatile secondary prospect lined up at both cornerback and safety for Arizona and is considered a sleeper of sorts. Golden posted a vertical jump of 37.5 inches, then looked solid in ball drills, displaying a quick backpedal and the ability to flip his hips when switching from his backpedal to moving forwards. He was not invited to the combine, but looks like a late-round choice at this point.
At the Iowa pro day cornerback Shaun Prater, who did not run at the combine due to a minor right knee flare-up, posted 40 times as fast as 4.39 seconds today. He also timed 4.19 seconds in the short shuttle. Prater will workout again for scouts on April 4, when he will do position drills. Joining him will be teammate Mike Daniels. The defensive lineman sat out the combine and today's pro day workout as he's been recovering from shoulder surgery performed the second week of January. The highly rated Daniels is scheduled to take part in all the drills, except the bench press, on April 4.
• One of the most anticipated weeks on the pro day schedule is upon us, as teams will travel to watch the draft's top two players, quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, work out in just a few days.
Monday's workouts got underway this morning with a dozen teams on hand for the Wake Forest pro day event.
Kyle Wilber, starting defensive end for the Demon Deacons the past three seasons and a player most teams project to outside linebacker in the NFL, tipped the scales at 242 pounds, seven less than his combine weight, and then ran 40 times as fast as 4.60-seconds, an improvement of almost .15 seconds from his best mark in Indianapolis. Wilber later did position drills at both defensive end and linebacker for 20 minutes. Scouts came away impressed, and the senior defender continues to improve his draft stock.
Safety Cyhl Quarles also improved in the 40, timing 4.53 seconds today versus a fast of 4.54 at the combine.
A different defensive back, one not invited to the combine, turned heads today. Josh Bush, a three-year starter who lined up at both safety and cornerback and picked off six passes last season, displayed next-level talent all morning. Measuring 5-11 and 208 pounds, Bush ran times under 4.50 seconds, with a best mark of 4.49 seconds. He also completed 16 reps on the bench press. During position drills, Bush looked smooth and fluid. He was quick pedaling in reverse and showed terrific ball skills. Most scouts feel Bush has solidified himself as a late-round pick.
Receiver Chris Givens participated in receiver drills and, though he looked solid, some scouts on hand were concerned the junior did too much body catching rather than snatching the ball with his hands.
Offensive lineman Joe Looney, who suffered a foot injury at the Senior Bowl in late January which required surgery to repair, was seen walking around this morning with no ill effects. Looney is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and is expected to be 100 percent by the time camp rolls around. There's a possibility he will do some sort of workout for scouts just prior to the draft, once cleared by doctors.
• The pro day events for the week have concluded.
At Arizona State, the downward spiral continues for linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The one-time highly rated linebacker, who struggled through a disappointing 2011 campaign then ran poorly at the combine, looked no better today. Scouts thought Burfict looked poorly conditioned and out-of-place in drills. He was not smooth changing direction, dropped passes in drills and generally looked like a free agent compared to the first-round pick most predicted just six months ago. Several scouts said they felt bad for Burfict, who'll have another chance to redeem himself on March 30.
Receivers Gerell Robinson and Mike Willie looked good in pass-catching drills. Both caught just about everything thrown their way, with Robinson running solid routes. Scouts feel Willie will be a good special teams player at the next level.
Cornerback Omar Bolden, whose not played competitive football since 2010 due to a knee injury, looked tight in drills and is likely to fall into the late rounds.
In Corvallis, Ore., both James Rodgers and Brandon Hardin continued the momentum of their good workouts as both looked smooth and polished in position drills.
Safety Lance Mitchell, who underwent double hernia surgery in late November, also performed well in drills. Mitchell measured a solid 6-foot-2 and 207-pounds before posting marks of 6.9 seconds in the three-cone, 4.19 seconds in the short shuttle and 12 reps on the bench. Mitchell did not run the 40 today.
Little-known offensive lineman Jason Slowey turned heads during the Western Oregon pro-day. A college left tackle who projects to guard in the NFL, he measured 6-2½ and 304 pounds. His marks included 38 reps on the bench press, 9-2 in the broad jump and a short shuttle time of 4.64. Slowey also ran a solid 40, timing 4.96. Ten teams were on hand to watch the sleeper workout today.
• All 32 of the league's teams were on hand today for the Oregon State pro day, and the star of the workout was a non-combine participant.
Defensive back Brandon Hardin, who missed the entire 2011 season after injuring his shoulder in August, ran 40 times as fast as 4.36 seconds after tipping the scales at 219 pounds.
Hardin's other marks included a 35.5 inch vertical jump, 10-4 broad jump and 24 reps on the bench. His short shuttle timed as fast as 4.03 seconds, while his three-cone came in at 6.8 seconds. Oregon State's starting cornerback in 2010, Hardin entered the season with a mid-round grade from NFL scouts. Most project the big defensive back to safety and after today's workout many believe he's kept the middle-round projection.
Skill specialist James Rodgers improved his 40 time from the combine significantly, posting a best of 4.47 seconds. His fastest mark in Indianapolis was 4.62 seconds.
• The Temple pro day is finished and NFL teams were very impressed with several of the prospects who took part.
After his tremendous 40 time, running back Bernard Pierce looked terrific in pass catching drills. The junior ran both short and deep routes, looking equally effective in both. He was natural catching the ball and at one point made an impressive fingertip grab. Pierce has solidified himself in the second tier of running backs next April and ranks as a potential top-75 choice.
Fellow combine invitee Evan Rodriguez rested on his 40 time from Indianapolis (4.53 seconds), but was another who stood out in pass catching drills. Rodriguez lined-up at tight end, fullback and H-back during position drills, looking smooth in all areas.
Receiver Rod Streater and tight end Matt Balasavage were two more that stood out catching the ball. That's a good sign for both as Streater (19 receptions) and Balasavage (one reception) had minimal offensive production last season. Both will now be brought into a camp after the draft.
• A busy Friday on the pro day schedule ends a hectic week of workouts.
In West Virginia, linebacker Najae Goode and Bruce Irvin stood on their combine numbers, but did position drills, and both looked solid according to scouts.
Irvin was very explosive and looked good in ball drills. That's important, as he was primarily used as a pass rusher at West Virginia. Displaying coverage skills further confirms the versatility of the athletic defender in the minds of scouts. Irvin's fastest official 40 time from the combine was 4.41 seconds, the best of any defensive front seven player.
Goode looked solid in both linebacker and defensive back drills. Initially graded as a low-level free agent entering the season, he has moved into the middle of the draft's final day.
Two Mountaineers who were surprise non-invitees at the combine displayed their skills today.
Defensive end Julian Miller, a productive three year starter, clocked 4.78 and 4.82 in the 40, touched 33.5 inches in the vertical jump and put up 19 reps on the bench. He was run through defensive line and linebacker drills for 35 minutes after testing and looked athletic. Expect Miller to be one of the two dozen non-combine participants to be selected in last day of next month's draft.
Cornerback Keith Tandy ran 40 times that ranged between 4.50 and 4.57 seconds.
The times from Temple pro day have been fast -- startling, in fact.
Running back Bernard Pierce, who surprised many with a 4.45 40 clocking at the combine, lowered his time by one-tenth today. Several watches had Pierce, not known as a fast ball-carrier, turning in times of 4.34 seconds. Sure-handed receiver Rod Streater also cracked the 4.4-second barrier, timing 4.37 in the 40.
Tight end Matt Balasavage (255 pounds), known more for his blocking, ran in the high 4.7s (4.78 seconds), after posting 21 reps on the bench press. Derek Dennis, one of the more underrated guards available next month, completed 25 reps on the bench press, then ran a 40 time of 5.23 seconds.
The Temple players are presently participating in position drills.
The Arizona State pro day had some of the excitement taken out of the event, as quarterback Brock Osweiler won't be throwing for scouts until March 30, the same day linebacker Vontaze Burfict will run again and try to improve on his 40 time of 5.00 seconds from the combine. Burfict reportedly completed 16 reps on the bench this morning.
Other marks from the Arizona State pro-day, which is still in progress, include oft-injured cornerback Omar Bolden running 4.55 seconds in the 40 and receiver Mike Willie unable to break 4.8 seconds.
• Two small school prospects that performed at the combine continued to impress scouts Thursday.
Midwestern State offensive lineman Amini Silatolu worked out in front of position coaches in Wichita Falls, Texas this morning. He stood on most of his numbers from Indianapolis, though his 32-inch vertical jump and 9-foot, 3-inch broad jump represented slight improvements. Coaches on hand then put Silatolu through 40 minutes of position work and came away impressed the way the 314-blocker moved around the field. The feeling from most is that the offensive lineman has locked himself in as a top 45 pick.
Samford cornerback Corey White had a sensational workout this morning. His official forty time was clocked at 4.40 seconds, though some teams timed White as fast as 4.36 seconds. Look for White's name to be called early on the final day of the draft.
• Another small school cornerback, Chris Greenwood of Albion College, impressed scouts as well. Greenwood, who was not invited to the combine though did participate in the Shrine Game, took part in Michigan's pro day and was one of the fastest prospects on the field. His numbers Thursday would make many of the defensive backs from the combine blush as Greenwood measured 6-feet, 1.5 inches and 193 pounds then timed as fast as 4.34 seconds in the forty, posted a broad jump of 11 feet, 2 inches and touched 43 inches in the vertical jump. He's a bit unpolished in his technique, yet is considered a terrific developmental prospect and Greenwood is getting consideration by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
• At Louisiana Tech, scouts and coaches worked Matt Broha hard at defensive line, linebacker and tight end drills. Broha measured 6 feet, 4 inches and 256 pounds then ran just over 4.8 seconds in the forty. He looked explosive and smooth during defensive drills then caught all 25 passes thrown his way running tight end routes. Broha, who has fallen under the radar, is scheduled to travel to five NFL franchises for pre-draft visits.
His teammate, running back Lennon Creer who was in Indianapolis last month, ran the forty in 4.66-seconds, a slight improvement from his combine times.
• Though we've received no official numbers yet, word from the Virginia pro day is cornerback Chase Minnifield, who has struggled with a knee injury since the 2011 season, did not look all that good this morning. Coming into his senior season Minnifield was graded as a top 40 choice, but his draft stock has since slipped.
Cam Johnson, on the other hand, continues to watch his draft stock move north. Sources at the workout said the dominant pass rusher looked good in position drills. That would be a postseason trifecta for Johnson, who looked good at the Senior Bowl, turned in a solid combine workout and performed well during pro day.
• Offensive lineman Austin Pasztor caught the attention of scouts today. Measuring 6 feet, 7 inches and 306 pounds, Pasztor ran 5.35 seconds in the forty after posting a vertical jump of 31-inches. He moved well and looked agile in drills. Playing guard at Virginia, some teams project Pasztor as a right tackle for the next level.
• Virginia Tech has finished their pro day, and it was receiver Danny Coale that turned heads.
The steady pass catcher bettered his time of 4.42 seconds from the combine, clocking as fast as 4.37 seconds today. His vertical jump of 37 inches was a two-inch improvement from Indianapolis, while Coale bettered his broad jump mark by 8.5 inches, leaping 10-3 1/2. One of the most underappreciated receivers in the draft, Coale interviewed well at the combine and impressed NFL decision makers with his maturity. He entered the season with late-round grades, but now has the possibility to break into the third round.
Jarrett Boykin was another Hokie wideout who improved his marks from Indianapolis. Boykin's best time of 4.57 seconds was .05 faster than his combine mark.
Several players that did not attend the combine also posted solid numbers.
Safety Eddie Whitley cracked the 4.4-second mark on a number of watches, clocking as fast as 4.38 seconds in the 40.
Chris Hill, a talented cornerback who struggled to break into the deep Hokie secondary, gave scouts a lot to think about with his numbers. Hill touched 37 inches in the vertical jump, completed 13 reps on the bench press and ran 40 times that stopped watches between 4.37 and 4.45 seconds. His three-cone mark of 6.78 seconds and short shuttle time of 4.08 seconds were also impressive. Hill earned an invitation to camp this summer with his pro day performance.
Versatile Chris Drager, who lined up at tight end and linebacker for the Hokies, ran times in the mid 4.8s and posted a three-cone time of 7.13 seconds. He's another who will get into a camp this summer, and Drager should be a demon on special teams.
Missouri had their second pro day today and receiver Jerrell Jackson stole the show, posting an official 40 time 4.37 seconds. His fastest time at the combine was 4.50 seconds.
• Michigan, Oregon and Virginia Tech are the prominent workouts that dot the schedule today. We'll also be keeping watch on Louisiana Tech, where Matt Broha, a sleeper defensive end/outside linebacker who is drawing a lot of interest across the leauge, will perform in front of scouts.
Some finishing notes from yesterday include two outstanding performances.
Defensive back Deshawn Shead, rated as a potential free agent entering the season, wowed the 14 teams that attended the Portland State pro day, which took place in driving rain and windy conditions.
Shead, who lined up at both cornerback and safety for PSU, measured 6-1 and 220 pounds. His testing marks included a 38-inch vertical jump, broad jump of 10-4 and 24 reps on the bench. In adverse conditions, the big defensive back ran the 40 in times as low as 4.51 seconds. There are many who now feel Shead will squeeze into the last round of the draft based on his performance.
Bryce Brown, the one-time highly recruited running back who has played for two different schools since 2009, but totaled just 104 combined carries in both seasons, gave scouts a taste of why there were such great expectations around him. Brown ran 40 times which ranged between 4.37 and 4.45 seconds after tipping the scales at 223 pounds. He touched 34 inches on the vertical jump and completed 22 reps on the bench.
Brown started his career at Tennessee in 2009, where he rushed for 460 yards and three touchdowns on 101 carries as a freshman. He transferred to Kansas State to reunite with his brother, linebacker Arthur Brown, a top prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft. Three games and three carries into his Kansas State career Brown left the program. Unlikely to be selected at any point in next month's draft, Brown is sure to get an invitation to camp this summer based on his awesome natural talent.
• Pro day workouts at Michigan State, Cal, Florida State and Maryland are complete on what's been a busy day.
The weather in Berkley, California was miserable, as a downpour disrupted the Golden Bears' workout and most of the position drills were cancelled. Still, there were a few outstanding performances from lesser-known prospects despite the terrible conditions.
Defensive lineman Ernest Owusu stole the show. Measuring 6-4 and 277 pounds, Owusu completed 39 reps on the bench, posted a 30.5-inch vertical jump and ran 40 times between 4.72 and 4.78 seconds. Those times are likely to be quickened by scouts due to the slick surface the players ran on. The workout today will force scouts to reevaluate Owusu, who was not a good fit in Cal's 3-4 defense the past two seasons.
Safety DJ Campbell also looked outstanding. Campbell posted a vertical jump of 38 inches, broad jump of 10-5 and ran in the low 4.5-second range in the 40, despite straining a hamstring muscle. This is in contrast to Cal's other safety, Sean Cattouse, who attended the combine earlier this month. Cattouse bettered his 40 time of 4.76 seconds from Indianapolis, running 4.68 seconds today. Many believe Campbell is the better NFL prospect than Cattouse, despite receiving fewer headlines and less praise from NFL scouts.
There were some superb performances in East Lansing, as the Michigan State players performed in front of almost three dozen scouts, coaches and personnel people from around the league.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins continues his upward momentum on draft boards. After performing well at the Senior Bowl and combine, Cousins once again looked terrific throwing the ball today. His deep passes were on the money throughout the entire workout, and every throw had terrific velocity. NFL decision-makers on hand were amazed at the way Cousins handled himself today, saying the senior basically ran the workout, organizing his receivers in position drills and coming across as a real field general. His leadership stood out and this bodes well for Cousins, who also come across incredibly well during interviews. He seems like a second-round lock at this point.
Several receivers were beneficiaries of Cousins' fine work, including Keshawn Martin. The swift wideout stood on his combine marks, but caught everything thrown in his direction during position drills. He ran scissor-sharp routes and showed great timing catching the ball. Scouts were impressed the way Martin caught the deep ball.
Though he performed well today, B.J. Cunningham took a backseat to Martin. Cunningham caught all but two passes but looked slightly stiff running pass routes. There are more than a few who believe when all is said and done Martin will be selected before Cunningham in next month's draft.
Both Spartan juniors who entered this year's draft stood out. Word is Edwin Baker looked better than anyone during the physical tests, posting a 40 time in the high 4.3s. Baker's best time at the combine was 4.44 seconds. Jerel Worthy, who did not lift at the combine, completed 28 reps today and was another NFL hopeful from the Michigan State program who impressed future employers in position drills.
Two cornerbacks stood out in Maryland's workout, as both Cameron Chism and Trenton Hughes ran under 4.4 seconds. Unofficially, Hughes' best time clocked 4.38 seconds.
The Florida State workout was a bit of a snoozer compared to past events. Tackle Andrew Datko completed 20 reps on the bench press, normally not a good number for a 325-pound offensive tackle. But considering Datko missed most of the 2011 season with a shoulder injury, an ailment he's suffered with for almost a year, it was a notable performance.
• The pro day workouts at Oklahoma and Marshall are complete, and two of the most feared pass-rushers in April's draft came away impressing scouts.
Marhall's Vinny Curry continued the momentum of the morning's brilliant workout with a first-class practice session. Curry ran through a battery of linebacker and defensive line drills for almost 45 minutes, a session in which one scout on hand referred to as "masterful." Looking athletic and explosive, coaches were impressed with the mental toughness and tenacity Curry showed throughout the workout. During linebacker drills, engineered by the Arizona Cardinals, Curry flowed well around the field, quickly changing direction without losing balance. The New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions handled the defensive line drills and again, Curry was up to the task in every test. There was a feeling from teams departing the workout that Curry is now back in the conversation as a potential pick in the bottom half of round one.
In Oklahoma, Ronnell Lewis comes away with glowing reviews from his pro day workout. Lewis also worked linebacker and defensive line drills after running the 40. He looked incredibly athletic, quick and balanced during defensive line drills. He was surprisingly smooth when put through pass coverage exercises. Lewis was quick moving in reverse, effortlessly changed direction and got tremendous depth on pass drops. For a player who primarily made plays behind the line of scrimmage in college, Lewis showed surprising ball skills today. Expect his draft grade to move into the top half of round two after today.
Scouts came away with two more Sooner defenders today.
Frank Alexander also showed well in position drills. He displayed athleticism during linebacker and defensive line drills, easily moving about the field and quickly getting from point to point.
Cornerback Jamell Fleming sat on his combine numbers, but looked good in defensive back drills. He was smooth making the 180-degree transition from backpedaling to moving forwards. Fleming displayed a burst of speed and was fluid getting airborne to grab passes thrown his way.
• The Wednesday pro day schedule is a busy one, with workouts taking place from coast to coast. Penn State, Florida State, Oklahoma and Cal are the big events to keep an eye on, with Michigan State and Maryland two additional pro days of keen interest.
The workout is well under way in Norman, Oklahoma and the early results have been good for Ronnell Lewis. The college pass-rush specialist, who projects to outside linebacker in the NFL, slightly improved his 40 time from the combine, posting 4.65 seconds. In Indianapolis, Lewis was credited with a electronic time of 4.72. His vertical jump of 32.5 inches represented an improvement of 1.5 inches.
Frank Alexander, a college defensive lineman who several teams project to outside linebacker, ran times between 4.75 and 4.79 seconds. He also touched 35 inches in the vertical jump. Those are both terrific marks for Alexander, who did not participate in any of the workouts at the combine.
Travis Lewis, who strained a hamstring during his combine workout, posted a 40 time of 4.76 seconds, .12 faster than his mark in Indianapolis.
The players are preparing to start position drills in the Sooners' training facility.
Marshall's pro day is also underway, and Vinny Curry has posted marks that were significantly better than his combine results.
In the 40, Curry has run several times under 4.7 seconds, with a fast time of 4.65 seconds. His best time at the combine was 4.87 seconds. Curry also completed 28 reps on the bench press and posted a vertical jump of 35.5 inches, the latter a 3.5-inch improvement from the combine.
Why was Curry so much better today? The word was nerves got the better of one of the draft's best pass-rushers at the combine. His running form led to poor times in the 40. Today's marks were more in line with the expectations of scouts. Curry is presently taking part in position drills.
• The word from the Western Michigan pro day was promising for teams considering Jordan White, one of the best receivers in April's draft. The sturdy White ran almost one tenth of a second faster today than his time from Indianapolis, unofficially clocking a 4.59-second 40. It's an important mark for White, who looked outstanding in position drills, as the time will likely push him back into the late rounds of the draft.
• Sacramento State drew an unusually heavy crowd for their pro day as nearly two dozen teams showed up, including five defensive line coaches. They were on hand primarily to watch Akiem Hicks, the former LSU recruit who played college football in Regina, Canada.
Hicks, who impressed a number of scouts during the Shrine Game, looked equally effective today. His marks of 27 reps on the bench, 33 inches in the vertical jump and 9 feet, 2 inches in the broad jump all represented improvements from his combine results. He later kept the momentum going in position drills on what was a rainy day.
Hicks is getting consideration from both 4-3 defenses around the league, who project him to tackle, as well as a number of 3-4 squads that like Hicks as a two-gap end.
• Tuesday was another quiet day on the pro day schedule before the action starts to pick up on Wednesday.
In Toledo, there was a large turnout of scouts and offensive coaches on hand to watch junior receiver/return specialist Eric Page. The All-American did not disappoint, improving his 40 times from the combine by one-tenth of a second. While most of the watches clocked Page at 4.51 seconds, a few dipped as low as 4.48 seconds. During position drills Page ran sharp, crisp routes and caught NFL passes. He solidified himself as a fourth-round pick and may squeak into the draft's second day for a team that falls in love with his versatility.
Two under-the-radar prospects on the Toledo squad had impressive showings during the workout.
Slippery ball handler Adonis Thomas, who totaled 1071 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior while also adding 31 recpetions, looked fast and explosive. Thomas timed as low as 4.44 seconds in the 40 after posting marks of 19 reps on the bench press, 38 inches in the vertical jump and 10-4 in the broad. During position drills he looked quick and balanced in all the exercises.
Safety Desmond Marrow, who led the Rockets with 83 tackles, 3 interceptions and 15 pass defenses, displayed a lot of next-level skills during his workout. He ran in the low 4.5s on his 40 attempts and touched 35.5 inches in the vertical. Marrow is unlikely to be selected in the draft, but could very well latch onto a roster next season as a reserve safety/special teams player.
A large showing of scouts made their way to Division II program California University of Pennsylvania and turned their attention to a pair of offensive prospects.
Receiver Thomas Mayo, considered by many a potential late round choice, touched 41.5 inches on the vertical jump and ran 40 times that ranged between 4.55 to 4.48 seconds. He looked terrific in pass catching drills, running NFL style routes and snatching passes from the air. The feeling is Mayo, who was not graded by NFL scouts coming into the season, will make a roster as a fifth wideout in September.
Offensive guard Rishaw Johnson, who was at the combine, stood on his numbers from Indianapolis then looked solid during a brief stint of offensive line drills.
• Almost 20 teams were on hand for Pittsburgh's pro day and they saw a good performance from Panther offensive lineman Lucas Nix, who's recovering from a bout of strep throat.
The big blocker stood on most of his numbers from the combine but also worked position drills for almost twenty minutes. He looked fluid, athletic and impressed scouts with his versatility. Nix, who lined up at both tackle and guard for Pittsburgh, is getting consideration for both of those positions as well as center by NFL teams.
Defensive tackle Myles Caragein completed 20 reps on the bench press and ran 5.05 seconds in the forty. The two-year starter on the Panther defensive line was later tried at multiple offensive line positions, at one point snapping the ball from center for scouts.
Cornerback Antwuan Reed improved his forty time from the combine, timing 4.48 seconds, then looked smooth in drills.
Fiery linebacker Max Gruder completed 26 reps on the bench press after measuring 6-foot, 1-inch and 236 pounds. He later timed 4.1 seconds and posted a mark of 32.5 inches in the vertical jump. Gruder projects as a back-up linebacker that can handle the inside or outside spot and scouts feel he will excel on special teams.
• Nineteen teams were on hand in Tulsa as two prospects were the focus of attention.
Multipurpose skill player Damaris Johnson, who was suspended from the team in August after being charged with then eventually pleading guilty to felony embezzlement, performed well for scouts. The NCAA's career all-purpose yardage leader measured a small 5-feet, 7.6-inches and 178 pounds. His fastest forty time clocked at 4.48 seconds. Johnson participated in receiver drills in addition to showing his skills returning punts and kick. The diminutive ball handler is being projected as a slot reciever/return specialist by NFL teams.
Quarterback GJ Kinne looked better than expected. Kinne, whose been working with former NFL starters Chad Pennington and Scott Brunner since January, was sharp throwing the ball. Scouts questioned Kinne's arm strength and asked the signal caller to hurl the ball as far as he could. When they were finished measuring the ball sailed past the 80-yard mark, quelling any concerns about Kinne's arm.
• The pro day schedule starts a bit light today, as we'll focus on Pittsburgh and Tulsa. Later this week scouts will be attending pro day workouts at Cal, Florida, Oklahoma, Penn State and Arizona State, to name a few.
Several performances that slipped through the cracks late last week are worthy of mention.
At Washington State, linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis may have worked himself into the late rounds with his performance Friday. He measured just over 6-0 and 233 pounds. His 40 time clocked at 4.54, seconds while he completed 36 reps on the bench and touched 36.5 inches in the vertical jump. He's a smart and tough football player who will do well on special teams while backing up at outside linebacker.
Syracuse senior cornerback Kevyn Scott consistently ran in the mid 4.3s in the 40 after measuring 5-10 and 201 pounds. Teams love Scott's athleticism and now its just a matter of making him a consistent football player.
Columbia offensive tackle Jeff Adams participated in the pro day at Northwestern and looked good. He measured 6-6, 308 pounds, ran a solid 40 time of 5.11 seconds and touched 34.5 inches in the vertical jump. Adams completed just 19 reps on the bench, a pedestrian number, but scouts feel he possesses the underlying ability to develop into a backup at a number of offensive line spots for an NFL team.
• The festivities have ended in Stillwater, as the large crowds of NFL general managers, coaches and scouts who attended the Oklahoma State pro day are heading home.
By all accounts, receiver Justin Blackmon met or exceeded expectations. As reported earlier his 40 times, which will officially end up in the mid 4.4-second range (4.46), were faster than anyone thought possible. Despite reports the workout was run on a fast surface, OSU coaches told scouts and others it's the same field turf used during the season. Blackmon ran solid routes during position drills, something he did at the combine and a skill he's worked hard on in the run-up to the draft. He displayed his patented soft hands, consistently plucking the pass from the air away from his frame and catching the ball with proper fundamentals. Except for two drops it was a spotless day for Blackmon, who heads toward the draft as a top-four pick. Over the next six weeks many will speculate which team will select Blackmon. It is noteworthy that Leslie Frazier was on hand with a full complement of offensive coaches from the Minnesota Vikings, the franchise many project grabbing USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the third pick of the draft.
Scouts thought quarterback Brandon Weeden turned in a solid showing. There's no questioning his arm strength and, except for a few passes that had receivers adjusting vertically or backwards to grab the ball, Weeden was accurate throughout the workout. His ability to put deep passes on the money stood out to those in attendance. Several teams told Weeden he's "NFL ready" as he moves to the next phase of his football career.
Levy Adcock, who did not receive a combine invitation to the surprise of many, also proved he's next-level material. The big lineman looked terrific in bag drills and moved around the field with ease. As described by those at the workout, Adcock is more athletic than given credit for and can line up at any of three positions on the offensive line. The prevailing thought is Adcock will be selected at the start of the draft's final day.
Finally, Josh Cooper, who's still struggling with hamstring tightness, ran one 40 time which clocked as fast as 4.56. Despite his hurting leg Cooper took part in the position drills and ran terrific routes and caught everything thrown in his direction.
• More than a dozen teams were on hand today for the Mississippi pro day and scouts say the star of the show was offensive tackle Bobbie Massie.
The junior lineman, who surprised many by entering the draft, stood on all of his combine numbers but participated in position drills and looked outstanding. One coach from Mississippi said Massie looked better today than at any point in his college career. That statement is not surprising considering the big tackle has been working with former All-Pro center LeCharles Bentley since December. Massie will be back on the Mississippi campus to privately work out for NFL teams during the week of March 18 and is now projected in the top half of round two.
Running back Brandon Bolden also performed well today. His 40 time, which clocked 4.46 seconds, was significantly better than his mark from the combine. Bolden displayed that speed later in the workout during position drills.
Defensive end Kentrell Lockett struggled through the workout. At one time highly rated by scouts prior to his knee injury from September 2010, he struggled to get under 5.0 seconds in the 40 and did not look like the "Lockett of old," as expressed by many on hand.
Defensive end Wayne Dorsey, an athletic prospect who missed most of the 2011 season with a broken arm, timed 4.86 in the 40.
• The buzz at the Oklahoma State pro day is that Justin Blackmon has run much faster than most expected. Word from Stillwater is the big receiver timed quicker on his second 40, clocking under 4.45 seconds and as fast as 4.41 seconds on a number of watches.
A different receiver is lighting it up in South Florida. TY Hilton, who did not workout at the combine due to a leg injury, ran in the mid-4.3-second range this morning, his official time coming in around 4.36 seconds. Scouts say Hilton looked incredibly explosive in his 40 and during drills. Evidently the game-breaking receiver/return specialist dropped just a single pass during drills. He did pull up late in the workout and it looked to many that the strained hamstring which kept Hilton from participating in the Senior Bowl and combine may have flared up.
• Early marks from the Oklahoma State pro day are starting to trickle in.
Justin Blackmon touched 35 inches in the vertical jump and posted a broad jump of 10-4. Thus far the unofficial times in the 40 have been promising. Word is Blackmon broke 4.5 seconds on a number of watches, with a few reading 4.45 seconds.
• The much anticipated 40-yard sprint of receiver Justin Blackmon takes place today as the Oklahoma State pro day workout tops the schedule. Blackmon, who did not run at the combine due to a minor leg issue, is expected to participate in most of the workout today. The same holds true for his teammate Josh Cooper, a highly rated slot receiver/return specialist who was unable to run at the combine.
In Columbus, Ohio the Buckeyes are also working out for scouts. Receiver DeVier Posey will stand on his 40 time from the combine but participate in receiver drills. Thus far this morning offensive tackle Mike Adams has completed 21 reps on the bench.
Staying with offensive linemen in the state of Ohio, Brandon Brooks is drawing rave reviews from his workout yesterday. A dozen offensive line coaches made their way to the Miami, Ohio campus and put Brooks through a rigorous workout of offensive line drills which lasted 80 minutes. All but four of the coaches on hand worked Brooks hard in a variety of one-on-one blocking drills. The belief is Brooks, who was not invited to the combine, could land in the late part of round two.
• A long day of pro day workouts finally came to an end with Wyoming and Washington on the west coast finishing their workouts.
A fast track in Seattle led to 40 times that were quicker than expected for Husky players.
Jermaine Kearse, who struggled as a senior and performed below expectations, ran exceptionally well. His 30, timed as fast as 4.43 seconds, was almost .15 seconds better than his run at the combine.
Likewise, running back Chris Polk dipped close to 4.45 seconds in the 40, more than one-tenth faster than his mark in Indianapolis. The prevailing thought from all was Polk looked smooth and solid in all the position work after his runs.
Defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu completed position drills after posting a time of 7.2 seconds in the three-cone. He heads towards the draft as a second-round pick and likely the second nose tackle to be selected.
In Wyoming, underclassman Alvester Alexander posted a 40 time in the mid-4.4s after measuring 5-11 and 206 pounds. It was a solid mark for the little known running back, who totaled 695 yards rushing last season.
Multi-purpose defensive back Tashaun Gipson, who lined up at both cornerback and safety for the Cowboys, displayed a good degree of athleticism. Gipson completed 23 reps on the bench, touched 37 inches in the vertical and timed 4.54 seconds in the 40.
Some final notes from earlier in the day include a pair of solid performances from the Northwestern pro day.
Jeremy Ebert led the Wildcats offense with 75 receptions for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns. Today he led them at the pro day as the 5-10 1/2, 200-pound receiver clocked as fast as 4.37 seconds in the 40. He also finished with 16 reps on the bench, more than admirable for a wideout. Ebert will most assuredly now receive consideration in the late rounds of the draft.
Northwestern's top defensive back prospect also performed well. Brian Peters, who picked off five passes last season and accumulated 92 tackles, posted a best 40 time of 4.60 seconds after measuring 6-3 and 215 pounds. He's a classic strong safety who plays with a special teams mentality.
Lastly, remember the name of Colorado receiver Toney Clemons.
The transfer from Michigan has been considered an under-the-radar prospect and late bloomer. Today after measuring 6-2 and 210 pounds, Clemons was credited with a best time of 4.41 seconds. He's been moderately productive, posting 43 receptions each of the last two seasons, though his marks in 2011 included eight touchdowns and a per-catch average of 15.8 yards. Unlikely to be selected at any point during the seven rounds, Clemons is one of those prospects who seemingly comes from nowhere to have a productive NFL career.
• In Coral Gables, Florida a number of former Miami Hurricanes impressed scouts with athletic workouts.
Receiver Aldarius Johnson, who was suspended for the 2011 campaign due to off-field infractions, and Laron Byrd, a highly rated senior wideout who put up pedestrian numbers last season, both sizzled on at their pro day.
Johnson measured just under 6-2 and weighed 208 pounds. His 40 times clocked in the low 4.4-second range, with a few watches reading 4.40. Byrd, who is slightly larger and was considered a potential third-round choice entering the season, ran a tad slower, timing 4.45 seconds. Both wideouts caught the ball well during workouts, showing the ability to easily adjust and catch the errant throw in stride.
Also impressing was underrated safety JoJo Nicolas. He measured 6-0, 196 pounds and ran a time of 4.56 in the 40. During drills, Nicolas showed impressive ball skills and the ability to cover large amounts of area in a short time. He performed much better than expected and set himself up as a potential late-round choice.
Defender Olivier Vernon ran under 4.7 seconds today, the time he hoped to clock at the combine. His weight was 262 pounds and afterward Vernon looked explosive and fast in linebacker drills.
Working out next to Vernon was Bethune-Cookman sackmaster Ryan Davis, who looked equally impressive. The small-school prospect, who finished the season with 12 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss from his defensive end position, measured 6-2 1/2 and 259 pounds. His vertical jump was a respectable 35 inches, with a 40 time just over 4.8-seconds. Davis looked much faster in linebacker drills and displayed athleticism moving in open space.
Most of Miami's top prospects, including running back Lamar Miller, receiver Tommy Streeter and linebacker Sean Spence stood on most of their combine numbers.
In Boulder, Colorado offensive lineman Ryan Miller shrugged off a disappointing season and received positive reviews for his pro day effort. The big lineman concentrated on position drills and was thoroughly tested by the Indianapolis Colts. He displayed terrific power and hand punch, and moved better than many expected. Miller was highly considered after his sophomore season, but never truly improved his game. He could be a sleeper in the late rounds.
Rodney Stewart, who led the Colorado offense in both rushing and receiving last season, also impressed during the Buffalo's workout. The small skill player measured just 5-6 1/2 and 179 pounds but performed big, completing 21 reps on the bench press, touching 36 inches in the vertical jump and posting a broad jump of 10-4. His best 40 time clocked in at 4.53 seconds, and Stewart timed 6.72 seconds in the three-cone run. He's a slippery skill player who creates his own yardage and does not back down to a challenge. Stewart projects as a Leon Washington-type of player in the NFL.
At the Mississippi State pro day, several of the Bulldogs who participated at the combine were able to improve their 40 time, but the story remains Fletcher Cox.
The athletic defensive lineman stood on his impressive combine numbers, but looked outstanding in drills. Today's display, coupled with his ability to line up at three different spots on the defensive line, could push Cox into the top 10 of the first round.
Running back Vick Ballard and safety Charles Mitchell, who both ran 4.64 seconds in Indianapolis, timed in the mid 4.5s today. Ballard also improved his time in the three-cone, clocking 6.90 seconds compared to 7.04 at the combine.
Offensive tackle James Carmon turned a few heads today. He measured a massive 6-6 and 330 pounds, timed 5.24 seconds in the forty and 4.17 seconds in the short shuttle and completed 22 reps on the bench. Carmon came to Mississippi State as a defensive lineman from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and totaled eight tackles while blocking a kick in 2010. He moved to the offensive line as a senior and held down the left tackle position for the Bulldogs all last year. Scouts feel his upside is enormous and fully expect Carmon to make an NFL roster in one form or another this coming season.
• Tight end Dwayne Allen stood out in position drills and caught the ball extremely well from former Tiger quarterback Willy Korn, who delivered passes all day. Allen looked fluid and smooth moving about the field. Many were surprised Allen did not try to improve his 40 time of 4.89 seconds from the combine, but he told people after the workout, "I'm not a 40 guy," and said he has no plans to run again prior to the draft.
Andre Branch also looked solid in position drills. The college defensive end was put through a battery of linebacker drills by the New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, and for the most part looked solid. Though Branch was overthinking at times, the scouts on hand were impressed with his athleticism and movement skills. He's locked himself up as someone who will go in the top half of the second round.
Cornerback Coty Sensabaugh also drew positive reviews for his positional work. The senior stood on his combine 40 time of 4.42 seconds but looked smooth and crisp in defensive back drills.
Two offensive linemen also looked solid. Landon Walker, who was not invited to the combine, ran 5.30 seconds in the 40 after completing 32 reps on the bench. He and teammate Antoine McClain showed terrific power in drills and the ability to quickly move their feet.
Scouts had mixed feelings on the performance of defensive tackle Brandon Thompson. The big lineman ran a 40 time near 5.10 seconds, but showed little balance and was slipping throughout his workout. Teams like his underlying athleticism and feel Thompson will contribute at the next level, but this was not the workout he needed to push himself into the late part of round one.
• The pro day schedule for Thursday gets started quickly, as the Miami Hurricanes and Clemson Tigers are well into their workouts. But there are other workouts to keep on eye on as well. More than a dozen offensive line coaches from around the league will make their way to Miami, Ohio to watch offensive lineman Brandon Brooks today. Brooks, who turned in a tremendous athletic workout, will be put through offensive line drills this afternoon.
Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen, defensive end/outside linebacker Andre Branch and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh all chose to stand on their 40 times from the combine and will participate in position drills.
Late word from yesterday had some very fast times at the Louisville pro day, starting with receiver Josh Bellamy, who timed in the low 4.4-second range and ran as fast as 4.38 seconds on a few watches. Bellamy, who was well thought of coming into the 2011 season before struggling with injuries throughout his senior year, also posted marks of 37 inches in the vertical and 10-5 in the broad jump.
Underrated linebacker Dexter Heyman, who led the Cardinals in tackles (90) and tackles for loss (16), ran in the 4.76 range, faster than many expected. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound defender also posted a vertical jump of 35 inches.
Tight end/wide receiver Josh Chichester ran times as fast as 4.57 seconds and touched 38 inches in the vertical after measuring 6-8 and 245 pounds. Finally, defensive end Greg Scruggs, who played in just nine games last season then was arrested in December for a DUI, ran in the mid 4.6s at 280 pounds. Always considered a tremendous athlete, Scruggs has never translated his natural physical gifts into full-time football production.
• After years of a carnival like atmosphere for the USC pro day, an event that was used as a tool to recruit top high school prospects under former coach Pete Carroll, today's workout could be described as nondescript at best.
The Trojans top players in April's draft, offensive tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry, both sat on their outstanding combine numbers and took part in a few position drills. They both looked solid in their limited participation. Most on hand said Kalil and Perry both looked and played the part of first-round picks.
Defensive tackle DaJohn Harris, who was not allowed to workout at the combine after doctors discovered a small hole in his heart, a condition known as patent foramen ovale or PFO, did participate in the pro day. Weighing just over 300 pounds Harris ran 40 times between 4.96-5.05 seconds.
Running back Marc Tyler ran his 40 in the mid-4.7's, slightly better than his combine result. The conditions were tough for the players, who ran into a strong headwind during the 40.
FBS program Eastern Washington had about a half dozen scouts on hand for its pro day.
Safety Matt Johnson, who missed most of the season's second half with a torn biceps tendon, put on a show for scouts. The hard hitting run defender measured just over 6-feet and 211 pounds. His fastest 40 time clocked 4.54 seconds and Johnson's other marks included a vertical jump of 38.5 inches and 18 reps on the bench.
Defensive tackle Renard Williams, highly rated coming into the season, measured 6-feet, 1/2-inch and 302 pounds. His marks included 23-reps on the bench press, 32-inches on the vertical jump and a fast 40 time of 5.20 seconds.
Record-setting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was unable to throw as the facility where the workout was held was not conducive to a passing workout. Mitchell will participate in the SMU pro day later this month.
• The Wisconsin pro day is complete and the star of the workout was guard Kevin Zeitler, who looked tremendous in position drills. The dominant run blocker showed terrific power in bag drills and easily moved about the field during motion drills. After his workout those in attendance used words such as "outstanding" and "beastly" to describe Zeitler, whose swiftly rising up boards. The Badger senior has locked himself up as a top-45 choice and there's a feeling he could slide into the late part of Round 1.
Quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball well during a scripted workout. His down field passes were on the money and Wilson displayed solid arm strength on all his throws. This did not come as a surprise to scouts as they expected Wilson to do well in an open space workout with no defenders trying to knock him around.
Peter Konz looked solid in limited action snapping the ball. There's a feeling in the scouting community the all-Big Ten center and his 6-foot, 5-inch frame can lineup at guard or right tackle as well as center.
Safety Aaron Henry was slightly disappointing posting times in the low 4.6-second area in the 40-yard dash and did not look prepared for the workout. Offensive tackle Josh Oglesby, who clocked in at 5.81 seconds during the combine, looked very sluggish during the workout.
One small school player that turned heads during Wisconsin's pro day was Beloit receiver Derek Carrier. The three sport athlete (Carrier also played basketball and ran track in college) ran under 4.5-seconds after measuring 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds. His other marks included a 40-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump and 6.69 seconds during the three cone run. The three cone time was topped by just one receiver at the combine.
Carrier is more than just a good athlete as the Division III wide out caught 75 passes for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He left teams scrambling after the workout and received more than two dozen requests for game film from scouts and NFL team officials on hand.
There was another small-school prospect that impressed NFL teams today.
Nine franchises made their way to Hamilton, N.Y. to watch running back Nate Eachus workout during the Colgate pro day. The four-year starter whose amassed 4,485 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns, posted a best time of 4.56 seconds in the 40 after measuring 5-foot-10 and 214 pounds. His other marks included a vertical jump of 37.5 inches as well as 24 reps on the bench.
After position drills Eachus sat privately and met with a pair of NFL teams for two hours.
• The pro day at Alabama and Texas A&M is over, while the Badgers of Wisconsin just began their workout. Here are a few results thus far.
In Tuscaloosa, Don'ta Hightower stood on his 40 time from the combine, but did improve one inch in the vertical jump, touching 33 inches. During drills, Hightower showed some stiffness changing direction and was not quick in coverage drills. His backpedal looked mechanical and forced, while Hightower showed little in the way of being able to burst out of his plant. He's a big, forceful linebacker with solid straight line speed, but Hightower did nothing today to dispel the belief he's a two-down defender.
Hightower's performance was in stark contrast to Jerrell Harris, a linebacker often overlooked due to the star power playing around him.
Harris measured 6-2 1/2 and 241 pounds. He cracked 4.6 seconds on a number of stopwatches and tapped 35 inches on the vertical jump. During drills, Harris looked quick, athletic and fast. He easily changed direction and showed lateral speed in coverage drills. With his size and speed, Harris can line up at a number of outside linebacker positions in the NFL.
Another unheralded Tide player impressed scouts today, tight end Brad Smelley. The senior looked terrific catching the ball, running solid routes and snatching passes cleanly from the air. Smelley lacks classic size for the tight end position, but could easily make the transition to H-back or a move tight end in the NFL.
Receiver Darius Hanks struggled to crack 4.7 seconds in the 40, but ran solid routes, caught the ball well in drills and practiced faster than his 40 time. He still has a chance to squeeze into the late rounds of the draft.
In College Station it was a different receiver drawing rave reviews.
Texas A&M senior Jeff Fuller, who did not workout at the combine, tested well in front of scouts today. The 224-pound wideout clocked under 4.55 seconds on a number of watches, reportedly running a best time of 4.53 seconds. He posted a vertical jump of 36 inches and broad jump of 10-feet, 3-inches. Fuller looked solid in pass-catching drills and looked comfortable running routes. He will work out again for scouts, as Fuller will participate in Ryan Tannehill's pro day on March 29.
Cornerback Terrence Frederick shaved almost one-tenth of a second from his combine time, clocking 4.45 seconds in the 40.
From Madison, Wisconsin comes word that most of the Badgers who participated in the combine will not run the 40 today, except receiver Nick Toon. Early results show the dependable pass-catcher slightly improving from his performance in Indianapolis (4.54 seconds), running times ranging between 4.48 and 4.52 seconds.
• Today's pro day schedule includes Alabama, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and USC, but don't expect any breaking news from these workouts, as the top prospects are not expected to participate.
Crimson Tide stars Trent Richardson, Mark Barron and Courtney Upshaw are bypassing today's workout and will perform for scouts on March 29. That's the same day Texas A&M signal caller Ryan Tannehill, who has been recovering from a broken bone in his foot, will also be throwing for NFL teams.
USC tackle Matt Kalil and defensive prospect Nick Perry are expected to stand on their combine workouts, where both prospects performed brilliantly.
In Wisconsin, top rated center Peter Konz will not work out as he continues to recover from the ankle he dislocated last November, an injury further irritated during the Rose Bowl. Konz will do some snapping to quarterback Russell Wilson.
Some final results from Illinois pro day yesterday include a terrific performance from linebacker Ian Thomas. The speedy defender ran 4.67 seconds in the 40 after tipping the scales at 232 pounds. His other marks included an impressive 32 reps on the bench, a 37-inch vertical jump and a fine session of linebacker drills. Thomas is a potential late-round pick by a 4-3 defense that needs a weak side linebacker.
• Several NFL hopefuls on the West Coast battled cold, windy weather and saw their pro-day workouts go late into the afternoon.
The UCLA pro day was attended by all 32 teams and featured a number of seniors hoping to redeem themselves after failing to meet expectations in 2011. Most of the Bruins who took part in the workout impressed scouts.
The story of the day was receiver Nelson Rosario who was graded as a late-round pick entering the year. Rosario measured 6 feet, 5 1/2 inches, 230 pounds then ran 40 times of 4.55 into a stiff headwind. His other marks included a vertical jump of 36.5 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch. All were outstanding results for Rosario, who caught the ball well during drills. Scouts were impressed the way the big pass-catcher was able to quickly get into pass routes and stay on balance exiting breaks. There's a feeling Rosario could add weight to his frame and eventually develop into a field-stretching tight end.
Safety Tony Dye, graded as a mid-round choice coming into the season only to struggle with several injuries, also turned in a solid performance. Dye was credited with an official 40 time of 4.56 seconds, posted 4.15 seconds in the short shuttle and 7.02 in the three cone. He also touched 36.5 inches in the vertical jump. These numbers were competitive with many of the safeties at the combine. He later looked smooth and quick in position drills.
Former Vanderbilt cornerback Jamie Graham, who transferred to UCLA only to miss most of the season with injury, also turned heads with a good workout. Ditto for Josh Smith, the receiver/return specialist transfer from Colorado who was forced to play in the secondary last season after injuries started to mount for the Bruins. Both looked camp worthy and should be signed soon after the draft ends.
• At Cal-Lutheran, nearly a half dozen teams withstood bad weather to watch cornerback Justin Haulcy-Bateman workout. The small-school sleeper did not disappoint, running 4.49 seconds in the 40 and 6.7 seconds in the shuttle. His other marks included 15 reps on the bench and 37 inches in the vertical jump. Haulcy-Bateman will have a second workout March 26.
Another small-school prospect stood out Tuesday. Jeremy Caldwell, a top FBS cornerback and return specialist, timed in the low 4.4s, clocked 4.1 seconds in the short shuttle and touched 35 inches in the vertical jump. Caldwell could get looks in the final round for a team that needs both a dime back and kick returner.
• The Illinois pro day is complete and, while most of the top name prospects stood on their combine numbers, there were some standout performances.
Fast-rising Whitney Mercilus posted a time of 7.03 in the three-cone, which bettered his mark from the combine by almost .15 seconds. The number would've also placed Mercilus, who lined up at defensive end last season, in the top half of the linebackers who participated in the three-cone test at the combine. His short shuttle run of 4.49 seconds was also an improvement from his combine number last week. Afterward, Mercilus ran through position drills at both defensive line and linebacker. The game-impacting junior has likely secured a spot for himself in the bottom half of the first round.
Receiver AJ Jenkins also blistered in the three-cone and short shuttle, posting times in the low 3.8 second area and 6.7 second area respectively. His short shuttle time was faster than any run by a receiver at the combine, while only two wideouts bested the three-cone mark.
Jason Ford, the Fighting Illini's second-leading rusher last season, tipped the scale near 250 pounds and posted 40 times in the low-to-mid 4.6-second range, and turned in a vertical jump of 35 inches. Both are terrific marks and Ford later stood out in pass-catching drills. The college running back is getting long looks as a west coast fullback by NFL teams.
Offensive lineman John Cornell, overlooked in scouting circles due to the quality talent around him, also fared well. He completed 32 reps on the bench press, then cracked 5.10 seconds in the 40 on a number of watches. The 40 time is important, as this tells scouts Cornell has the athleticism many did not think he possessed.
• Many of the pro days for today are well underway, and already there have been several players who have wowed NFL teams, none more so than Greg Childs of Arkansas.
The big receiver posted an official 40 time of 4.41 seconds, though he timed in the high 4.3s on a number of watches at the workout. That's more than a full tenth of a second better than his combine time of 4.55 seconds. Childs also improved in the vertical jump by four inches, touching 40.5 inches at his pro day.
Teammate Joe Adams was unable to improve on his performance in Indianapolis, equaling his combine time of 4.55 seconds in the 40. For Adams, considered a vertical threat with home-run-hitting speed on the field, the mark is disappointing.
Linebacker Jerry Franklin, who many thought was deserving of a combine invitation, proved to scouts he belongs in the NFL. Franklin tipped the scales at 242 pounds, posted a vertical jump of 37.5 inches and ran a 40 time in the low 4.6s. Only three linebackers at the combine ran faster or jumped higher than the marks posted by Franklin today.
Also adding his name into the mix was running back/fullback Broderick Green, who clocked in the low 4.7s at 238 pounds and posted a vertical jump of 34 inches. Green, considered a leader on the Arkansas team and a character prospect by scouts, is a real sleeper at the fullback position. The Arkansas players are presently participating in position drills.
In Atlanta, Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill is again drawing rave reviews.
Hill stood on his stellar combine marks, but tipped the scale at a solid 209 pounds during the Georgia Tech workout, six less than his combine weigh-in. Once again Hill was flawless during pass-catching drills, running clean routes and doing an exceptional job catching the ball. The buzz continues to build around Hill, as several NFL decision-makers, as well as directors of college scouting for teams around the league, openly stated this morning that he ranks as a first-round choice and should be off the board by pick 25.
• The Hawaii workout ended a very busy pro-day schedule on Monday though no player stood out. The winner of the day was Cal-Poly cornerback Asa Jackson who improved his combine marks in the 40, turning in a time of 4.46 seconds, and the vertical jump, where he touched 37.5 inches.
• Defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga stood on his combine numbers while Hawaii's other front line defender, Kaniela Tuipulotu, hurt a hamstring on his first forty attempt and did not continue with the workout. Of note was Corey Paredes, one of the teams best linebackers, running through a battery of fullback drills for scouts.
• Two players performed well at the Indiana pro-day starting with offensive lineman Andrew McDonald. The versatile blocker measured almost 6-feet-6 and tipped the scale at 317 pounds. His 40 time clocked under 5.2 seconds. His vertical jump was 28.5 inches and McDonald looked good in position drills. He's getting consideration at both guard and tackle from teams.
• Linebacker Jeff Thomas completed 20 reps on the bench and ran 4.75-seconds in the 40. Thomas, who measured 5-feet, 11.5-inches and 231-pounds is an intense competitor scout project as a back-up for several linebacker positions and a special teams ace.
• The news was not so good for Damarlo Belcher. The one-time highly rated receiver who was dismissed from the Indiana program during the middle part of last season performed poorly during the entire pro-day workout.
Like the Georgia pro-day, the workout at UAB was highlighted by a pair of offensive linemen:
• Matt McCants, graded as a potential middle round choice, improved on a few of his combine marks today. His fastest forty clocked in the upper 5.3-second area and later in the workout McCants looked athletic in position drills.
• Unheralded Terence Edge turned a few heads today. The offensive guard, who tips the scales in excess of 330-pounds, completed 27-reps on the bench, ran 5.2's in the forty and touched 31-inches in the vertical jump. Edge is unlikely to be drafted, but rather will be quickly swiped up after the seven rounds by a team wanting an athletic, wide bodied guard.
• The workout is complete at Georgia and by all accounts Cordy Glenn once again impressed coaches on hand. There's a feeling in the scouting community Glenn is headed into the top half of round one, possibly to the Dallas Cowboys.
• Justin Anderson was another offensive lineman that stood out. The big tackle rested on his combine numbers but looked terrific in position drills. The 330-pound blocker easily moved around the field and displayed terrific power in bad drills. Anderson has positioned himself as a late round sleeper.
• Expanding on the workout of Orson Charles, the athletic tight end looked good in position drills despite very difficult conditions. He caught the ball well and battled high winds which made throwing the football impossible at times.
• Cornerback Brandon Boykin has been medically cleared to workout from the leg injury he sustained at the Senior Bowl but chose only to participate in the bench press. Boykin is expected to schedule a personal pro-day prior to the draft in order to have some additional training time.
• Tough conditions confronted the participants of Georgia's pro day, as players faced a cold, stiff wind for most of the workout. Early nresults has tight end Orson Charles running unofficial times in the low-to-mid 4.7-second range. Defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson completed 30 reps on the bench, then ran a pair of 40 times that averaged under 5.0 seconds.
• Monday starts off what is expected to be a busy and hectic week on the pro day schedule.
Scouts are in Athens, Georgia this morning as the Bulldogs take the field for their workout. Tight end Orson Charles and defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson did not work out at the combine, but are expected to fully participate in today's event. Charles made a last-minute decision to enter the draft and opted not to run in Indianapolis, as he wanted the extra week to prepare for his workout. Tyson was recently cleared by doctors to participate in the full slate of physical tests.
Later this afternoon scouts will be out west in Carson, California for Hawaii's pro day. Most eyes will be on defensive lineman Kaniela Tuipulotu, who many thought deserved an invitation to the combine but was snubbed.
Sandwiched in between the two are workouts for the NFL prospects at Indiana and Alabama-Birmingham.
• Twenty teams descended upon the campus of Cincinnati today to watch more than a half dozen Bearcats work out. None of the school's three participants from the combine took part in a full workout. Running back Isaiah Pead and defensive tackle Derek Wolfe participated in position drills. Wolfe, in particular, looked good in drills. He was fluid moving around the field and looked powerful during bag drills.
The team's other senior, defensive tackle John Hughes, took part in the bench press. Hughes completed 29 reps, one more than his total from Indianapolis. Hughes has been struggling with hamstring tightness and will run for scouts on March 24, as will linebacker J.K. Schaffer, the team's leading tackler who sat on the sidelines most of today with an injury.
Receiver D.J. Woods turned some heads with an exceptional showing. The 6-foot, 180-pound pass-catcher posted a 37-inch vertical jump, then ran a pair of 40s in the low 4.4-second range (4.42 fastest). During drills Woods ran crisp, detailed routes and caught the ball well. Coaches on hand asked the swift wideout to run nearly a dozen NFL routes and came away impressed with his ability.
Quarterback Zach Collaros also turned some heads. The smallish passer (Collaros struggles to measure 6-feet even) displayed solid arm strength and accurately placed his deep throws into pass-catchers' hands.
Late word from yesterday's Missouri pro day has NFL scouts buzzing about Tiger field goal kicker Grant Ressel, who consistently split the uprights from 60 yards during his workout. Ressel struggled as a senior, hitting on only 56.2 percent of his field goals, as well as just 1-of-7 from 40 yards or longer. His workout yesterday will at least get Ressel an invite to camp.
• Tight end Michael Egnew, as well as receivers Jerrell Jackson and Wes Kemp, all looked good in pass-catching drills. Jackson, who ran in the upper 4.5s at the combine, will run the 40 on March 15, when Missouri has its second pro day.
Offensive linemen Austin Wuebbels and Dan Hoch both impressed. Wuebbels, a three-year starter at guard, completed 40 reps on the bench press, receiving applause from scouts.
Hoch measured 6-6½ and 320 pounds. His 40 time of 5.25 was adequate while many were impressed by his short shuttle time of 4.73, a mark which would've placed him in the top half of offensive linemen at the combine.
• Tight end Michael Egnew, Missouri's top tight end prospect, is still struggling with a tight hamstring which came about during the combine. He will wait until March 15 to better his time of 4.62 seconds in the forty from the combine. Egnew did participate in the broad jump, measuring 11-feet, 4-inches, which was a five inch improvement from Indianapolis. His vertical jump of 37.5 inches today bettered his combine number by 1.5-inches.
Receiver Wes Kemp, who entered the season with late round grades yet was not invited to the combine, gave scouts a lot to think about today. The 6-foot, 3.5-inch receiver who tips the scales at more than 220-pounds completed 22 reps on the bench press then posted times as fast as 4.46-seconds in the forty.
• After sizzling during the testing portion of his workout, Brandon Brooks continued to impress during a 10-minute segment of position drills. According to scouts Brooks moved well around the field, looking fluid and smooth. At one point during bag drills he knocked over a coach from the Pittsburgh Steelers after violently striking the bag with his powerful hand punch.
Brooks is slated for a second workout next Thursday, March 8, where he will solely participate in offensive line drills. The expectations from NFL decision makers at the workout is Brooks will be the first non-combine participant drafted in April.
• There's no rest for the weary, as less than 48 hours after completion of the NFL combine in Indianapolis, scouts, coaches and general managers begin criss-crossing the nation to attend college pro days. Over the next four weeks, NFL hopefuls will be measured, tested, interviewed and drilled as teams ready their draft boards for April's event.
Two pro days started off the schedule today: Missouri and Miami-Ohio.
The Miami pro day is important, as offensive lineman Brandon Brooks, considered the highest rated player not invited to the combine, took the field. More than two dozen teams were on hand to watch Brooks today, and he did not disappoint.
The big offensive lineman measured 6-foot-5 and weighed 346 pounds. He completed 36 reps on the bench press, a number exceeded by just one offensive lineman at the combine. The same can be said for Brooks' 4.98 40 time, which included a 10-yard split of 1.71 seconds. Only Donald Stephenson ran faster at the combine. His vertical jump of 32 inches and broad jump of 8-feet, 9-inches were also superb. The 4.52 short shuttle time beat all marks from the offensive linemen who ran in Indianapolis.
Brooks in presently participating in offensive line drills for the position coaches and scouts on hand.
The big story for prospects not invited to the combine surrounds the alleged super-regional combine, which takes place at Ford Field in Detroit the final two days of March. Reports had as many as 100 of the top players not in Indianapolis last week receiving invitations to this smaller scouting event. Early excitement about the event, however, soon dissipated once the details were closely inspected.
Unlike the Indianapolis combine, the top players invited to Ford Field will have to pay their own travel expenses to and from Detroit, which does not sit well with many. Worse yet, players are reportedly participating in just a few of the combine tests (40-yard sprint, short shuttle, vertical jump and L-drill) and critical medical exams will not be performed at the regional combine.