Pro Day tracker (cont.)
Tuesday, March 23, 5:56 p.m.
After a stunning performance in the 40 and three-cone sprint, Dexter McCluster shined during position drills. Scouts lined him up all over the field; as a running back, slot receiver and return specialist as the Seattle Seahawks had McCluster field punts at the end of the day. His workout was near flawless.
For the speedy skill player from Ole Miss, it was the end to a trifecta of standout performances since January. After a terrific week of practice at the Senior Bowl, McCluster displayed great football skill at the combine and topped it off with a huge dose of athleticism today. He now moves towards the draft as a second-round choice and is heading into the middle part of the frame.
Several scouts have mentioned how terrific Notre Dame's Golden Tate looked in position drills as he caught everything thrown in his direction. Scouts specifically instructed Damarius Bilbo, the former Georgia Tech prospect who was used as the practice quarterback today, to fire the ball into Tate's hands to test their integrity. Tate and his hands passed the test. The junior receiver will once again perform in front of a large group of scouts as he is expected to be part of Jimmy Clausen's April 9 workout.
Tuesday, March 23, 3:16 p.m.
The top prospects for Notre Dame stood on their combine numbers as offensive tackle Sam Young, center Eric Olsen and wide receiver Golden Tate participated only in position drills.
Paul Duncan, the team's third prospect on the offensive line, worked out for scouts and was impressive. Duncan measured 6-foot-6.5 and weighed 308 pounds. His 40 times ranged in the area of 5.17 seconds and Duncan pushed up 30 reps on the bench. He looked solid in position drills, displaying fluid hips and nice feet.
As mentioned earlier quarterback, Jimmy Clausen was on hand to view the workout. Clausen was seen hanging around with a contingent of people from the Washington Redskins during most of the pro-day event.
Tuesday, March 23, 2:31 p.m.
North Carolina's Aleric Mullins, who was given medical clearance to work out today after being held out of the combine, wowed scouts with an impressive performance.
Mullins weighed in at 319 pounds then ran 40 times which hovered around 4.9, with some watches reading 4.87 seconds. He completed 35 reps on the bench, which was another solid mark. Mullins was terrific in position drills, displaying a lot of quickness and ease of movement.
The big defensive lineman is getting consideration at nose tackle and as a three technique lineman, thanks to the athleticism he showed today. His pro-day workout could help move Mullins into the draft's initial 75 selections.
Iowa State offensive lineman Reggie Stephens, who many thought should have received an invitation to the combine, made up for lost time today. Stephens weighed 314 pounds, completed 31 reps on the bench press and ran the 40 in 5.26. He looked very athletic in drills, due in large part to the fact Stephens has dropped 14 pounds in training since the season ended. The versatile blocker, who can line up at center or guard, is now likely to sneak into the late rounds of the draft.
By all accounts it was a very successful day for Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead. He threw more than 50 passes and all but two were completed. His passes were crisp in the short field and Snead was very accurate with his deep throws. In many ways he was reminiscent of the Jevan Snead from 2008. This will help push Snead back into the middle rounds and the third round is not out of the equation.
Tuesday, March 23, 1:14 p.m.
The times at the Mississippi pro day have been fast today, even though it's being performed on slippery field turf. Thus far no one has stood out more than Dexter McCluster.
The multi-purpose skill player ran 40 times which hovered in the low 4.4s. Some scouts had McCluster as fast as 4.39 seconds. His three-cone time was also swift at 6.59. McCluster's 40 time represents an improvement of .15 seconds over his combine mark. He did stand on his combine results in the vertical jump, broad jump and short shuttle.
Defensive end Greg Hardy is also someone who's shown improvement from his performance in Indianapolis. His 40 times were clocked as fast as 4.76 seconds on several watches, compared to the 4.9s he ran at the combine. Hardy's vertical jump of 36.5 inches, broad jump of 10-feet, 1-inch and three cone of 7.06 were all significantly better than the marks he turned in at the combine.
The Rebels are preparing to complete the workout by participating in position drills. We will have the bottom line on Jevan Snead's throwing workout a little later on.
Tuesday, March 23, 12:02 p.m.
Tuesday's pro-day schedule is highlighted by a number of top programs as players from Notre Dame, Mississippi and North Carolina will work out for NFL scouts and coaches.
Jimmy Clausen will not participate in today's workout in South Bend and has opted to throw for scouts on April 9. Clausen, who has been throwing to his Notre Dame teammates during training, is expected to attend today's pro day and watch from the sidelines.
We noted during the combine that Duke defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase looked sluggish and lacked quickness, in part due to the many injuries he's recently suffered.
Oghobaase significantly improved his numbers during Monday's pro day. He ran the 40 in a time under 5.25 seconds and the short shuttle in 4.58. The latter is comparable to the time Jared Odrick, a likely first round choice, clocked in Indianapolis. Oghobaase told several people after the workout he felt much better yesterday than he did at the combine.
Monday, March 22, 7:53 p.m.
More than two dozen NFL teams were on hand to watch several Iowa Hawkeyes workout Monday afternoon, and the highest-rated prospects did not disappoint those who made the trip.
Cornerback Amari Spievey posted slightly better 40 times than at the NFL combine. Most scouts had Spievey in the very low 4.5-second range, while a few stopwatches read 4.49. Spievey looked solid in position drills afterward and secured himself as a top-75 pick.
Linebacker A.J. Edds and Pat Angerer both ran in the high 4.6s, beating their respective 40 times at the combine, as well.
Junior offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga stood on most of his combine numbers, yet did participate in the bench press. His 27 reps were one better than his number from Indianapolis (26). He also took part in position drills on Monday. Bulaga is unlikely to slip past the 12th pick of Round 1.
During the Duke pro day, scouts came away impressed with linebacker Vincent Rey. The team's leading tackler (weighing 240 pounds) gave scouts reason for pause, after turning in a terrific workout -- 4.58 and 4.54 in the 40; 38˝-inch vertical jump; 6.79 seconds in the three-cone drill.
Monday, March 22, 12:42 p.m.
Several teams have been showing a lot of interest in the multi-versatile Rey, who was productive at middle linebacker and on the weak side for Duke.
The pro-day week starts off with a light schedule Monday. We'll be watching Iowa, where cornerback Amari Spievey hopes to solidify himself as a top 75 choice. In Durham, N.C., defensive lineman Vince Oghobaase hopes to rebound from a poor combine performance at Duke's pro day.
The schedule heats up Tuesday as Notre Dame, Mississippi and North Carolina take the field. Arizona State, Boise State and Central Michigan also have pro-day workouts this week.
Cleaning up a few tidbits from late last week:
During the San Jose State workout on Friday, receiver Kevin Jurovich pleasantly surprised scouts with his speed. Considered a possession receiver by NFL decision makers, Jurovich timed his 40 in the low 4.4s and topped 37.5 inches on the vertical jump. He later put on a pass-catching clinic during position drills. This show of athleticism has likely sealed the sure-handed Jurovich as a late-round pick.
During the Virginia workout, 240-pound lead blocker Rashawn Jackson was timed at 4.65 in the 40, one-tenth better than his combine performance. Jackson now moves towards April as the top pure fullback available in the draft.
Friday, March 19, 3:30 p.m.
After a full slate of pro days earlier this week, the pace slowed Friday as just a few schools performed workouts for NFL scouts. Players not invited to the combine got an opportunity to shine, while several who were in Indianapolis improved on their performances.
Missouri State tight end Clay Harbor continues to move up draft boards. Running outdoors on field turf, Harbor timed in the mid 4.5-second range (4.56/4.57) in the 40. That's a major improvement from the combine, where Harbor's marks were clocked in the upper 4.6-area. His 4.24-second short shuttle run was also much faster. Harbor, who completed an unexpected 30 reps on the bench, has solidified himself as a mid-round choice in April's draft.
Tulane receiver Jeremy Williams, who ran disappointing times at the combine, was significantly faster today. His time of 4.44 seconds in the 40 was almost two-tenths of a second better than his combine mark. Williams, who played well at the Senior Bowl, has moved into the middle rounds.
Running back Andre Anderson, who returned from a shoulder injury in 2008 to put up career numbers last season, looked very athletic during the Tulane workout. Anderson, who weighed in over 210 pounds, posted a 39-inch vertical jump and ran his 40 as fast as 4.52 seconds.
Vanderbilt DE Steven Stone was graded as a potential late-round pick entering the season and his workout today may have pushed him into the draft's final selections. Stone measured 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, then proceeded to turn in a vertical jump of 35-inches and run a three cone time of 6.99-seconds, a terrific mark for someone his size. Stone was put through a battery of defensive line and linebacker drills by NFL scouts, as there's a feeling the athletic prospect could easily add another 20 pounds to his frame.
Thursday, March 18, 6:14 p.m.
Middle Tennessee's Chris McCoy came out of nowhere last season and has been steadily moving up draft boards since September. Almost two-dozen teams were on hand at MTSU to watch the pass-rushing terror work out, and McCoy did not disappoint. He ran a 40 time in the low 4.7-second area at 261-pounds, posted a vertical jump of 33.5 inches and a broad jump of 10'3''. McCoy lined up in a three-point stance in college, but projects to linebacker in the NFL. Many of the teams at the workout use a 3-4 alignment on defense and were impressed with the ease with which McCoy was able to move in reverse when simulating pass coverage skills. He's secured a spot for himself in the later rounds.
Offensive lineman Chris Marinelli, one of the more athletic blockers in the nation not invited to last months combine, showed why he's highly regarded in the scouting community. During Stanford's pro day the 301-pound blocker ran his 40 as fast as 5.04 seconds, posted a vertical jump of 30 1/2 inches and ran a solid three-cone time of 7.45 seconds. He completed a disappointing 16 reps on the bench press, yet Marinelli is getting plenty of interest from zone blocking teams.
In Oregon, the wait was worth it for LeGarrette Blount. The maligned prospect stunned scouts by posting forty times which ranged in the mid 4.5 second area, a full two-tenths faster than his combine mark. Several scouts clocked Blount in times of 4.53 and 4.55 seconds after he weighed in at 238 pounds. The forty was the only item Blount had on his schedule today.
TJ Ward was another prospect from Oregon who significantly improved his numbers from the combine. His 40 time, which was clocked as fast as 4.46 by scouts, was also two-tenths faster than his performance in Indy. Ward also timed well in the short shuttle (4.07 seconds) and three cone (6.78). His performance may have sealed the safety as a top 60 choice next month.
Thursday, March 18, 4:05 p.m.
The workout at Virginia Tech is finished and junior defender Jason Worilds impressed the scouts on hand. He improved his 40 time from the combine, running twice in the low 4.5-second area. His short shuttle time of 4.08 seconds was terrific. Worilds, who measured just over 6-foot-1 and 254 pounds at the combine, was put through defensive line drills by the Carolina Panthers and linebacker drills by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Today's performance could help him sneak into the final stages of round two.
Meanwhile at Temple, Steve Maneri, rightly considered by many as the top blocking tight end in April's draft, showed surprising speed and athleticism during the Owls pro day. The 6-7, 264-pound prospect then ran a 4.81 40. His 23 reps on the bench put him with the upper echelon tight ends who lifted at the combine. Several teams project Maneri to offensive tackle down the road; the athleticism he displayed today is likely to secure him a spot in the late rounds of the draft.
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