Pro Day tracker (cont.)
Tuesday, March 16, 12:49 p.m.
It is rare for NFL scouts to travel in large numbers to Bowling Green State for a pro day, but that's exactly what's happening. They will be on hand to watch the workout of record-setting receiver Freddie Barnes. His 155 receptions in 2009 set an NCAA mark as Barnes also registered 19 touchdowns and 1,770 receiving yards. Despite being graded as a legitimate mid-to-late round prospect, Barnes did not receive an invitation to last month's combine, which surprised many in the scouting community.
Many are concerned about his speed and quickness so a good athletic workout this afternoon is important for Barnes.
The Georgia Bulldogs will also be performing for NFL decision makers today in Athens. Junior linebacker Rennie Curran hopes to complete the entire workout this time around. During the combine, Curran was sidelined after pulling his hamstring on his first attempt in the 40.
Monday, afternoon almost a dozen teams traveled to Ypsilanti, Mich., for pro day at Eastern Michigan. Just about all were on hand to watch quarterback Andy Schmitt. Considered a potential late-round pick entering the '09 season, Schmitt saw his year come to a premature end after he tore knee ligaments three games into the campaign. Reconstructive surgery was required to repair the damage.
Despite being just five months removed from surgery, Schmitt threw well for scouts Monday. He measured 6-4, 230, threw into a strong wind but displayed a solid arm and was accurate with his deep throws. Schmitt is someone to keep on the radar screen in the very late rounds of next month's draft.
Monday, March 15, 3:48 p.m.
Several LSU Tigers drew rave reviews today after their pro-day workout.
Cornerback Chris Hawkins came away a big winner. After improving his 40 time, Hawkins looked the best of all the defensive backs in position drills. Unlike the combine, his footwork and hip movement today was fluid and quick. Hawkins may have just secured a spot for himself in the middle rounds.
Though he did not run well, safety Chad Jones looked very good in position drills after a slow start. He was quick changing direction, fast to the sidelines and caught the ball well simulating an interception. Jones looked like a centerfielder today, which was not the case at the combine.
Charles Scott also looked like a big-time prospect in drills. His footwork was better than expected and Scott displayed a good amount of quickness. The big back may finally be putting concerns about the collarbone he broke four months ago behind him.
Monday, March 15, 2:38 p.m.
For the most part, the 40 times at LSU have been fast this afternoon as a number of players have improved their combine marks. Several sleeper prospects who were not invited to the combine have also impressed scouts.
Running back Charles Scott ran 4.53 seconds during each of his two attempts in the 40. That's much better than his combine times which were electronically timed at 4.75 and 4.72.
Cornerback Chris Hawkins, 4.53 at the combine, was also faster. Hawkins posted 40 times in the very low 4.4 area an improved his vertical jump to 36.5 inches (35 in Indianapolis).
Keiland Williams, who did not run at the combine due to an ankle injury, was surprisingly fast today. The 231-pound running back stopped watches in the low 4.5s during the 40, with some scouts timing him as fast as 4.51.
Of the players not invited to the combine, safety Danny McCary has been the most impressive. McCray weighed 214, completed 24 reps on the bench and ran a 4.46 in the 40.
Others have not fared as well.
Brandon LaFell was only slightly faster today than in Indianapolis last month. Both of his 40 times hovered in the mid-4.5s. Safety Chad Jones also ran similar times and completed just 11 reps on the bench.
Monday, March 15, 12:52 p.m.
Receiver Demaryius Thomas did attend the Georgia Tech pro day today in Atlanta. With a boot still on his surgically repaired left foot, Thomas walked without the aid of crutches and by all accounts was moving very well.
Jonathan Dwyer looked very impressive from start to finish. In similar fashion to his combine performance, Dwyer looked terrific in drills, effortlessly moving around and looking in great shape. Unlike Indianapolis, Dwyer was swift in the 40, clocking times which read in the mid-4.55 area, almost .15 faster than his time at the combine. This will restore Dwyer's draft ranking and he now battles Ryan Mathews of Fresno State and Jahvid Best of Cal for the right to be the second running back selected in next month's draft after C.J. Spiller of Clemson.
Safety Morgan Burnett, who did not participate in combine workouts due to a strained left hamstring, has turned heads today. Burnett started the day by posting a vertical jump of 40 inches and a broad jump of 11-feet. Most clocked his 40 times in the mid-4.4 range, with some timing Burnett as fast as 4.42.
Defensive end Derrick Morgan stood on his solid combine numbers but is participating in position drills. Morgan looks good and the consensus is he's assured to be a top 12 pick in the draft.
Monday, March 15, 11:37 a.m.
The pro-day schedule this week has a decidedly SEC flavor as scouts will be traveling to Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt over the next five days. One of the largest crowds will be on hand in Baton Rouge today as almost 20 LSU seniors will be working out.
It will be an opportunity for two highly considered prospects, receiver Brandon LaFell and running back Charles Scott, to improve on their poor 40 times from the combine.
Another interested group of NFL decision-makers and scouts will be in Atlanta as the Georgia Tech pro day is also on today's schedule.
Jonathan Dwyer is another highly rated running back who hopes to run significantly faster today than he did in Indianapolis.
Scouts also hope to get an update on the progress of receiver Demaryius Thomas, who is just three weeks removed from the foot surgery that prevented him from participating in the combine.
Friday, March 12, 5:40 p.m.
More than two dozen scouts and coaches were on hand for the TCU pro-day and the players they came to see did not disappoint.
Linebacker Daryl Washington, a prospect shooting up draft boards, had a sensational outing. Weighing in at 229-pounds, one less than his combine number, Washington clocked times that ranged between 4.46-to-4.51 seconds in the 40, more than one-tenth faster than his performance in Indianapolis. His short shuttle time of 4.07 seconds was better than any linebacker who ran at the combine.
During position drills, Washington wowed scouts with his skills in pass coverage. Many on hand felt his footwork was as good as most of the defensive backs they've worked out to date. Finally, scouts were impressed by his physique, and the consensus is that Washington should be able to add an additional 10 pounds to his frame and not lose speed. He has cemented himself as a top 50 choice.
Jerry Hughes decided to stand on his combine numbers and just perform position drills for the scouts on hand. Hughes was asked to complete defensive line and linebacker skills, which he did effectively.
Next week is an important one on the pro-day schedule. Several SEC schools are on the docket including LSU on Monday with Georgia on Tuesday, then Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes and the rest of the Florida Gators on Wednesday.
Friday, March 12, 3:01 p.m.
As reported earlier, Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski was a spectator at today's pro day and did not participate in anything. He is waiting until the end of March to showcase his skills. Scouts who traveled to Tucson for the workout were not happy and several told us they think the junior is not completely healthy coming off his back surgery from last year.
Arizona defensive tackle Earl Mitchell continues to impress teams. Scouts asked him to try to better his marks from the combine in the vertical jump and three cone. He responded by improving his vertical by 4.5 inches (33 at pro day) and .37 seconds in the three cone (7.31 versus 7.68). Mitchell could now move into the draft's initial 70 selections.
In Michigan, Brandon Graham stood on his combine numbers but several of his teammates performed well for scouts, primarily little known safety Stevie Brown.
Brown measured just under 6-foot and weighed 212 pounds. His 40 times ranged in the mid-4.4 area while his three cone was an impressive 6.61. Brown's other marks were terrific and included 23 reps on the bench and a vertical jump of 35 inches. Brown, who was moved from his natural position of safety to linebacker last season, led the Wolverines with 80 tackles as a senior and was a top special teams player. He'll be a late-round steal based on his 2008 film, when Brown played in the secondary.
Cornerback Donovan Warren improved on his 40 from the combine, clocking as fast as 4.55 seconds, significantly better than the 4.68 he ran in Indianapolis.
Getting back to the Ohio State workout from earlier today. The accolades continue to pile up for Thaddeus Gibson. After his fine 40, Gibson, who lined up at defensive end for the Buckeyes, impressed scouts with another outstanding performance at linebacker.
Ohio State senior Robert Rose must be mentioned. He measured 6-4, 294 then ran his 40s as fast as 4.75. Unfortunately for Rose, injuries dogged him throughout his Buckeyes career and he never landed a starting job. But scouts understand he has the physical skills to play in the NFL.
Friday, March 12, 1:22 p.m.
Linebacker Thaddeus Gibson was the man of the hour at this morning's Ohio State pro day. Very much looking the part, Gibson shaved one-tenth of a second off his combine 40 time, stopping watches in the low 4.6-second area. Gibson has secured a spot in the third round and could be taken as early as the late part of round two.
Safety Kurt Coleman ran an adequate 40 time of 4.52 seconds, then looked terrific in the three-cone with a time of 6.75 seconds. Only five defensive backs at the combine ran faster in the three cone. Coleman's vertical jump was 35 inches. He moves towards the draft as a top 75 choice.
Small school cornerback Akwasi Owusa-Ansah of Indiana-Pa. was allowed to take part in Ohio State's workout and showed he belonged with the big boys. Owusa-Ansah was under 4.4 in the 40 on a number of stopwatches. His 20-yard shuttle also timed a solid 4.05. During the combine Owusa-Ansah's 40 time was 4.58 with 4.32 in the shuttle. He will undergo surgery next Thursday to repair a torn labrum which he suffered last season but has definitely elevated his draft stock over the past month.
Friday, March 12, 11:10 a.m.
The Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona, TCU and Oregon State pro days are just some of the headliners on today's schedule.
In Columbus expect some fast times on what is historically a fast track used by the Buckeyes during their workout. Today is very important for a pair of Ohio State seniors who did not run the 40 at the combine.
Defensive tackle Doug Worthington initially hurt his pectoral muscle during the bench press at the combine and there was fear he had torn it. Fortunately for Worthington, it was just a muscle strain and he's ready to go today.
Kurt Coleman had been suffering from a groin injury leading up to the combine. He completed the position drills in Indianapolis, yet did nothing else. Today's workout could be the difference between being a second- or third-round choice for Coleman.
During his media appearance at the combine, Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski was adamant he was completely healthy and the back injury that forced him to miss the 2009 season was a non-factor. Gronkowski only participated in the bench press in Indianapolis, deciding to wait until pro day to complete his workout. The word in the scouting community Thursday night was Gronkowski is not going to run today at Arizona and has set a date in late March to perform the workout. We will keep you updated.
Late Thursday afternoon in Moscow, Idaho, more than a dozen teams traveled to watch offensive linemen Mike Iupati work out. Included were at least four directors of scouting and offensive line coaches from teams around the league. Iupati stood on his combine numbers but completed position drills for those in attendance. During the combine, Iupati had 20 formal interviews with teams and moving forward he already has nine official visits on his schedule. He has solidified himself as a first-round pick. The question is how high will he be selected.
Thursday, March 11, 6:27 p.m.
UAB receiver Joe Webb, who turned heads at the Senior Bowl in January, further impressed scouts today during his pro-day workout.
Webb started the day weighing 223 pounds, then completed 21 reps on the bench press. He posted a vertical jump of 42.5 inches then a broad jump of 11 feet, 5˝ inches. Webb's 40 times were surprisingly fast, clocking under 4.5, with some watches reading 4.43. His three-cone time of 6.55 and short-shuttle mark of 3.91 represent some of the fastest marks of any receiver who participated in the combine. Webb has now entered the conversation as a top 100 pick with the combination of receiver skills he displayed at the Senior Bowl and athleticism shown at his pro day.
In Lincoln, scouts came by the dozens to watch Ndamukong Suh, who stood on his combine numbers and only participated in position drills today.
Safety Larry Asante helped himself by knocking almost a full tenth off his 40 time from the combine. Asante, who was struggling with a hamstring injury in Indianapolis, clocked 4.55 today and has now solidified himself as a mid-round choice.
Thursday, March 11, 2:40 p.m.
Bad weather in South Carolina hampered the Clemson pro day as the position drills had to be cut short due to a driving rain. Many of Clemson's top NFL prospects, including C.J. Spiller, Jacoby Ford and Ricky Sapp, did not run the 40, preferring to stand on their solid times at the combine.
In Oregon, safety T.J. Ward and running back LeGarrette Blount will not participate in today's workouts. Both will perform scouts next Thursday, March 18, when the Ducks hold their second session.
Jameson Konz of Kent State, the former linebacker who moved to tight end in 2009, thrilled scouts with his performance today. Konz, who measured 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, ran his 40s as fast as 4.38 seconds and posted a vertical jump of 46 inches. There is some debate as to what position Konz will play at the next level, linebacker or tight end, but several in the scouting community think the athletic prospect is a late-round sleeper, much like his former teammate Julian Edelman.
Southern Illinois record-setting running back Deji Karim also put on a show on scouts today. He weighed 209, 10 pounds heavier than expected. Karim then ran the 40 in times that ranged from 4.37 to 4.40. His vertical jump was also impressive, at 43 inches. Karim had 1,694 yards rushing last season, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. He's getting late-round consideration by a number of teams looking for a change of pace runner.
Thursday, March 11, 12:50 p.m.
Today is a big day on the pro-day schedule as NFL scouts and coaches will be spread out to watch prospects at Clemson, Nebraska, Boston College, Northwestern as well as another half-dozen universities.
Corey Wootton, who did not work out at the combine, will not take part in Northwestern's pro day. He will wait until late March before performing in front of scouts.
Thursday, March 11, 11 a.m.
Pro days have been going strong for more than a week and thus far it has been the players that were snubbed by the combine who have stood out. To wit:
On Monday, Utah safety Robert Johnson, who most believe is a middle-round choice, posted numbers comparable to the top defensive backs at the combine. His three-cone time of 6.56 was outstanding, as was his short shuttle run.
Tuesday saw Oklahoma fullback Matt Clapp solidified himself as a late-round choice. The 249-pound lead blocker posted 40 times in the 4.6 range, then turned in a terrific pass-catching workout.
Wednesday, it was Alex Daniels turn to shine.
The Cincinnati defensive lineman turned in a monster workout, running times in the low 4.5 area after measuring 6-foot-2, 265 pounds. Daniels other marks included a vertical jump of 36.5 inches, 31 reps on the bench press and a three cone time of 7.08 seconds. He is drawing comparisons to former Bearcat Connor Barwin, selected in the second round of the 2009 draft by the Houston Texans.
Ironically, like Barwin, scouts have mixed opinions on where to play Daniels at the next level. Like his former teammate a year ago, Daniels completed drills at defensive line, linebacker and tight end.
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