Tuesday Pro day notes
The focus of today’s pro day schedule was supposed to be on the Florida schools Florida State and Florida, but in the end Texas RB D’Onta Foreman may have stolen the show. Foreman led the nation in rushing yards per game – in fact by almost 30 yards per game – in 2016, but wasn’t getting much traction from pro scouts because of concerns about his long speed. However, Foreman may have put those concerns to rest when he reported ran the 40 in the 4.45 range at the Longhorns pro day today while running at 234 pounds. Even better perhaps for Foreman, he had a reported 7-flat time in the 3-cone drill which again is outstanding for such a big back. Meanwhile, former UT QB Tyrone Swoopes, who is being looked at by the NFL as a TE, had a decent 4.65 time in the 40 along with a 35-inch vertical, while veteran G/T Kent Perkins posted 35 reps in the bench press which would have been better than anybody at the combine.
Back in Florida, the big story at Florida perhaps was the fact that CB Teez Tabor actually ran slower at the Gators’ pro day than he did at the combine. Tabor, who had been considered to be a lock to be a first round pick until he ran over 4.62 seconds for the 40 in Indianapolis, struggled to a 4.75 clocking today. And while nobody ever considered Tabor to be a burner, those times are not going to help his final draft, especially with so many other really good corners out there. No such problems for Florida MLB Jarrad Davis, who did not run at the combine because of a lingering ankle injury, but reportedly ran under the 4.6 mark at the UF pro day today. Davis also had a very athletic 38.5-inch vertical and has NFL people again whispering ‘potential’ first-rounder about Davis. At the same time, safety Marcus Maye also helped himself after he missed most of the 2017 season with an injury; Maye reportedly ran in the mid-4.55 range.
Over at Florida State, DE Demarcus Walker, who finished second in the nation with 16 in 2016, but did not run at the combine, posted a respectable 40 time of 4.76 seconds, along with 20 reps. The problem for Walker is that he is kind of a tweener, at least for a 4-3, at 6-3, 281, but should get plenty of second-round interest as a 3-4 5T DE.
As the QB turns and other pro day notes
And speaking of the top 3 QBs, San Diego will work out Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer later today. The Chargers have indicated that they won’t use the 7th pick overall on a QB, but do seem to be interested in finding a replacement for Philip Rivers, who is entering his 14th season, as they have also reportedly worked out Pat Mahomes of Texas Tech. Similar story at New Orleans where the Saints have also worked out Mahomes. Speaking of Mahomes, he worked out for Arizona and Cleveland earlier this week. Interestingly, Cardinals team owner Michael Bidwell actually attended Mahomes workout along with head coach Bruce Arians. While not totally unprecedented, It is rather unusual for an owner to attend a private workout and tens to suggest some real interest on the Cards who need an eventual replacement for Carson Palmer.
San Francisco, which has the #2 pick, had a full contingent of personnel people flying around the country checking out QBs this week. The notable absentee on their trip was head coach Kyle Shanahan. There may have been a good reason as Shanahan stayed home to watch Stanford’s pro day yesterday where DE Solomon Thomas, one of the 49ers’ most likely targets with the 2nd pick if they opt not to take a QB, worked out. Shanahan was accompanied by the 49ers defensive line and RB coaches. Interesting, Chicago which has the next pick after S.F. also had their head coach (Ron Rivera) and d-line coach at the Stanford work out.
Interesting to note at the Utah pro day yesterday that DE Hunter Dimick had a pretty good day. Dimick wasn’t invited to the combine despite leading the Pac-12 with 14.5 sacks last fall, posted 38 reps in the bench, which would have been the best figure for anyone at the combine, and then reportedly ran the 40 in the low 4.7 range. That significantly quicker than the 4.85-4.90 most teams had him projected at. The one issue for the 6-3, 264-pound Dimick is that his arms are less than 31” which is short for a down DE.
March 13: A total of 26 NFL teams were represented at the Gophers’ pro day where SS Damarius Travis, who did not run at the combine, timed in the 4.60 range for the 40 which is kind of that gray area for a defensive back. Meanwhile, OT Jonah Pirsig, a bubble guy who likely just missed getting a combine invite certainly looked the part as he measured in at almost 6-8 and 314 pounds, although his bench press of just 20 reps was a little disappointing even for a player with his length. FTR Pirsig ran the 40 in the 5.40 range with a split of 1.87.
March 8: As many as 28 teams were represented at the CSU pro day where OT Nick Callender sent some scouts back to the tape when the 6-5, 321-pounder posted a 34-inch vertical, two inches more than any OL at the combine. Unfortunately, Callender turned an ankle during the workout apparently before he did his 40s.
March 8: For the first time in over 2 decades, all 32 NFL team were represented at the Colorado pro day. And the stars of the Buffs rising draft class – CBs Chidobe Awuzie and Ahkello Witherspoon, safety Tedric Thompson, and QB Sefo Liufau- all largely sat on their combine numbers, but there were still a number of noteworthy performances by Buffs not in Indianapolis last weekend. Rangy edge rusher Jimmie Gilbert, for example, ran a 4.64 40 and had a 37″ vertical, although he only managed 12 reps in the BP. That may reflect in part that he is a rangy 6-5, 234-pounder with an 81″ wingspan which isn’t conducive to a great lift. Meanwhile, rugged NT Josh Tupou measured in at 6-3, 353 and ran a 5.35 40, which isn’t all that bad for a guy that size; he also managed 27 reps in the BP. DT Jordan Carell at 6-3, 290 and with a sub-5-flat 40 (4.98) could get some looks as a 5T DE. C Alex Kelley measured in at 6-2, 327 and had 28 BP reps, but only clocked 5.41 in the 40.
March 8: All 32 teams had reps at the Alabama pro day earlier this afternoon. In fcat, there were an estimated 75-80 NFL personnel people in Tuscaloosa today for the Tide’s on-campus workout including Pittsburgh G.M. Kevin Colbert and head coaches Bill Belichek of the Super Bowl champion Patriots, Pete Carroll of Seattle and Todd Bowles of the Jets. In fact, there probably would have been more senior execs at the Alabama event; however, with most apparently decided to stay at home to get ready for the opening of the new year tomorrow. It is also true that Alabama didn’t have a lot of top prospects working out who pro teams hadn’t seen already. MLB Reuben Foster did talk with a lot of teams after being sent home from combine for getting involved in a verbal altercation with some medical personnel, but he also wasn’t going to workout at the Tide’s pro day because of an injury. In fact, perhaps the one newsworthy item from the Alabama pro day was that star DE Jonathan Allen, a potential top 5 candidate this coming April 27th, opted not to run again after he posted some disappointing 40 times in the 5-flat range at the combine. What that suggests is that in fact is his true footspeed, although to date there hasn’t been the kind of backlash that Joey Bosa got last year when he ran poorly at the 2016 combine.
March 8: Every team was represented at this morning’s pro day workout at Oklahoma where RB Joe Mixon and WR DeDe Westbrook posted very good 40 times, although the rest of the latter’s day wasn’t much to write home about. Mixon, who wasn’t invited to the combine because of an off-field domestic assault a couple of years back, measured in a full-sized 6-1, 228 and was credited with a final, adjusted 40 time somewhere between 4.47 and 4.50 seconds. That puts him squarely in the same ballpark as what Leonard Fournette and Dalvon Cook, this year’s top prospects at the position, posted at the combine, as well as that of Zeke Elliott at last year’s event. Mixon also posted a 35″ vertical, 21 reps in the BP, and shuttle times of 4.25 in the (short shuttle) and 7.00 in the 3-cone drill, all of which would have been middle of the pack for the position at the combine. For the record, Mixon also reportedly caught the ball well in positional drills. Of note, while every team had a rep at the OU pro day, Minnesota, which is looking for a replacement for Adrian Peterson was the only team that brought a senior delegation. Indeed, the Vikes sent G.M. Rick Spielman, head coach Mike Zimmer as well as the team’s RB coach.
Meanwhile, WR Westbrook, who didn’t run at the combine by choice, ran even faster than Mixon as he posted a 40 very much in the low 4.4 range. However, there wasn’t much to get too excited about the rest of Westbrooks’ day. He measured in at a rail-thin 6-0, 174, barely managed 8 reps in the BP, had a 34.5″ vertical, and agility test times of 4.34 in the short shuttle and 7.24 seconds in the 3-cone, each of which would have either at, or near, the bottom of the rankings for the position at the combine.
On the other hand, LB Jordan Evans had a very nice day. He measured in at 6-3, 232 and ran the 40 in something in the 4.6 area. Evans also had a very athletic (for a LB) 38.5″ vertical, 19 reps in the BP, along with competitive agility times of 4.28 in the short shuttle and 7.03 in the 3-cone. Meanwhile, neither of WR Geno Lewis (4.65) nor SS Ahmad Thomas (4.75) ran well enough to do much to improve their already fringe draft grades.
PURDUE: With anyone who is anyone in the NFL scouting community was just a few miles down the road at the scouting combine in Indianapolis last weekend Purdue and held its pro day the day after the combine ended. If nothing else, it was a chance for WR DeAngelo Yancey, a bubble guy who ultimately wasn’t invited to the combine, to show NFL scouts they made a mistake. Yancey at least appeared to show that he maybe deserved some late round or free agent consideration this coming April. Running at 6-1.5 and 220 pounds, Yancey reportedly ran the 40 in the mid-4.5 range, had a solid 35.5 vertical and a 10-1 long jump. He also had decent times in both the 3-cone (6.89) and short shuttles (4.24). Meanwhile, 6-4, 302-pound OG Jordan Roos cranked out 41 reps in the bench press, which would have been six more than any lineman at the combine.