The first day of Pro Days across the country saw three schools put on shows. Though not much is expected to change, important red flags will need to be avoided by a number of prospects and the ability to somewhat personalize the workouts will be of some use to NFL teams.
-24 teams attended Ole Miss’ Pro Day, where receivers Donte Moncrief and Ja-Mes Logan worked out. Logan exceeded his projected 40-yard dash times by running in the mid-4.5s, while Moncrief stood on his Combine time (4.40). Both took part in positional drills, and they both excelled, with Logan looking like the better of the two as a pass-catcher. Nevertheless, scouts in attendance were very impressed with Moncrief.
-Running back Jeff Scott was compared to Dexter McCluster by a scout in attendance, and his mid-4.4 performance boosted his reputation, especially as he caught the ball well.
-Cornerback Charles Sawyer ran a high-4.5 at 186 pounds, but posted a vertical leap of 37.5 inches (at 5’10 7/8”). He also posted a broad jump of only 9’2” and had 13 reps on the bench.
-Linebacker Michael Marry exceeded expectations by running a low-4.9/high-4.8 40-yard dash at 256, but didn’t do much to exceed his UDFA grade.
-30 teams attended Pitt’s Pro Day, and Aaron Donald was expected to be the highlight of the day. Football writer and data analyst Chase Stuart concluded that Donald had the most impressive NFL Combine of 2014, and Donald was right to sit on those scores by not participating in any general drills. He did, however, participate in positional drills and looked good for it, looking fluid and balanced.
-Quarterback Tom Savage didn’t go through any general drills either, but his 100-pass script was executed well, and he showed off his arm strength as well as a willingness to “throw every NFL throw.”
-It was initially reported that receiver Devin Street wouldn’t run a 40-yard dash, but he did and recorded a low-4.5/high-4.4 time. He also did some agility drills, and ran the 60-yard shuttle in 11.25 seconds, which would have ranked eighth at the NFL Combine among (a limited number of) participants.
-The Minnesota Pro Day featured Ra’Shede Hageman and Brock Vereen, with 20 teams in attendance (Known teams include New Orleans, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Carolina, San Francisco, Arizona, Kansas City, Green Bay, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore, St. Louis and of course, Minnesota).
-Hageman and Vereen didn’t add to their Combine scores, only doing positional drills. Both were impressive at the Combine, with Hageman jumping 35.5” in the vertical and had a 114” broad jump. Vereen had beaten out all the defensive backs in the combine at the bench press with 25 reps, and also ran a 4.47 40. Vereen’s 6.90-second three-cone and 4.07-second short shuttle at the Combine were impressive as well.
-Hageman was reportedly impressive enough in drills to draw praise from the Vikings coaches, who ran all the drills that day. Rotating in with Hageman during the season was defensive tackle Roland Johnson, and he caught eyes with his 40 bench reps.
-Receiver Derrick Engel still hadn’t recovered from his from his torn ACL and didn’t participate, while cornerback Jeremy Baltazar and linebacker James Manuel did. Baltazar recorded 27 bench reps and ran a 4.44 dash, while Manuel ran in 4.53 seconds with a 37-inch vertical. Aaron Hill, linebacker, also ran with a time in the high-4.6s.
-Concordia (Minn.) defensive end Zach Moore kept his numbers from the Combine (6’5” 269 pounds, 4.84 40-yard dash) and participated in positional drills. He set a school career record for sacks with 33, and finished fourth in Division II in 2012 with 14.
All in all, not many big changes as a result of the first slew of Pro Days.