Free Agency continues to dominate the NFL headlines, but savvy fans know that it takes all different kinds to win in the NFL, and a number of key front office personnel have been around the country for one of the busiest Pro Days of the year.
Alabama worked out a number of very good prospects that could go high in the draft and USC’s Pro Day had one noteworthy disappointment while a bevy of smaller schools worked out their top prospects.
– At Alabama, Cyrus Kouandjio continues to fall under scrutiny. First, head coach Nick Saban informed reporters that the NFL teams he contacted did not find any medical problems with Kouandjio, and that there are no medical red flags to be had with him. Saban could be spinning to better represent his player, but it should also be noted that the initial leak may have had a motivation in mind too—to make Kouandjio fall in the draft. As it is, the doctor’s note released on behalf of Kouandjio means nothing, as HIPAA legislation means it could only be released under Kouadjio’s consent. Teams will trust their own doctors.
– As for his performance at Alabama, he initially was considering running through the gamut of combine drills, but stuck with his initial drills and looked fluid, per Tony Pauline and Russ Lande. There were no OL coaches in attendance.
– Quarterback A.J. McCarron had a “solid” Pro Day that a number of coaches watched, according to Tony Pauline, and the general consensus among evaluators present was positive.
– C.J. Mosley unofficially clocked a 4.63 in his 40-yard dash. Others, like Pauline, say that Mosely ran in the high-4.6s and low-4.7s. You can watch and figure it out for yourself, if you’re so inclined. I’ve been told that Mosley looked like the prospect he’s been billed as in positional drills. He is Optimum Scouting’s top inside linebacker. Phil Savage clocked Mosley at 4.70. Savage also thought Mosley in particular stood out in the coverage drills and bag drills.
– Kevin Norwood impressed evaluators, and needed to stand out in a crowded receiver class. He is graded as a 5th-round receiver by Optimum Scouting. Rick Karle mentioned that Norwood was the most impressive player at the Pro Day.
– Running back Deion Belue ran 4.49 at 176 pounds, according to Phil Savage.
– LB Adrian Hubbard and safety Hasean Clinton-Dix did not run, but he did do positional drills. Offensive guard Anthony Steen, defensive end Ed Stinson and safety Vinnie Sunseri did not work out. Clinton-Dix, according to Savage, looked very good in DB drills. Others have said that he caught everything thrown to him, and his fluidity really caught the eye of evaluators.
– Adrian Hubbard had a lot of movement and “flashes length,” according to Savage.
– USC tight end Xavier Grimble ran a high-4.9/low 5.0 40-yard dash, in what may be the most disappointing performance of the day. He also jumped 30.5” in the vert, benched 16 reps and had a broad jump of 110”. He did not work out at the combine because of a calf strain. For his sake, he better hope it was still bothering him.
– USC Athletics posted all of their times at their website.
– They only list the bench press for Marqise Lee, who did not elect to participate in other events. He had 11 reps. His combine time of 4.52 seconds in the 40 inspired speculation that he would run, but he surprised observers. To some, this might signal that Lee is not over his leg injury.
– Center Marcus Martin has only played for a year, but I’m told he looked good in drills, which should match some of his excellent film from this year. He ran a poor 40 at 318 pounds of 5.35 seconds. Rob Rang at USC also recorded a 5.52 time, which is very bad.
– Morgan Breslin, an edge rusher who was not invited to the NFL combine, ran 4.75 seconds in the 40, benched 26 reps and had a vertical leap of 35.5”. It’s a great number of reps for his weight (240), but the increasing athleticism of larger defensive ends and smaller outside linebackers may make his 40-time a little lower than he wants. His vertical leap is extremely impressive, however.
– Safety Dion Bailey didn’t run at his pro day, but his combine numbers with a 4.66 40-yard dash, a 34” vertical leap, a broad jump of 113”, a shuttle time of 4.15 seconds and three-cone of 6.97 seconds is adequate. He benched 14 reps and improved his vertical leap to 35.5” and broad jump to 114”.
– Defensive tackle George Uko stood on his combine time of 4.99 seconds, vertical jump of 29.5” and broad jump of 110”, but improved his 18 reps to 22. Running back Silas Redd didn’t work out because of a knee injury and should work out in April.
– The Colorado State pro day has three players of significant interest: edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, tight end Crockett Gillmore and running back Kapri Bibbs. Barrett sells himself on his instincts and intelligence, but also performed well in the drills. Alex Kozora from Steelers Depot reports that he ran a 4.72 and 4.76 40-yard dash. He also completed a 6.90 three-cone and a 4.4 second short shuttle, with the three-cone of particular interest to evaluators. Barrett’s vertical jump was 29 inches and he had 16 reps on the bench press.
– Tight end Crockett Gillmore pulled up at the end of his 4.78 40-yard dash with a hamstring injury. He still performed the bench rep drill, but no numbers have leaked. That might drop him out of the draft, as he is graded as a seventh-round pick by Optimum Scouting.
– Kapri Bibbs’ toe still bothers him, but ran the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4s.
– Oklahoma’s pro day was not as stacked as it has been in the past, with most of the spotlight on receiver Jalen Saunders, Optimum Scouting’s 20th-ranked receiver, and with a 4th-round grade. Gil Brandt reports that Saunders ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds and stood on the rest of his numbers, remarking that he looked quick and caught punts well—perhaps his best option to make a roster at 5’8 7/8” and 172 pounds.
– Damien Williams had an excellent combine, so only jumped the vertical leap, where he measured 30 inches. He also ran positional drills. Also working out was fellow running back Roy Finch, who Tony Pauline reports a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and a 4.25 second shuttle.
– Center/guard prospect Gabe Ikard did not do the combine drills, but had a “very good workout” according to Brandt, and ran the drills with quickness.
– The Rutgers pro day attracted eyes because of receiver Brandon Coleman, and he only took part in the positional drills. It was the one-year anniversary of his knee injury, but he looked natural in the drills and generally impressed while catching. Optimum Scouting grades him as a third-round pick as the 12th receiver.
– Joe Flacco’s brother, tight end at New Haven Mike Flacco, and put up good numbers. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun indicates that he ran a 4.68 40-yard dash, benched 17 reps, ran a 7.03 three-cone and a 4.25 short shuttle. Flacco is 251 pounds and 6’4 5/8”. He’ll work out again later this month. A Jaguars scout threw to him, and he generally looked good. Flacco only had one season at New Haven, having played minor league baseball for four years after being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles.
– Running back David Fluellen worked at Toledo’s pro day, and he measures in at 5’10 ¾” and 219 pounds. His 40-yard times were in the high 4.60s, and performed the short-shuttle at 4.21 and the three-cone in 6.90. He had 16 reps on the bench press and a 38-inch vertical jump, but kept his broad jump number from the combine (120”). He’s a two-time first-team all-MAC selection and a 5th-round grade in a deep draft.