AUSTIN, Texas — Earl Thomas already was in good standing with NFL scouts after an impressive combine performance last month. But the safety outdid himself — and every other prospect Texas had on display — at the school’s pro day Wednesday before suffering a setback.
Thomas (5-10 5/8, 202) ran a blazing 4.37-second 40-yard dash, which would have tied for the third-fastest time at the combine. It also would have been the best time among all defensive backs by .08 seconds. But the run came at a cost for Thomas, who pulled his hamstring and didn’t do any other drills. Thomas did record a 32-inch vertical jump prior to running his 40.
Thomas, an accomplished pianist who also plays the organ, saxophone and drums, has an interesting back story. He left school after his sophomore year (he was a redshirt sophomore last season), but coach Mack Brown explained to me that it was because the safety’s home in Orange, Texas, was devastated by Hurricane Rita in 2005, forcing his family to live in a hotel for a year.
Texas’ pro day was as big as ever, as 79 scouts and coaches representing 30 teams (the Rams and Lions were the only two not represented), including three head coaches, came together to watch QB Colt McCoy and 18 other draft prospects, including Thomas.
McCoy didn’t weigh in with the rest of his teammates, choosing to keep his measurements from the combine (6-1, 216). I’m told he’ll run drills and work starting around 1 p.m. ET. Check back shortly for an update.
Brown kicked things off with a big breakfast for all the scouts and coaches, as well as a 20-minute slide presentation on the history of all the players who have suited up for the Longhorns throughout the years.
Things are sure to pick up soon. Until then, here are some of the 19 prospects who will work out and the 40-yard dash times just completed indoors on FieldTurf:
CB Deon Beasley (5-foot-9 5/8, 180 pounds) ran 4.47 and 4.46 in the 40-yard dash.
DT Lamarr Houston (6-2 7/8, 300) will keep his 40 times from the combine.
LB Sergio Kindle (6-2 7/8, 249) will keep his 40 times from the combine.
WR Jordan Shipley (5-11 1/2, 187) ran 4.54 and 4.56 in the 40. (Side note: When asked about Shipley’s performance, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said, tongue in cheek, “I don’t like him, because he’s doing everything here that I had hoped to do.” Shanahan played 24 games at Texas as a wide receiver.
G Charlie Tanner (6-3 7/8, 305) ran 5.20 and 5.12 in the 40.
T Adam Ulatoski (6-6, 302) ran 5.48 and 5.46 in the 40.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy (6-1 5/8, 234) ran 4.73 and 4.75 in the 40.
Editor’s note: We reported earlier that Ulatoski’s 40-yard dash times were 4.58 and 4.56. However, those times were incorrect.
— Gil Brandt