Taylor, Watkins improve stock at Baylor’s pro day

Baylor DT Phil Taylor had an impressive workout Thursday in front of NFL scouts. (Baylor University Athletics)

WACO, Texas — Baylor’s most prominent draft prospects, DT Phil Taylor and G Danny Watkins, maintained the momentum from their strong NFL Scouting Combine performances with a solid showing Thursday at the school’s pro day.

And it’s a good thing, too, because 23 NFL teams were represented among the 33 personnel folks on hand to watch the indoor workout on FieldTurf, including Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington and Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck. Both gentlemen had to be impressed with what they saw from the two highly-touted prospects.

Both Taylor and Watkins elected to stand on their numbers at the combine, but they worked out extremely well in position drills. I already had Taylor (6-foot-3, 334 pounds) among my top-30 prospects, and I believe he might have solidified himself as a first-round pick with his workout.

As for Watkins (6-3, 310), his football experience is limited, but he has dramatically improved his stock since the combine. He wasn’t among my initial “Hot 100″ but is currently ranked in the top 50, based on his combine. And after this workout today, I believe he has a shot at going in the second round. What’s interesting about Watkins is his age. He’s 26 years old, and I wonder how much of a hindrance that could potentially be considered, but it’s pretty clear this guy is going to be a good football player.

Other notable prospects to perform:

RB Jay Finley (5-10 7/8, 203) — Finley ran 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 4.37 in the short shuttle and 7.39 in the 3-cone drill. He had an 11-foot broad jump, a 39 ½-inch vertical jump and did 14 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds.

DB Byron Landor (6-0, 212) — Landor ran a 4.68 40, 4.52 short shuttle and 7.42 3-cone drill. He did eight bench-press reps, and had a 35 ½-inch vertical and 10-2 broad jump.

TE Brad Taylor (6-2 ¾, 241) — Taylor, a converted QB to TE, did 14 bench-press reps, and also ran a 4.59 40, 4.81 short shuttle and  7.67 3-cone drill.

DB Mikail Baker (5-11 3/8, 191) — Baker posted 40 times of 4.42 and 4.41, a 4.00 short shuttle, 7.13 three-cone drill, 10-10 broad, and a 38-inch vertical. His performance may have bumped him up to a sixth or seventh-round pick next month.

Gil Brandt

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