This year’s crop of draft-eligible running backs has failed to generate significant buzz beyond Alabama’s Mark Ingram and, in recent days, Eastern Washington’s Taiwan Jones, but that didn’t prevent Noel Devine from taking advantage of West Virginia’s pro day March 17.
The 5-foot-7 7/8, 180-pound Devine — who rushed for 936 yards as a senior in 2010 after rumbling for 1,465 yards in 2009 — performed the full slate of drills before 22 NFL teams, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and 4.35-second short shuttle on pristine indoor FieldTurf. Devine also logged a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-1 broad jump and 6.88 seconds in the three-cone drill.
Other Mountaineers of note among the 12 working out:
DL Chris Neild (6-1 7/8, 317), a three-year starter and leader of the Big East Conference’s top-ranked defense in 2010, participated in positional drills and ran a 5.15 40-yard dash, 4.52 short shuttle and 7.35 three-cone drill. He stood on the rest of his numbers from February’s NFL Scouting Combine.
DB Robert Sands (6-4 5/8, 218) kept his numbers from the combine but staged positional drills for the Eagles and Packers.
OLB J.T. Thomas (6-1 1/2, 237) ran 4.68 and 4.69 in the 40 and had a 33-inch vertical jump. He ran a 4.18 short shuttle and 7.01 three-cone drill, then stood on the rest of his combine numbers. Thomas was seen running through positional drills for Bears personnel.
DB Brandon Hogan (5-10 1/2, 190) chose to bypass the pro-day look-see as he continues to nurse the anterior cruciate ligament he injured last season. Hogan had the left knee examined in Indianapolis this week and appears to be in good health. He has scheduled visits with the Giants, Panthers and Cowboys ahead of the April 28-30 NFL draft.
In other news:
The Citadel held its pro day March 28, as three Bulldogs worked outdoors on FieldTurf before representatives from 16 NFL teams.
CB Cortez Allen (6-1 3/8, 198) notched a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and stood on the rest of his combine numbers. He spent time with the Dolphins, as assistant head coach/secondary aide Todd Bowles closely worked with him during positional drills. Allen projects as a solid third-day player for a team seeking depth in the defensive backfield.