Montee Ball impresses at Wisconsin’s pro day

Packers general manager Ted Thompson smiles during Wisconsin's pro day. (Tom Lynn / Associated Press)

Packers general manager Ted Thompson smiles during Wisconsin’s pro day. (Tom Lynn / Associated Press)

Representatives from 28 NFL teams — including Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson — gathered in Madison for Wisconsin’s pro day on March 6, where six players from Wisconsin, one from Minnesota-Duluth and another player from Wisconsin-Platteville worked out.

The pro day was held indoors and 40-yard dash times were considered fast due to a special surface installed for the event.

Montee Ball, RB (5-foot-10 3/4, 210 pounds) — Ball ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 and 4.49 seconds. He had a 4.31-second short shuttle and a 11.26-second 60-yard shuttle. Ball’s 40 times were considerably faster than the 4.66 official time he posted at the NFL Scouting Combine, but a fast running surface could be partly responsible for that improvement. Ball — the Football Bowl Subdivision record-holder for most career touchdowns (83) — looked very good in his workout, and could be the second running back off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Travis Frederick, C (6-3 5/8, 316) — Frederick stood on his numbers from the combine. Frederick’s versatility on the offensive line — he has started at both guard and center, and performed at a high level in doing so — makes him a desirable pro prospect.

Ricky Wagner, OT (6-6 1/8, 309) — Wagner stood on his numbers from the combine. Both Wagner and Frederick were worked out in the position drills by Miami Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner.

Mike Taylor, LB (6-1, 234) — Taylor is still recovering from a sports hernia and did not participate in the workouts.

Devin Smith, CB (5-10 3/8, 182) — Smith — who was not invited to the combine — ran the 40 in 4.50 and 4.49 seconds, had a 6.67-second three-cone and 4.06-second short shuttle. He had a 10-foot-3 broad jump and performed 17 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Marcus Cromartie, CB (6-0, 195) — Cromartie — who was not invited to the combine — ran the 40 in 4.47 and 4.38 seconds, and had a 4.08-second short shuttle and 6.91-second three-cone drill. He had a 34-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-1 1/2 broad jump. He did 14 strenght lifts. In the drills, Cromartie was a bit high in his backpedal and will need to correct that in order to increase his NFL chances. Still, his performance could vault him into seventh-round consideration in the 2013 NFL Draft.

There were two noteworthy non-Badgers at the pro day:

Jake Bscherer, OT, Minnesota-Duluth (6-6 3/8, 305) — Bscherer ran the 40 in 5.26 and 5.22 seconds. He had a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-1 broad jump, and performed 18 lifts of 225 pounds. Bscherer played three seasons at Wisconsin before opting to transfer to Minnesota-Duluth. Minnesota-Duluth hasn’t had a player drafted since 1990.

Ryan McWethy, S, Wisconsin-Platteville (6-1 3/8, 226) — McWethy ran the 40 in 4.52 and 4.56 seconds. He had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and 10-foot broad jump. His time in the short shuttle was 4.14 seconds and he had a 6.63-second three-cone drill. He also performed 31 lifts on the bench press. McWethy is a good-looking athlete, but his positional drill performance did not live up to the lofty numbers posted in the runs and jumps. UW-Platteville hasn’t had a player drafted since 1971.

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