One of the biggest 2014 NFL Draft surprises so far on the entire pro day circuit highlighted Montana’s pro day on Tuesday.
Linebacker Brock Coyle has risen from obscurity to be a possible late-round draft pick come May. Coyle went and played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and had a good game (registering a tackle for loss). After which, there was some question as to what his speed would be, the result was a pro day workout that was just a little less than sensational.
Montana’s pro day was held outdoors in 37-degree temperatures and a slight wind. Representatives from 14 NFL teams were present, and the workout was put together by Tennessee Titans college scout Marv Sunderland. A total of 10 Montana players worked out, plus one player from Montana Tech.
Coyle (6-foot 3/4, 235 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.60 and 4.64. He had a 37-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-7 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.28 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.74 seconds. Coyle — who has 32 1/2-inch arms — did 25 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Coyle is a true rags-to-riches story, having gone from a prospect who might not have even received a rookie free-agent contract to a possible sixth- or seventh-round draft pick. He will be an excellent special teams player.
Jordan Tripp, OLB (6-2 3/4, 235) — Tripp stood on his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine. Sunderland has Tripp running in pass coverage during the position drills, and he made a highlight-reel interception, snagging the ball with one hand while falling down. Tripp has a chance to be a late third-round draft choice.
The player from Montana Tech also had a noteworthy pro day performance.
Ryan Jones, OLB/pass rusher (6-3 1/4, 249) — Jones ran the 40 in 4.68 and 4.75 seconds. He had a 34-inch vertical and 10-foot broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.42 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.95 seconds. Jones, who has 33-inch arms, had 28 strength lifts. He is a free-agent pickup possibility following the draft.
The University of Montana has a long history of having players selected in the NFL draft. On 11 occasions, the Grizzlies have had multiple players selected in the draft, and the highest selection in school history was in 1938 when the Chicago Cardinals made fullback Milt Popovich the No. 15 overall pick. Montana could have two draft picks this year (Tripp and Coyle). The football tradition at Montana is really quite special.