Phillip Gaines of Rice emerging as a top DB prospect

There were 23 NFL teams represented — including a defensive backs coach from the Jacksonville Jaguars — at Rice’s pro day on March 17, when 11 Owls players worked out outdoors on FieldTurf.

Phillip Gaines, CB (6-foot-0 1/8, 191 pounds) — Gaines, who has 31 1/8-inch arms, ran really good at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis (he had the second-fastest 40-yard dash time among cornerbacks at 4.38 seconds). On a windy day in Houston for Rice’s pro day and on a new turf surface, Gaines only ran the 60-yard long shuttle (11.24 seconds). Gaines surprised everybody with his speed and quality of his overall pro-day workout; performing beyond expectations, due to his speed, ability to cover and backpedaling ability. Gaines is everything teams look for in a defensive back, and he will likely be a mid-second- to mid-third-round draft choice.

Chris Boswell, K (6-1 3/4, 188) — Boswell converted on all field goal attempts up to 50 yards, then missed two from 50 yards out and two more from 55 yards out. All of his kickoffs were out of the end zone. Boswell is a good kicking prospect.

Cody Bauer, DE (6-4 1/8, 249) — Bauer ran the 40 in 4.81 seconds on both attempts. He had a 33-inch vertical jump and 9-foot-8 broad jump. Bauer, who has 32 1/2-inch arms, had 24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Bauer will probably be a priority free-agent pickup following the draft, then start out as a practice squad player with a chance to eventually play in the league.

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