LSU running back Spencer Ware worked out on campus on Friday, April 29. Ware ran indoors and on FieldTurf, and wasn’t measured at the workout. He did weigh in at 229 pounds, though. As for his numbers, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 and 4.63 seconds. He posted a 34 inch vertical leap and a 10-foot-1/2 inch broad jump. In the short shuttle drill, he clocked in at 4.35 seconds, and completed the three-cone drill in 7.07 seconds. He opted not to lift, as he already had at LSU’s pro day. Ware had a good workout on the day, and caught the ball exceptionally well.
Azusa Pacific had its pro day on April 11. Workouts were held outdoors on FieldTurf. Fifteen teams sent representatives to watch eight participants. Offensive line coaches from the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers were there and 2001 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Jackie Slater ran the drills.
Luke Marquardt, OL (6-foot-8 3/8, 317 pounds) — He has an interesting story. He never played high school football but instead played basketball. He did position drills but has a hairline fracture in his right foot. He’s going to have surgery on April 18. He’s one of those dark horse candidates, but how his medical condition will affect him, no one knows.
Iowa had its pro day on March 25. Workouts were held at Iowa’s new indoor facility, which is like the Taj Mahal I’m told. Sixteen teams watched eight guys work out.
Micah Hyde, FS (5-foot-11 1/2, 194 pounds) — Hyde had a 33 1/2-inch vertical, a 10-foot broad jump, a 4.22-second short shuttle, a 6.67-second three-cone drill and 12 reps on the bench. He did position drills.
James Vandenberg, QB (6-2 7/8, 224) — Vandenberg had a 34-inch vertical, a 9-foot-7 broad jump and a 4.33-second short shuttle. He didn’t have a very good season this year, but he throws hard and is accurate. He might end up being a bit of a surprise on draft day.
Steve Bigach, DL (6-2 7/8, 275) — Bigach ran the 40-yard dash in 4.94 and 4.92 seconds. He had a 29 1/2-inch vertical, an 8-foot-11 broad jump, a 4.32-second short shuttle, a 7.13-second three-cone drill and did 24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. He is a very good deep snapper and has visited with the Cleveland Browns.
James Ferentz (6-2 5/8, 284) — His dad is Iowa’s coach. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.21 and 5.11 seconds. He had a 27 1/2-inch vertical, an 8-foot-1 broad jump, a 4.89-second short shuttle, a 7.46-second three-cone drill and 23 reps on the bench. He’s a good free agent type of guy.
Ohio University held its pro day on March 20. Workouts were run outdoors on FieldTurf. Drills were performed on the game field. Five teams showed up to watch 10 Ohio players and a handful of other players from small schools.
Neal Huyhn, DL (6-3 1/2, 301) — Huynh ran the 40-yard dash in 5.10 and 5.13 seconds. He had a 31 1/2-inch vertical, an 8-foot-9 broad jump, a 4.71-second short shuttle, a 7.59-second three-cone drill. His arms were measured to be 32-inches long and he did 29 lifts on 225 pounds on the bench. He is possibly going to be drafted as a defensive lineman, but he worked out out as an offensive lineman too during drills.
Matt Weller, PK (5-11 3/4, 192) — Weller did 13 reps on the bench.
Missouri Southern State had its pro day on March 5. Three players worked out for five teams.
Brandon Williams, DT (6-foot-1 7/8, 332 pounds) — Williams stood on his combine numbers. He has visited the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams as a defensive lineman. The Cleveland Browns are checking him out as an offensive lineman. He’s had two visits to the Carolina Panthers and the Rams.
Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus Smith has visited with the Philadelphia Eagles and will visit with the New York Giants this weekend.
Smith (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) was at the NFL Scouting Combine, but unable to do drills due to a left ACL injury. He returned to Indianapolis for further medical evaluation last week, and checked out healthy.
Smith was in Texas rehabbing his knee when Western Kentucky held its pro day on March 20.
Smith is a pass-rushing defensive end, and was a productive player before the ACL injury cut short his senior season (he finished as the Football Bowl Subdivision leader in sacks per game with 1.25 — he had 12.5 sacks through 10 games in 2012).
Representatives from four NFL teams gathered at Portland State’s pro day on March 12, where a top kicking prospect displayed a strong leg while working out outdoors on FieldTurf.
Zachary Ramirez (who went by Zachary Brown at Portland State, but his legal name is Zachary Ramirez) measured 6-foot 1/2-inch, 203 pounds. He did not run the 40-yard dash or the shuttle, but did a 34-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-5 broad jump. Six kickoffs went into the end zone, and was also a perfect 6-for-6 on field goal attempts at the pro day, including making two from 55 yards out.
As one of the top kickers at the Football Championship Subdivision level, Ramirez was 17-for-18 on field goal attempts during the 2012 season.
At the Super Regional Combine held in Dallas on April 7-8, Ramirez missed just one field goal attempt, which came from 40-plus yards out.
Ramirez’s leg strength makes him a draftable player.
Representatives from seven NFL teams gathered at James Madison’s pro day on March 18, where six players — joined by some from area small schools such as Virginia Military Institute and Norfolk State — worked out outdoors on FieldTurf.
James Madison hasn’t had a player selected in the NFL draft since 2010 (when both linebacker Arthur Moats – by the Buffalo Bills — and return specialist Scotty McGee – by the Jacksonville Jaguars — were picked in the sixth round). The most famous James Madison alums to have played in the NFL are defensive end Charles Haley (a fourth-round draft pick in 1986) and Gary Clark (a supplemental draft pick in 1984).
Representatives from 30 NFL teams — including linebackers coaches from seven teams — gathered at Connecticut’s pro day on March 27, where 13 players worked out indoors on FieldTurf. Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni hosted a really well-run pro day in Storrs, Conn.
There were four players from UConn at the NFL Scouting Combine, and here is how their pro day transpired:
Snorsio “Sio” Moore, OLB (6-foot-1 1/8, 243 pounds) — Moore stood on his numbers from the combine (he was a top performer in his position group in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump and broad jump). He did position drills only, and that workout was led by a linebackers coach from the Baltimore Ravens. Moore visited with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.
Trevardo Williams, DE (6-1 1/4, 241) — With the exception of two drills, Williams stood on his numbers from the combine (he was a top performer in his position group in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump). At Connecticut’s pro day, Williams did the short shuttle in 4.36 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.24 seconds.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB (6-0 7/8, 195) — Wreh-Wilson ran the 40 in 4.40 and 4.39 seconds, and then stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine. Wreh-Wilson had a very impressive positional workout. He stands at No. 48 in my Hot 100 prospect rankings.
Dwayne Gratz, CB (5-11 3/8, 203) — Gratz stood on all of his numbers from the combine (he was a top performer in his position group in the bench press, vertical jump and three-cone drill). Gratz also worked out well in the position drills. He stands at No. 42 in my Hot 100.
Representatives from 21 NFL teams — including three coaches from the Carolina Panthers — gathered at Florida A&M’s pro day on March 19 for a workout held outdoors on FieldTurf.
Brandon Hepburn, ILB (6-foot-2 7/8, 241 pounds) — Hepburn ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 and 4.56 seconds. He had a 36-inch vertical jump, a 4.47-second short shuttle and did the three-cone drill in 7.31 seconds. He stood on his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine in the broad jump (10-foot-4, and good and bench press (21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press).
Representatives from nine NFL teams gathered at Idaho’s pro day on March 7 for a workout held outdoors on FieldTurf in 33-degree temperatures.
Bobby Cowan, punter (6-foot-4 1/2, 220 pounds) — Cowan stood on his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine, and did a positional workout that was seen by a special teams coach from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Aaron Grymes, CB (5-10 5/8, 177) — Grymes ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds on each attempt. He had a 40-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-4 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.23 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.88 seconds. He also had 11 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. Grymes is a priority free-agent pickup possibility following the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Idaho Vandals have had a player selected in five consecutive NFL drafts.
Representatives from 10 NFL teams gathered at Memphis’ pro day on March 18, where nine players worked out outdoors on natural grass in 40-degree temperatures and in a light rain.
Akeem Davis, S (6-0 1/4, 200) — Davis ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 and 4.45 seconds. He had a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-6 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.42 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.53 seconds. He also had 19 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. Davis likely is a priority free-agent pickup following the 2013 NFL Draft.
I attended the NFL Super Regional Combine at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday and out of the more than 100 athletes who worked out, to my eye, Lawrence Okoye of England stood out the most. Of the guys there, he seemed to be the class of the defensive linemen.
The Super Regional Combine will be held on Sunday and Monday, with 219 players selected from the nine previous Regional Combines participating. These are players with no college eligibility left, some former NFL players and some aspiring NFL players who weren’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Half of the 219 invited worked out Sunday, the rest will work out the following day. It was amazing to see how good many of the players looked, albeit while only in shorts and shirts.
Lawrence Okoye, DE (6-foot-5 3/8, 304 pounds) — An Olympic discus thrower, Okoye reportedly turned down an offer to attend Oxford University to try out for the NFL. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 and 4.78 seconds. He performed the short shuttle in 4.38 seconds, had a 10-foot-5 broad jump and a 35-inch vertical jump. His arms were measured to be 35 inches long.
It looked like from the group that worked out Sunday, about half will be given the opportunity to sign with a team as a free agent and attend training camp. Okoye looked like he could be drafted. He was unbelievably active and incredibly explosive in drills. It was a real, first-class show.
The guy right behind him is Louis Nzegwu. He was in the draft last year and went to training camp with a team. He’s a guy that could be signed immediately. Another DL to keep an eye on is Gerald Rivers of Ole Miss.
Representatives from one NFL team gathered at Elon’s pro day on March 26, where three players worked out outdoors on FieldTurf in 45-degree temperatures under sunny skies.
Mellette (6-foot-2 7/8, 218) ran the short shuttle in 4.53 seconds at Elon’s pro day, and opted to stand on the rest of his combine numbers.
Mellette has a workout scheduled with the Indianapolis Colts on April 10.
Elon hasn’t had a player drafted since the Jacksonville Jaguars picked defensive back Chad Nkang in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Rich McGeorge, a productive tighe end for the Green Bay Packers in the 1970s and College Football Hall of Famer, was a first-round selection in 1970 out of Elon by Green Bay.
Representatives from 12 NFL teams gathered at Boston College’s pro day on March 20, where 10 players worked out indoors on FieldTurf.
Emmett Cleary, OT (6-foot-7 1/8, 315 pounds) — Cleary stood on all of his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine, with the exception of the vertical jump (29 inches at pro day) and bench press (19 lifts of 225 pounds). Cleary also has 34-inch arms.
Chris Pantale, TE (6-5 1/4, 256) — Pantale ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 and 5.00 seconds. He had a 9-foot-5 broad jump, did the three-cone drill in 7.32 seconds and had 20 strength lifts. He stood on his numbers from the combine in the vertical jump and short shuttle.
John Wetzel, OT (6-7 1/4, 316) — Wetzel ran the 40 in 5.42 and 5.41 seconds. He had a 29-inch vertical jump and a 4.78-second short shuttle time. He stood on his numbers from the combine in the broad jump, three-cone drill and bench press.
Nick Clancy, ILB (6-2 1/8, 237) — Clancy — who was not at the combine — ran the 40 in 4.93 and 4.92 seconds. He had a 30-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.26 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.90 seconds. Clancy did not do the bench press due to a fractured right forearm suffered at the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game. Clancy, who followed in the footsteps of the Carolina Panthers’ top draft pick in 2012 Luke Kuechly, was an extremely productive player for the Golden Eagles.
All four of the aforementioned players went through positional workouts.