Jerick McKinnon draws crowd to Georgia Southern’s pro day

Representatives from 16 NFL teams — including a running backs coach from the Oakland Raiders and a defensive assistant coach from the Chicago Bears — were present for Georgia Southern’s pro day on March 27, when 11 players worked out outdoors on grass in 5-10 mile-per-hour wind gusts.

Jerick McKinnon, RB (5-foot-9 1/8, 207 pounds) — McKinnon stood on his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine (he had a spectacular combine, being a top performer in his position group in all of the drills). McKinnon played both quarterback and running back for Georgia Southern. He scored the game-winning touchdown in his team’s upset of Florida, Georgia Southern’s first win over a BCS team. McKinnon also worked out as a defensive back at the pro day. You know a guy has some value when 16 NFL teams send representatives to a pro day to check a player out.

Lavelle Westbrooks, CB (5-11 5/8, 196) — Westbrooks ran the 40 in 4.68 and 4.65 seconds. He also performed 20 strength lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. Westbrooks stood on his numbers from the combine in the vertical jump, broad jump, short shuttle and three-cone drill.

Torrance Hunt, RB (5-7, 180) — Hunt ran the 40 in 4.40 seconds (against the wind) and 4.28 seconds (with the wind). He had a 43-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot-1 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.21 seconds and the three-cone in 7.13 seconds. He had 15 lifts on the bench press. Hunt — who is a potential rookie free-agent pickup following the 2014 NFL Draft.

D.J. Morrell of Old Dominion a potential rookie free agent

Representatives from 15 NFL teams were present at Old Dominion’s pro day on March 18, when nine players worked out outdoors on FieldTurf in 34-degree temperatures and 22 mile-per-hour winds.

D.J. Morrell, OT (6-foot-5 1/4, 325 pounds) — Morrell ran the 40-yard dash in 5.68 seconds (against the wind) and 5.40 seconds (with the wind). He had a 23 1/2-inch vertical jump and an 8-foot broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.90 seconds and the three-cone drill in 8.20 seconds. Morrell — who has 31 3/4-inch arms — did 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Morrell is a potential free-agent pickup for a team following the conclusion of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Three teams send assistants to check out UNA’s Tavarius Wilson

Three NFL teams — the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles — sent linebackers coaches to North Alabama’s pro day on March 14, when 12 UNA players worked out outdoors on FieldTurf.

The player those assistant coaches were on hand to see was linebacker (and special teams phenom) Tavarius Wilson. The 5-foot-11 1/8, 239-pound Wilson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.77 and 4.78 seconds. He had a 36 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-6 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.40 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.10 seconds. He performed 26 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Wilson — the 2013 Division II Defensive Player of the Year — is a potential seventh-round draft pick or priority free-agent pickup following the draft.

Another potential rookie free-agent pickup worked out at the pro day:

Chris Coffey, RB (5-7, 203) — Coffey ran the 40 in 4.75 and 4.65 seconds. He had a 34-inch vertical and 9-1 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.40 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.97 seconds. He had 26 reps on the bench press. Coffey is a potential rookie free-agent pickup following the draft.

Three potential free-agent pickups work out at EKU’s pro day

There were five NFL teams represented at Eastern Kentucky’s pro day on March 14, when nine players worked out outdoors on FieldTurf in 25 mile-per-hour winds.

Ike Ariguzo, WR (6-foot-4 3/4, 235 pounds) — Ariguzo ran the 40-yard dash in 4.89 seconds (against the wind) and 4.61 seconds (with the wind). He had a 37-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-4 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.40 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.28 seconds. He had 15 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Ariguzo caught the ball well in positional workouts. He played wide receiver at Eastern Kentucky (he posted 256 yards receiving and five touchdowns in 2013), but a team might sign him as a rookie free agent and build him up a bit more to try him out at tight end.

Shawn Shupperd, DE (6-5 1/4, 280) — Shupperd ran the 40 in 5.08 seconds (against the wind) and 4.89 seconds (with the wind). He had a 34-inch vertical and 9-9 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.51 seconds and the three-cone in 7.14 seconds. He had 21 strength lifts. In addition to working out as a pass-rushing defensive end, Shupperd also worked out as a tight end at the pro day. He is a potential rookie free-agent pickup following the 2014 NFL Draft.

Jordan Berry, P (6-5 1/8, 211) — Berry is from Australia, and can punt rugby style (when the punter gets a running start before booting) or regularly. Berry will likely be in some team’s training camp as a rookie free agent.

Louisiana Tech’s Justin Ellis could be third-round pick

Conditions at Louisiana Tech’s pro day Thursday were less than ideal, as rain started to come down during the players’ workouts along with 14 mph wind. The workouts were held outdoors on grass.

Justin Ellis, DL: Ellis (6-foot-1 1/2, 342 pounds) ran the 40 twice, in 5.03 with the wind and 5.21 against the wind. He stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine. Ellis has amazing quickness for a player his size, and I think people will have a tough time blocking him. His height isn’t ideal, but at 342 pounds he moves around like a gazelle. He could be a third-round choice in the draft.

IK Enemkpali, DE: Enemkpali (6-0 7/8, 260 pounds) was put through workouts as a linebacker by the Saints and Bills LB coaches and looked very good going through his drills. He ran the 40 in 5.01 against the wind and 4.86 with the wind. He had a 36-inch vertical and a 9-5 broad jump, and his arms were measured at 33 1/8 inches. He’ll probably be a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.

Daniel Cobb, LB: Cobb (5-11 1/2, 223 pounds) ran the 40 in 5.08 against the wind and 4.85 seconds with the wind. He had a 38-inch vertical and a 9-11 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.49 and the three-cone drill in 7.16 seconds. He has 32 1/8-inch arms and threw the bar up 19 times. Cobb is likely to be a free agent.

Jeremiah Attaochu to visit Lions, Chargers, Colts

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were on hand for Georgia Tech’s pro day Friday, including Joe Cullen, the defensive line coach of the Buccaneers, as well as four linebacker coaches and a defensive backs coach. There were 12 players who worked out indoors on FieldTurf.

Jeremiah Attaochu, DE: Attaochu (6-foot-3 3/8, 249 pounds) did not work out at the combine because of an injury. At his pro day, he ran the 40 in 4.57 and 4.62 seconds. He had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 9-3 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.68 and the three-cone drill in 7.28. His arms measured 34 1/2 inches, and he did not perform the bench press. Attaochu, who has the most sacks in Georgia Tech history, will be visited by the Lions, Chargers and Colts next week in Atlanta, and he’ll also go up to Philadelphia to visit the Eagles.

Jemea Thomas, CB: Thomas (5-9 1/4, 191 pounds), who was at the combine, had ran the 40 in 4.58 and 4.52 seconds. He had a 36-inch vertical and a 10-2 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.25 and the three-cone drill in 7.03 seconds. He had a very good workout.

Here are two more guys who worked out Friday and are likely to be free agents:

Lou Young, CB: Young (5-11 1/4, 209 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.47 and 4.48 seconds. He had a 36 1/2-inch vertical and a 9-9 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.32 and the three-cone drill in 7.11 seconds. He also had 11 reps in the bench press.

Brandon Watts, OLB: Watts (6-1 3/4, 225 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.41 and 4.45 seconds. He had a 37 1/2-inch vertical, a 10-2 broad jump, a 4.21 short shuttle and a 6.89 three-cone drill. He also had 16 reps in the bench press. Watts had a strong workout, showing that he’s a very good athlete who moves well.

Giants OL coach attends East Carolina pro day

New York Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty was present for East Carolina’s pro day Thursday, when 17 players worked out indoors on a Mondo track, which is considered to be a faster surface than FieldTurf.

Derrell Johnson, LB: Johnson (6-foot-1 1/2, 257 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash just once after pulling his calf muscle, and he posted a time of 4.61 seconds. He had a 32 1/2-inch vertical, 9-6 broad jump, 4.64 short shuttle and 7.27 three-cone drill. He also had 23 reps in the bench press. He had a good workout and will probably be a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent as an outside linebacker on a 3-4 defense.

Lance Ray, WR/KR: Ray (6-0 3/4, 208 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.58 and 4.49 seconds. He had a 36-inch vertical and a 10-5 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.53 seconds and threw the bar up 19 times. He’s likely to be a free agent.

Garrett Gilbert, two others shine at SMU pro day

The quarterbacks coaches for the Ravens, Eagles and Cowboys were among representatives from 22 NFL teams present at SMU’s pro day Friday morning. Most were here to see quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who stole the show with a sensational workout, which I covered more extensively here.

Gilbert was one of 12 players who worked out on FieldTurf outdoors, but there were two other players of note:

Kenneth Acker, CB: Acker (5-11 5/8, 190 pounds) worked out as a cornerback and looked pretty good. He showed he can backpedal well and has good break on the ball. He’s a good athlete. He ran the 40 in 4.50 and 4.53 seconds. He posted a 36-inch vertical and 9-9 broad jump. He had a 4.29 short shuttle and a 6.92 three-cone drill. He also threw the bar up 11 times. I think he’ll be a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.

Ben Gottschalk, OT: Gottschalk (6-3 7/8, 299 pounds) ran the 40 in 5.25 and 5.28 seconds. He had a 29 1/2-inch vertical and a 9-foot broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.85 and the three-cone drill in 7.87 seconds. He also had 26 reps in the bench press. He did a good job working out today and will probably be a free agent.

Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans both put on a show

There isn’t much more that I can say about Johnny Manziel after his pro day Thursday, except that the workout left me even more convinced that he’s a very talented quarterback who has a chance to be a very good player in the NFL. The fact that he worked out in a helmet and pads was unusual because it’s much harder to do it that way; as far as difficulty, Manziel’s throwing session wasn’t on the same plane as the other quarterbacks. For him to take that risk, I thought, further showed what a great competitor he is and how much he wants to show that he can be the best.

Manziel threw several of his passes to Mike Evans, who made himself some money today. Evans looked sensational and is a lock to be a first-round pick. When I release my updated list of top 50 prospects, Evans will be my 11th-best player. He has very big hands and is tall with long arms and is going to be very hard to defend. He’s got build-up speed — by that, I mean he doesn’t start like a guy who has 4.3 speed, but once he gets up field about seven or eight yards he really gets going.

Any questions I had about Evans before the combine, he answered today. He caught the ball a lot better and is a lot more fluid than I thought he was. I was really impressed with him.

Before Manziel went out and did his thing, two other players worked out.

Nehemiah Hicks, TE: When Texas A&M had its pro day a month ago, Hicks was unable to work out, so he did that today. His height wasn’t measured, but he weighed in at 256 pounds. He ran 5.03 and 5.00 in the 40. He had a 29-inch vertical and an 8-foot-11 broad jump. He’ll probably be a free agent.

Tony Hurd, DB: Hurd weighed in at 178 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.66 and 4.69 seconds. He had a 31-inch vertical, a 9-2 broad jump, a 4.22 short shuttle, and a 6.82 three-cone drill. I think he has some skills as a defensive back, but he’ll be a free agent.

 

Texas State’s pro day held under the lights

There were 18 teams present for Texas State’s pro day Wednesday for what is believed to be the first ever pro day held at night with the lights turned on in a stadium. The workouts were held outdoors on FieldTurf.

David Yendrey, DL: Yendrey (6-2 3/4, 274 pounds) was not at the combine. He ran the 40 in 4.85 against the wind and 4.79 with the wind. He had a 33-inch vertical and a 9-4 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.44 and the three-cone drill in 7.14. He had 33 1/2-inch arms and threw the bar up 29 times.

McGill University OL attracts nine NFL teams to Canada

Nine teams were present for the pro day event Wednesday at McGill University in Canada: the Jets, Eagles, Raiders, Chiefs, Packers, Bengals, Cardinals, 49ers and Bills. The player they came to see was an offensive lineman named Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

Duvernay-Tardif measured 6-foot-5, 298 pounds, which was 23 pounds less than his weight at the East-West Shrine Game. He’s a medical student, and he said he thought he lost the weight because he was so busy studying for his classes.

At his pro day, Duvernay-Tardif ran the 40 in 4.94 and 5.08 seconds. He had a 31 1/2-inch vertical and a 9-6 broad jump. He ran the three-cone drill in 7.30 seconds and had 33 bench-press reps. Duvernay-Tardif was not at the combine, but those numbers were as good as any offensive linemen there, including Taylor Lewan. I would imagine that a team will take a chance on him around the sixth or seventh round and hope to turn him into an NFL player.

Mike Davis, Jackson Jeffcoat work for 32 teams at Texas pro day

Representatives from all 32 teams, including the offensive line coaches from the Eagles and the Bengals, were at Texas’ pro day Wednesday to watch 10 players work out. This was the first time in 16 years that I was not present at Texas pro day. The sprints were run on a very fast Tartan track, and the position drills were held on FieldTurf at another indoor facility a couple of blocks away.

Mike Davis, WR: Davis (6-foot, 189 pounds), who was at the combine, ran the 40 in 4.51 and 4.53 seconds. He had a 32 1/2-inch vertical and a 9-9 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.42 and the three-cone drill in 7.06. He did not lift. Davis had a good workout and caught the ball well, but he does not have a great burst to get open and create separation.

Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB: Jeffcoat (6-foot-2, 253 pounds) kept all of his numbers from the combine. He worked as both a 4-3 defensive end with his hands on the ground and also as a 3-4 linebacker. He looked like he was better suited to play the 4-3 defensive end spot and didn’t look very smooth dropping into space.

Chris Whaley, DT: Whaley (6-foot-3, 273 pounds) came to Texas as one of the most sought-after running backs in the state of Texas in his recruiting year, but he ended up playing defensive tackle. He had knee surgery four months ago and couldn’t do any of the drills, but he should be ready to work out after the draft when teams go into their OTs.

Trey Hopkins, G: Hopkins (6-2 3/4, 307 pounds) ran the 40 in 5.25 and 5.27 seconds. He had a 32-inch vertical and a 9-2 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.80 and the three-cone drill in 8.03 seconds. He also had 28 reps in the bench press. Hopkins had a nice workout and is likely to be a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.

Anthony Fera, K: Fera (6-foot 1/2 inches, 215 pounds), who was at the combine, made 1-of-2 field goals from 50 yards, 2-of-2 from 55 yards and 1-of-2 from 60 yards. Five of his six kickoffs went out of the end zone. He also did some punting drills outside in the wind and didn’t do very good. He’s someone who’ll probably be drafted somewhere in the last day.

Carrington Byndom, DB: Byndom (5-11 1/4, 177 pounds), who was not at the combine, ran the 40 twice, posting a time of 4.33 both times. He also had a 36-inch vertical and a 9-11 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.40 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.09. He did not do the bench press. Byndom has great straight-ahead speed, but in the position drills he struggled to turn and run with receivers. His speed will probably make him a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.

Ross Cockrell impressive at Duke’s pro day

Representatives from 23 NFL teams were present for Duke’s pro day on Wednesday, where five players worked out indoors on FieldTurf.

Duke had one player who was at the NFL Scouting Combine:

Ross Cockrell, CB (5-foot-11 3/4, 190 pounds) — Cockrell ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 and 4.50 seconds. He did the short shuttle in 4.20 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.92 seconds. He had a 39-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-5 broad jump. He performed 12 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. Cockrell had a really good workout. He was very smooth and fluid in coverage, with the only negative being that he dropped two possible interceptions in the drills.

Jason Bromley of Syracuse could be fifth- or sixth-round pick

There were 21 NFL teams represented — a contingent that included a defensive line coach from the Philadelphia Eagles — at Syracuse’s pro day on Wednesday, when 12 players worked out indoors on FieldTurf.

Jason Bromley, DT (6-foot-3 3/8, 307 pounds) — Bromely ran the 40-yard dash in 4.97 and 4.98 seconds. He did the three-cone drill in 7.88 seconds, and stood on the rest of his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine. Bromley is a very good athlete who moves around really well, but does have a tendancy to play a bit too upright. He is probably a fifth- to sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Jerome Smith, RB (5-10 3/8, 226) — Smith ran the 40 in 4.74 and 4.71 seconds. He had a 35-inch vertical and 10-foot-3 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.60 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.27 seconds. He also performed 17 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. Smith moves well and is adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. He could be a late-round draft choice or priority free-agent pickup following the draft.

Marquis Spruill, LB (6-1 1/8, 231) — Spruill ran the 40 in 4.59 seconds on both attempts. He had a short shuttle time of 4.44 seconds and a three-cone time of 7.33 seconds. He had a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump and 9-foot-9 broad jump. He had 21 strength lifts. Spruill is a priority free-agent possibility following the draft.

Cody Latimer of Indiana still healing, but does run 4.44 40

Representatives from 19 NFL teams — including the general managers of the New York Jets (John Idzik) and San Diego Chargers (Tom Telesco), and a New England Patriots special teams coach — were present for Indiana’s pro day on Wednesday, when 18 players worked out indoors on FieldTurf.

Cody Latimer, WR (6-foot-2 5/8, 215 pounds) — Due to a broken bone in his foot, Latimer was only able to run straight ahead and did not participate in any positional drills. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 and 4.45 seconds. He also had a 39-inch vertical jump. Latimer was at the NFL Scouting Combine, but only competed in the bench press (in which he led his position group with 23 reps of 225 pounds). Latimer does not have a target date for another workout before the 2014 NFL Draft.

Ted Bolser, TE (6-5 5/8, 248) — Bolser ran the 40 in 4.74 and 4.78 seconds. He had a 31-inch vertical jump and 9-foot-3 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.50 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.11 seconds. He performed 19 strength lifts. Bolser is probably a late-round draft pick or priority free-agent pickup following the draft.

Stephen Houston, RB (5-10 7/8, 225) — Houston ran the 40 in 4.52 and 4.50 seconds. He had a 40-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 7.03 seconds and the three-cone in 4.23 seconds. He also had 24 reps on the bench press. Houston is a fast player who executed an impressive pro-day workout, catching the ball real well out of the backfield. Houston is a free-agent pickup possibility following the draft.

Mitch Ewald, K (5-9 1/2, 175) — All Ewald did at the pro day was kick off. He has accuracy (he made 80.3 percent of his field goal attempts during his Hoosiers career). Ewald is a free-agent possibility following the draft, especially given that the Patriots sent an assistant coach to take a look at him.

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