Though scouts attended the Boston College and Oregon Pro Days Thursday to see potential Top 50 picks B.J. Raji, Max Unger, Ron Brace and Patrick Chung, among others, the early word out of each workout was that a playmaking, Combine-snub stole some of the show.
At Oregon, defensive end/outside linebacker Nick Reed, the Pac-10's leading sacker each of the past two seasons, measured in at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds and put up some impressive numbers in the drills: 40-yard Dash: 4.71...Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches...Bench Press Reps (225 pounds): 24...Broad Jump: 9.0 feet...Short Shuttle: 4.27...Three-Cone Drill: 6.96...60-yard Shuttle: 12.02. There were 22 teams on hand.
At Boston College, one-time iconic linebacker/fullback Brian Toal turned in an impressive Pro Day performance of his own. Toal has struggled throughout his career with injury, including missing most of his senior season with a broken right leg (fibula). At the BC Pro Day Thursday, however, Toal appeared to have his old explosiveness back, registering a 37.5" vertical jump. The vertical would have led all linebackers tested at the Combine, including former ACC star Aaron Curry. Toal showed surprising agility and flexibility throughout linebacker and running back drills. He caught the ball cleanly in running back drills.
Reed and Toal are among the more intriguing "diamond in the rough" prospects of the 2009 draft. Each had been characterized as a try-hard player with limited athleticism, but impressive workout totals could lead to late round or -- at minimum -- free agent consideration.