The scouts may have came for running back James Starks or wideout Naaman Roosevelt, but they left the Buffalo Bulls Pro Day yesterday talking about safety Mike Newton.
Newton, despite being a four-year starter and two-time second team All-MAC selection, was not invited to the Combine.
Newton posted numbers that rivaled the best Indianapolis had to offer -- running twice in the mid 4.4s, posting a 41" vertical jump, a 10' broad jump, 6.94 three-cone drill and a 4.17 second showing in the short shuttle.
Recognized for his reliable open field tackling and willingness to lower his shoulder into receivers running across the middle, Newton was previously characterized as good football player, but not likely to impress in workouts -- one of the reasons scouts gave as to why he wasn't among those invited to the Combine. Newton, in fact, along with Utah's Robert Johnson, were identified as two senior safeties scouts thought typically would have been invited to Indianapolis, but were left out due to the high number of juniors invited, instead.
Roosevelt, also not invited to the Combine, was solid in positional drills, but was unable to completely alleviate concerns about his deep speed, clocking in at 4.60. This time, however, was considerably better than the 4.8s scouts had timed him last spring. Roosevelt, a two-time first team MAC choice with a litany of single season and career records for the Bulls, had previously been measured at the East-West Shrine Game (6-0, 1/4, 190 pounds). He showed more explosiveness than expected, reaching 37" in the vertical jump.
Running back James Starks elected not to do any of the positional drills after an impressive all-around showing at the Combine. He did participate in running back drills, proving smooth and athletic, according to those in attendance.