Tag:pro day
Posted on: March 8, 2010 6:45 pm

Dez Bryant pushes back Pro Day from Wed to 25th

Wednesday's Oklahoma State Pro Day is quickly losing its luster.

Head coach Mike Gundy announced over the weekend via a radio interview that cornerback Perrish Cox would not be allowed to work out at the Cowboys' Pro Day.

Now, this report from ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that wide receiver Dez Bryant won't be able to work out Wednesday either.

Bryant's inability to work out Wednesday isn't altogether surprising. He had previously cited a pulled hamstring as to why he wasn't able to run and perform drills at the Combine just two weeks ago.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect about Bryant's decision not to work out is the date in which his new Pro Day is planned -- March 25 -- the same day scouts will be flocking to see Sam Bradford throw.

Bryant had better hope he gives scouts plenty of time to leave Bradford's work out before coming to his. There is little doubt which of the two workouts will generate the most interest.

It is approximately a two hour drive from Norman, Oklahoma to Stillwater.
Posted on: March 5, 2010 12:48 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2010 12:29 pm

CB Perrish Cox barred from Oklahoma State Pro Day

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy will not allow star cornerback Perrish Cox to work out at the team facilities for NFL scouts during the Cowboys' Pro Day March 10.

Gundy announced as much publicly during a radio interview yesterday with Al Jerken on the Sports Animal Tulsa network.

Gundy's decision continues a stunning fall from grace for the former All-Big 12 star.

Cox was suspended due to two separate curfew violations while the team prepared in Dallas for the Alamo Bowl against Mississippi. He was not allowed to participate in the bowl game.

Making matters worse, during his session with the media, Cox characterized the questions he received from NFL teams about his suspension from the Cowboys as being "harassed." Cox's term wasn't a slip of the tongue; he repeated the word several times to describe his Q and A sessions with teams.

Cox furthermore hurt his chances with clubs by coming in much slower than expected during drills. Considered one of the top corners in the nation and a big play returner (six career touchdown returns), Cox was timed in the high 4.5s to low 4.6s in the 40-yard dash.

Apparently, he'll need to find another location if he is to work out for scouts prior to the draft. Considering his characterization of their questions, it is difficult to believe scouts will be willing to go out of their way to see him again.

It's too bad. Cox is a talented player worthy of first round consideration. At this point, however, it is questionable if he'll make the second or even third round.

I've spoken to teams who have discussed removing him off their draft board entirely.

Posted on: March 5, 2010 11:27 am

Brandon Graham (injury) won't work out March 12

Michigan pass rusher Brandon Graham, NFLDraftScout.com's top rated outside linebacker, will not be able to work out at Michigan's upcoming Pro Day March 12 due to a strained hamstring. He strained the hamstring while running his second attempt at the 40-yard dash at the Combine. He was credited with a 4.72 on his first attempt and lifted 225 pounds 31 times in his only other drill.

Graham, 6-1, 263 pounds, instead, is going to hold an individual pro day April 8 on the Michigan campus.

Graham is the first two-time MVP in Michigan's storied history. He totaled 138 tackles, 56 tackles for loss, 29.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and three pass breakups, earning all-conference accolades after the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Graham was arguably the most dominant player on the field throughout the Senior Bowl practices and earned MVP honors during the game, itself.

Depsite the fact that Graham has already proven his ability on the football field, his workout could be very important in determining his final draft grade. Like former Michigan standout defensive end LaMarr Woodley, Graham is being projected to outside linebacker by many clubs operating out of the 3-4 scheme.

Perhaps what I, personally, like best about Graham is that he brings the same tenacity as a pass rusher that Woodley brought. Like his former teammate, Graham seems capable of making his biggest plays in the most critical moments.

As long as he is able to prove he can handle the change of direction necessary for occasional pass coverage, I expect Graham to be a first round pick and an immediate impact defender for a 3-4 club.
Posted on: March 4, 2010 10:28 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2010 10:42 pm

Sleeper DE candidates unveiled at Wyoming Pro Day

West regional scouts from a handful of teams tipped me off about two defensive ends from Wyoming a few months ago. Though neither John Fletcher nor Mitch Unrein were invited to the Combine, both could earn late round selections in next month's draft. They are among the few defensive linemen available in this draft with experience playing in the 3-4. Both, however, appear to have enough size and athleticism to potentially see action for 4-3 teams, as well.

According to sources, fourteen teams were on hand to see the two put forth their best efforts Thursday. The Colts seemed particularly interested in Fletcher and the Titans in Unrein.

Fletcher measured in at 6-5 1/4 and 270 pounds. Fletcher was faster than expected with a 4.87 40-yard dash (despite battling a hamstring pull) and a 4.5 short shuttle. He had a 33" vertical, a 9'10" broad jump and a posted 21 reps of 225 pounds.

Unrein measured in at 6-3 3/4 and 276 pounds. He was impressive in positional drills and clocked in with a 4.84 second 40-yard dash, 4.6 short shuttle, and 7.3 long shuttle. He posted 26 repetitions of 225 pounds and measured in at 31" in the vertical and 8'10" in the broad jump.

The numbers aren't eye-popping enough to warrant a late round selections on their own. However, considering the relentless and versatile play in which both Fletcher and Unrein play,  the numbers are good enough to convince teams there is some athletic upside worthy of a late round selection.

Posted on: March 4, 2010 10:11 pm

Weatherspoon raises the bar at Mizzou Pro Day

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon didn't have to work out at his Missouri Pro Day after putting together one of the better all-around performances from the position just last week at the Combine.

However, he'll earn points with NFL scouts for allowing his competitive spirit get the better of him and pushing him to work out.

He'll earn extra points for that competitive spirit resulting in significantly better results, as well.

Weatherspoon had "officially" been clocked at a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. According to published reports, he was clocked in the high 4.4s to low 4.5s Thursday.

Weatherspoon also surprised scouts by electing to do the bench press. The 34 repetitions he'd put up in Indianapolis was second to Washington's Donald Butler (35). Weatherspoon tied Butler's 35 repetitions Thursday, setting a new personal best.

At a time when some athletes have had their competitiveness questioned by their decisions not to work out for scouts, Weatherspoon's willingness to perform stands out.

It could result in his hearing his name called on another Thursday -- the one seven weeks from now -- during the first round. 
Posted on: March 4, 2010 5:48 pm

FB Rose, QB Smith Draw Scouts to FAU Pro Day

A total of 13 NFL teams, as well as representatives from a host of CFL and UFL clubs were on hand to watch 12 Florida Atlantic players showcase their abilities Thursday. The NFL teams represented Thursday at FAU were Carolina, Chicago, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans, New York (Giants), Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Tennessee.

Fighting against a stiff wind that gusted up to 20 miles per hour, there were some notable performances.

Quarterback Rusty Smith was, of course, the headliner. The 6-5 (even), 224 pound Smith was clocked at 4.83 in the 40-yard dash and showed off his strong arm and quicker release. Smith, whose long windup had previously generated concern from scouts similar to that from another state of Florida quarterback, has worked hard to improve it. According to scouts in attendance, Smith was a bit sporadic with his accuracy, but possesses the raw tools to earn late round or PFA consideration.

Smith had been considered a bit of a sleeper candidate for the NFL. His former head coach, the legendary Howard Schnellenberger had once proclaimed him to be a potential first round prospect . I believed in him then and believe that he could surprise if given a shot.

The most decorated player in Florida Atlantic history, Smith had started 36 consecutive games, but was lost for the rest of his senior season after injuring his left (non-throwing) shoulder against Middle Tennessee State. He is the Owls’ and Sun Belt Conference’s all-time leader in career and single-season passing yards (10,112) and touchdown passes (76). In 2007, his best season, he was the Sun Belt player of the year and MVP of the New Orleans Bowl. Two years ago, he was the MVP of the Motor City Bowl. With Smith out for much of the 2009 season, FAU finished 5-7 and did not play in a bowl game.

While the scouts may have been there to see Smith, fullback William Rose was the most impressive player on the field. Rose, whose soft hands could see him moved to H-back in the NFL, was credited with a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash and posted a 34" vertical, 9-10.5" broad jump and put up the bar 21 times in the bench press.

No FAU players were invited to the 2010 Combine, so these performances were critical if Smith, Rose or any other Owl is to be drafted.
Posted on: March 4, 2010 2:28 pm

S Newton the surprise star at Buffalo Pro Day

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.

Posted on: March 4, 2010 1:08 pm

Snubbed Fitzgerald helps cause at K-State Pro Day

NFL scouts weary from the Combine had little time to spend with loved ones before the unofficial kickoff to the Pro Day season began yesterday at Kansas State.

Defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald , one of the players Chad Reuter and I agreed was one of the biggest Combine snubs this year, was the headlining act.

Fitzgerald measured in at 6-3 5/8, 270 pounds -- one pound less than he had at the East-West Shrine Game. According to scouts representing an estimated ten teams on hand, Fitzgerald was clocked in the low 4.8s in the 40-yard dash and was clocked at 4.30 in the short shuttle, which would have placed him among the top ten defensive linemen tested in Indianapolis. Fitzgerald also had 21 repetitions of 225 pounds for the bench press. 

Fitzgerald earned Defensive MVP honors for the Wildcats in 2009, posting 40 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. He also forced three fumbles and returned an interception 17 yards for a score against Texas Tech.

Originally signing with Virginia, Fitzgerald impressed early on, earning Freshman All-American honors by posting 64 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and leading the Cavs with 6 sacks. He posted 73 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks a year later, but elected to transfer to Kansas State to play under former Virginia assistant coach Ron Prince after academic problems.

The other notable performance in Manhattan came from junior cornerback Joshua Moore . Moore was invited to the Combine, but struggled in the 40-yard dash, testing out at only in the 4.6s on both attempts, according to scouts.

However, at his Pro Day, Moore helped his cause a bit, churning out a pair of low 4.5s in the drill.

Moore doesn't have a huge name outside of the Big 12, but he's been a solid player for the Wildcats. His willingness to come up and tackle (averaged 70 tackles over past two seasons), quick closing speed and active hands (28 career PBUs) is enough to get him a late round look. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com