Today, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder was the benefit of the NFL lockout. The Associated Press reported that retired receiver Isaac Bruce stepped in to catch passes from Ponder due to a lack of senior Seminoles' receivers and the prohibition of current NFL wideouts from working out in the view of team scouts and coaches.
Ponder, who performed very well according to all reports, had an advantage few young passers get throwing to a potential Hall-of-Fame receiver in Bruce, who played 16 years and ranks seventh all-time in receptions (1,024), third in receiving yards (15,208), and ninth in receiving touchdowns (91).
But the lockout prevented former Seminoles, or other receivers out of football, from getting a second chance to impress scouts. It is not clear who would have participated if given the chance, but many times players trying to get back into the NFL by performing at a campus pro day (with the school's permission).
Running back Ryan Torain, for example, participated in Arizona State's pro day last spring to show scouts he was over the injuries that caused Denver to release him the previous fall (he was out the entire 2009 season). The Redskins took a chance on Torain this year, and he ran for 742 yards and four touchdowns in ten games--before injuries again limited him. But the team has already said he will get the first look as the starter in 2011, so the second chance the ASU alum received in the spring proved quite valuable.
Wednesday night, highly-rated quarterback Blaine Gabbert's former pass-catch partner at Missouri, and current St. Louis Ram, Danario Alexander tweeted that he "just got word that I can't go support my guys at there pro day... #lockoutsucks" What Alexander's tweet lacked in spelling correctness it made up for in exemplifying current players -- and certainly prospects -- frustration with the current labor situation.
--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter