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Tag:Pro Day
Posted on: April 7, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Top-rated TE Kyle Rudolph runs 4.78 at Pro Day

According to a source on the scene, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph was clocked at 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day workout Thursday.

The time will be considered by some to be a disappointing one, considering that Rudolph is viewed as the unquestioned top prospect at his position. As a comparison, nine of the 17 tight ends invited to the Scouting Combine were timed faster in the event.

Though the 40-yard dash time wasn't impressive, it is in line with the straight-line speed (or rather lack thereof) shown by Rudolph on tape.

This isn't to say that I don't believe Rudolph can be an effective player. At 6-6, 259 pounds, Rudolph is an all-around tight capable of making an impact as a receiver and blocker. He is not, however, an explosive player. As I've noted previously , some of his production while at Notre Dame has to be attributed to the wide open offenses instituted by former head coach Charlie Weis and current Notre Dame head coach, Brian Kelly.

His speed is very similar to those run by Zach Miller, John Carlson, Brandon Pettigrew, and others picked in the top 40 in recent drafts at the position.

There's no reason to believe his stock will greatly increase or decrease based on today's workout--through just seeing him perform drills and run routes will ease scouts' minds. A solid medical report from the re-checks in Indianapolis is another key factor in his final grade.

Rudolph's Pro Day workout is critical to his final draft grade because he was unable to participate at the Combine due to his recovery from surgery to repair the torn hamstring that cut short his junior season.

NFLDraftScout.com will keep you updated on Rudolph and other Notre Dame players as their results from their Pro Day come through.

Senior Analyst Chad Reuter contributed to this report.
Posted on: April 7, 2011 1:54 pm
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Posted on: April 5, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Thomas runs once (4.6), steadies stock in process

Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas needed to run the 40-yard dash to reassure scouts that he had enough speed to translate his collegiate success into the NFL.

As it turns out, he was only able to run it once.

According to Herbie Teope of Time Warner Cable Metro Sports, Thomas was unofficially clocked at 4.60-4.61 seconds in his first attempt at the 40-yard dash. I've since been able to confirm with an NFL source on the scene that Thomas ran in the "low 4.6s."

Citing a strained quad muscle, Thomas was unable to run the event a second time. He was, however, able to make it through the shuttles and positional drills.

Thomas measured in at 6-0, 228 pounds -- two pounds lighter than he had weighed in at the Combine in late February.

Due to hamstring injuries, Thomas had been unable to perform at the Senior Bowl, the Combine or Kansas State's original Pro Day.

For all of his muscle strains suffered since the season ended, it is important to note that Thomas showed excellent durability while with the Wildcats. He started every game during his two seasons at Kansas State, earning First-Team All-Big 12 honors and leading the conference in rushing yards both years.

The time, while certainly not explosive, shows that the powerful and surprisingly agile Thomas does have enough speed to be successful in the NFL. He isn't a breakaway threat, but has the ability to gain yardage in chunks.

Among the teams present for the workout were the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, according to Teope. 

Thomas is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5 rated running back and No. 72 rated player overall . He's viewed as a 2nd-3rd round prospect.

Posted on: April 1, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Disappointing workout for Clemson DE Bowers

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, listed by some as a potential candidate to go No. 1 overall, may see his stock slip after a rather disappointing performance during his much-anticipated pro day workout Friday.

Bowers, according to sources on the scene, measured in at 6034 (6-3 1/2) and 276 pounds and was clocked at 4.91 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That time, coming off a hand-held stopwatch from a league scout, would have placed Bowers 21st among the 24 defensive ends tested this year in the event at the scouting combine. Only Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal (5.16), TCU's Wayne Daniels (5.03) and Boise State's Ryan Winterswyk (4.96) were slower when tested in Indianapolis.

To be fair, the 40-yard dash is hardly the end-all, be-all measurement for football players, especially defensive linemen, who will rarely (if ever) be asked to run 40 yards in a straight line on a football field. It is also important to note that Bowers is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The surgery kept Bowers sidelined for the combine agility tests and Clemson's initial pro day on March 10.

Unfortunately for Bowers, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5-rated player overall, the lack of explosiveness demonstrated in his slow times in the 40-yard dash were also evident in his broad jump and vertical jump. In these events, Bowers tested at 9'2" and 34.5", respectively. These results were better in comparison to other defensive ends tested at the combine, but were characterized by the scout as "average for the position."

Another scout characterized Bowers' workout as a whole as "sluggish."

I've argued in the past that Bowers' eye-popping totals in 2010 (including a nation-leading 15.5 sacks) had been more of a function of an aggressive Clemson defense rather than the speed typically associated with highly productive pass rushers. Bowers, while powerful and possessing good lateral quickness, simply is not a quick-twitch athlete with a high degree of explosiveness. It is a primary reason why league sources characterized Bowers as an "overrated" defensive end in the 2011 draft.

Not surprisingly, considering his game-tape, Bowers was at his best during the shuttle drills. He was particularly fast in the 3-cone drill (6.95), demonstrating his ability to change directions fluidly and the acceleration he used so effectively in closing on quarterbacks last season. Only three defensive ends tested in Indianapolis tested faster in the 3-cone drill this year -- Texas' Sam Acho (6.69 seconds), Fresno State's Chris Carter (6.88) and Wisconsin's J.J. Watt (6.88). Of the three, only Watt (6-6, 290 pounds) is heavier than Bowers.

The fast times in this event, which requires heavy pivoting of the knee and acceleration, provide some evidence that Bowers' knee has healed.

That's good news for Bowers. However, it also limits his ability to pawn off his less-than-explosive measureables as a result of the knee not yet being fully healed. 

Bowers' disappointing workout won't take the place of his dominant junior season in the eyes of scouts. It could, however, lead to a tumble on draft day, especially considering how closely rated Bowers has been in comparison to fellow pass rushers Robert Quinn, Cameron Jordan, Watt and others. 


Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:33 pm
 

After scary fall at USC Pro Day, CB Wright okay

While most of the attention during USC's Pro Day was on offensive tackle Tyron Smith, cornerback Shareece Wright was among a handful of "other" Trojans enjoying a strong performance.

During his positional drills, however, Wright leapt into the air to snag an "interception" and landed awkwardly. According to sources on the scene, he was in obvious pain and clutching his right leg. As a precautionary measure, Wright was carted off the field to undergo tests on the condition of his leg.

As you might expect, there was plenty of speculation as to the possible severity of Wright's injury. I reached out to team sources, who alerted me that Wright appeared to indeed be okay, at least according to an email sent out to all 32 NFL teams by Wright's agent, Josh Arnold of Synergy Sports .

I contacted Josh, who forwarded the email.

Here are some of the key excerpts:

He felt a strain in his hamstring while falling to the ground and at the urging of the USC medical staff he was advised to stay down while they examined his entire leg (including his knee).  He wanted to walk off the field under his own power, but as a precautionary measure  we (myself and the medical team) felt it was best to call for a cart to drive him to the training room for further examination.    After performing several tests the USC medical staff has diagnosed Shareece with a pulled hamstring (no other damage, strains, pulls, etc. to any other part of his leg).  His knee (ACL, MCL, PCL, etc.) is structurally sound as are all other parts of his leg.  After receiving treatment on his hamstring he walked from the locker room to his car under his own power and feels 100% healthy outside of the tight hamstring.  I will forward on a full medical report shortly which I'm sure will include a full diagnosis on all parts of his leg, but in the interim please let me know if anyone has any additional questions or concerns.

Wright has struggled with injuries, at times, in the past, but closed out his career at USC in fine fashion, recording 73 tackles, 10 passes broken up, 7.5 tackles for loss, and two forced and recovered fumbles. He also blocked a kick. Following his season, Wright was asked to play at the Senior Bowl and played well there, also. His fastest recorded time at the Combine was 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

NFLDraftScout.com currently grades Wright as the No. 11 cornerback in this class and a 3rd round pick. Obviously, the details of the "full medical report" could have an impact on his final grade for us, and more importantly, of course, NFL teams.

Posted on: March 30, 2011 4:52 pm
 

No Ordinary Smith

Southern Cal tackle Tyron Smith took a step towards the top of the draft Thursday at the Trojan's pro day. With every NFL team represented, the 20 year-old Smith timed a 4.91 40 while weighing in at 310 pounds. Despite his ridiculously long 36 3/8" arms, today Smith also increased his bench mark from 29 to 31 reps.

Playing at 280 pounds most of the year, scouts wondered if he could put on weight--and keep it on. But since the end of the year, when he had surgery on a torn mensicus, he's put on 30 pounds--including three additional pounds since the Combine despite working hard for this crucial workout.

Given his youth and the intensity of NFL strength and conditioning programs, Smith should be able to at least stay above 300 pounds early in his career and probably approach 320 as his body matures.
 
It appears the knee surgery is a thing of the past given his workout today. Combining a clean bill of health with the weight-room bench he showed today, the functional strength he showed on the field (playing well at right tackle at a svelte 280), sub 5.0 speed (with a 10-yard split in the low 1.7's) and exceptional footwork in drills means he could be the first offensive tackle off the board next month.

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: March 30, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Fostering Excitement

Before the Jake Locker Show began at the Washington pro day Wednesday, All-Pac-10 linebacker Mason Foster took part in all of the typical agility drills.

Foster ran his forties in the mid 4.7's, about what was expected after being credited with a 4.75 in Indy. Not surprisingly, his short shuttle and three-cone drill times were very close to his Combine times in those events. Scouts will appreciate, however, that he came out to work instead of standing on his performance at the Combine.

His times are quite typical of third round prospects like Foster who were productive college players (161 tackles in 2010) but lack elite athleticism. When teams watch the tape, they'll see Foster aggressively attacking the line on pass and run blitzes. The questions scouts have, however, will be about his ability to chase down quicker NFL ballcarriers and stand up against more physical linemen at the next level.

Regional scouts from almost every team are in attendance. A major contingent is also there from the nearby Seahawks, including General Manager John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll.

NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Rob Rang is also in attendance at the Washington pro day, and will be providing his take on Locker's throwing session--which the Ferndale, Washington native hopes helps him secure a first round slot.

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter
Posted on: March 28, 2011 5:59 pm
 

Source: Don't expect Ayers to light up Pro Day

UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers can point to his tape as proof that he's a good athlete and an even better football player.

Considering that Ayers racked up 123 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, six interceptions (two returned for TDs), and four forced fumbles (one returned for a TD) over his two full starting seasons with the Bruins, he's got a point.

Despite the flashy big plays that scream otherwise, Ayers was proven to be a remarkably pedestrian athlete at the 2011 Combine.

The 6-2 (1/2), 254 pounder was electronically timed at 4.88 in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. Only two outside linebackers tested at the Combine were slower -- Boston College's Mark Herzlich (5.02) and Michigan's Jonas Mouton (4.94). Even worse, Ayers was the slowest of all linebackers tested this year in the 3-cone drill, a test designed to identify flexibility, change of direction and explosiveness -- three elements typically critical to strong linebacker play. Ayers was timed at 7.49 seconds. Herzlich, by comparison, was timed at 7.33 seconds.

According to a source with knowledge of Ayers' workouts prior to the Combine and any improvements he's made since, NFL scouts and the media could be in for a disappointment if they think the First-Team All Pac-10 (and Third Team All-American) performer is going to test significantly better during his Pro Day workout for scouts Tuesday, March 29.

According to the source, "[Ayers] is what he is -- a damn good football player. But, I can tell you right now, when he started working out, he wasn't very fast. He's improved and I expect him to be better at the Pro Day than he was at the Combine, but he's not going to blow anyone away with his workout."

Ayers is expected to have a lot of NFL talent-evaluators on hand to see just how much his numbers can improve. Ayers and Rahim Moore, despite each disappointing in their Combine workouts, remain among NFLDraftScout.com's top 64 prospects and are certain to spark lots of interest. Teams will also be traveling to the West Coast this week in preparation for USC and Washington's Pro Days on Wednesday.

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