2014 Pro Days: Roberson, Purifoy still slow at soggy Florida workout
A rain storm pushed the workout inside where athletes opted to run barefoot on a rubber track. Still recovering from his second major knee injury, Dominique Easley elected not to work out but may on April 18.
While the big news of the Pro Day world revolved around Teddy Bridgewater's shaky throwing session, an even more popular stop on the workout trail was in Gainesville, where all 32 NFL teams were on hand to watch the Florida Gators.
Cornerbacks Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy failed to better their disappointing Combine 40-yard dash times, coming in the mid-4.5s to low 4.6s on most watches. One scout had Roberson at 4.71.
The slow times may not have the negative impact you might expect. Scouts following the workout sounded willing to concede that poor conditions contributed to the numbers. Heavy rain forced the former Gators inside to work out and the athletes ran barefoot on an indoor rubber surface. As one longtime NFL scout put, "I've never seen anything like it."
Gators' head coach Will Muschamp defended his corners.
"Those guys play a lot faster than they're going to run the 40," Muschamp said. "That's what a lot of the coaches and the comments I get from a lot of the scouts is: These guys play a lot faster than maybe their times are.
"The end of the day, they're going to watch the tape."
Roberson and Purifoy's tape is very intriguing but the athleticism on it didn't necessarily translate into the positional drills Monday, either. Both players struggled to keep their footing and allowed potential interceptions to slip through their fingers.
Fellow cornerback Jaylen Watkins participated during positional drills but did not run again after turning in an impressive 4.41 at the Combine and performing equally well at the Senior Bowl.
Roberson is the most instinctive of the trio. While lacking top notch speed, he changes directions quickly and plays a physical, alert brand of football.
Purifoy remains an intriguing but raw athlete who has split time at receiver, corner and returner for the Gators.
While Purifoy is considered by some a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type, Watkins' versatility is quietly generating top 100 talk among scouts. He's played inside and out as a cornerback, and also has experience at safety. Further, Watkins was a key member of the Gators' special teams.
Unfortunately, defensive tackle Dominique Easley did not work out. Muschamp later told the media that it is possible that Easley will work out April 18. Easley is recovering from a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee, injuries which occurred during practice in late September.
When healthy, the 6-2, 288 pounder shows great burst to penetrate gaps and entered the 2013 season rated higher by many than either Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald or Arizona State's Will Sutton, two similarly undersized interior defensive linemen. Unfortunately, Easley has struggled to remain healthy. Easley also tore the ACL in his left knee in November, 2011.
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