Underrated WR Matthews highlights well-attended Nevada Pro Day
An estimated 20 teams were represented at Nevada's Pro Day workout Wednesday, including a number of decision-makers. They arrived talking about the underrated talent on Nevada's roster, which some believe could see as many as six players drafted. They left buzzing about one player in particular -- wide receiver Rishard Matthews.
Despite leading the Western Athletic Conference in both catches and receiving yards in 2012, Matthews hasn't generated a great deal of media attention. He certainly had scouts attention and was actually invited to the Senior Bowl, though he was unable to participate in the premier all-star game after spraining his MCL in Nevada's final regular season game (Idaho). Matthews lost out on a second opportunity to prove his athleticism when he re-aggravated the injury preparing for the Scouting Combine. Matthews participated in Indianapolis despite protests from those close to him but struggled through the workout, timing "officially" at 4.62 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- a significantly slower time than scouts expected based on his game tape.
Finally healthy, Matthews rewarded scouts attending Nevada's workout by clocking in the mid 4.4s on two attempts at the 40-yard dash. He also starred during his positional workout, running crisp routes and catching every pass thrown to him by quarterback Tyler Lantrip.
According to a source, Matthews has already scheduled visits with two NFL teams and could be on the verge of planning several more after his workout.
While Matthews was the player that left scouts in attendance buzzing, he was far from the only Wolfpack prospect to enjoy a strong workout.
Nevada boasts an intriguing collection of linebacker prospects. James Michael Johnson, who was able to participate in the Senior Bowl, largely sat on a solid performance at the Combine on Wednesday.
The linebacker who stole the show, however, was Brandon Marshall, who at 6-1 (1/2) and 243 pounds was clocked in the low 4.6s in the 40-yard dash -- a full tenth of a second faster than his quickest hand-held time at the Combine (4.72).
Versatile defender Brett Roy also boasted a significantly improved time in the 40-yard dash. Roy, who signed with Nevada as a safety then moved to linebacker, then defensive end as he gained weight and eventually moved inside to defensive tackle, participated in linebacker drills, himself. Roy was clocked between 4.86-4.90 in the 40-yard dash Wednesday after his fastest time in Indianapolis was a 5.0 at 6-3, 275 pounds.
Unlike Johnson and Marshall, each of whom fared well in positional drills, Roy's inexperience was obvious as he struggled with balance when changing directions while going through linebacker tests.
Among the heavy-hitters attending Nevada's workout were a trio of College Scouting Directors -- Green Bay's John Dorsey, Oakland's Jon Kingdon and Philadelphia's Anthony Patch. Also present were Philadelphia's and Miami's linebackers' coaches Mike Caldwell (Eagles) and George Edwards (Dolphins).
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