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Pro Days: Badgers' Ball shows improved speed

By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball said a sinus infection contributed to his pedestrian 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine last month, when his 4.66 was 19th out of 33 tailbacks who worked out Feb. 24 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Ball improved his time dramatically at Wednesday's workout, posting times ranging from 4.46 to 4.51 on handheld stopwatches of scouts for 25 teams, including Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Thompson took a moment to visit with Ball.

"I knew I was capable of getting under a 4.50, but 4.46? I was very proud of myself," Ball told reporters.

Ball, projected as a third-round pick after his junior season, returned to Wisconsin despite the loss of key offensive linemen -- including 2012 second-round pick Peter Konz and first-rounder Kevin Zeitler -- and quarterback Russell Wilson to the NFL. He rushed for 1,830 yards as a senior, finished with 83 career touchdowns, an NCAA record, and 5,140 career rushing yards.

"Really, what I wanted to show them (is that) my weaknesses, I'm going to keep working on," Ball said. "My weakness has always been top-end speed. Hopefully, I showed today I've been working on that."

Ball said Thompson praised him for the good things he has seen from evaluting Wisconsin's game tape and told him "you know how to play football."

The Packers don't know how to run the football, averaging 3.9 yards per carry as a team. Alex Green led Green Bay in rushing with 464 yards but averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Ball said he isn't thinking about being drafted by the Packers, or in the first round, even.

"I would love to go first round, but honestly, I just want to get drafted," he said.

--Wisconsin-Platteville safety Ryan McWethy delivered an attention grabbing workout with a 40 time ranging from 4.52 to 4.55 on handheld watches. He also pumped up 31 reps of 225 pounds, broadjumped 10 feet and ran a 4.14 short shuttle according to a source at the workout. The Division III prospect is 6-1 3/8, 225, and was not invited to the scouting combine. He is training with Brad Arnett at NX Level Athletics. Arnett also trains Houston Texans' All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt.

For more NFL draft news and analysis, follow Jeff Reynolds on Twitter at @ReynoldsJD.

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