Disappointing performance by Minnifield the story at Virginia Pro Day

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
Representatives of all 32 NFL teams were on hand to see 17 former Cavalier football players work out Thursday at Virginia's Pro Day.

Pass rusher Cam Johnson enjoyed a strong workout and was asked to do drills as a linebacker and defensive lineman, according to a league source on the scene. The 6-3, 268 pounder elected not to run the 40-yard dash again after timing between 4.75-4.82 at the Combine. He did however, participate in the sixty yard shuttle and also elected to do the vertical and broad jumps again. Johnson was actually a half inch shorter Thursday in the vertical than he was in Indianapolis (35") but made a significant improvement in his broad jump, going from 8'09" at the Combine to 9'07" Thursday. Johnson also participated in the bench press after not doing this at the Combine due to a pectoral strain. He lifted the bar 16 times Tuesday.

According to the source, Johnson showed good overall athleticism in linebacker and defensive line drills, reinforcing the notion that teams operating out of a 3-4 defense will certainly be keeping tabs on the former UVA standout. Johnson is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 10 defensive end prospect for 2012. His versatility and experience having played both end in current head coach Mike London's 4-3 alignment as well as rush linebacker in former head coach Al Groh's 3-4 scheme is intriguing.

"I believe I have versatility and I think teams are looking for," Johnson told the official UVA athletic website following his workout. "I can play in space or with my hand in the dirt as well."

The news, unfortunately, wasn't so good for defensive back Chase Minnifield, who wasn't able to perform at the Combine (or the Chick-fil-A Bowl, for that matter) after recovering from post-season ankle surgery.

The 5'10, 183 pound Minnifield was clocked in the mid 4.6s in the 40-yard dash and complained about tightness in his hamstring.

According to the source, Minnifield did not participate in the shuttles or push himself in later drills. "It was not a good day for him," the source said.

The slow time by Minnifield in the 40-yard dash was not entirely unexpected, though scouts had hoped he'd do well. Some believe the 2011 All-American who leaves Virginia with 13 career interceptions might be better served moving to free safety in the NFL rather than remaining at the position he starred at throughout his collegiate career and the one his father -- Frank Minnifield -- played during a standout career with the Cleveland Browns.

Minnifield (Chase, not Frank) is currently ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 11 cornerback for the 2012 draft. That ranking and/or the position in which he's rated could change following this disappointing performance.
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