2018 NFL Draft

Four under-the-radar Pro Day workouts that opened eyes

Four under-the-radar Pro Day workouts that opened eyes

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
A slow news day on the Pro Day front gives us time to publicize a few under-the-radar workouts that had scouts returning to the game tape.

We'll start off at Western Kentucky where scouts from the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers likely traveled to get a closer look at star running back Bobby Rainey but left buzzing about the raw athleticism of wide receiver-turned cornerback Derrius Brooks.

Brooks, who incidentally led the Hilltoppersin interceptions after each of the two seasons in whichheplayed defense (seven total through 2010-2011), was reportedly timed at4.29 and 4.35 secondsin two attempts at the 40-yard dash. Each would have been ranked as the fastest time recorded at the 2012 Combine.

Rainey, a legitimate NFL-caliber back in my opinion that should have been invited to the Combine, also posted solid numbers, including a 4.51 second 40-yard dash time that is at least a tenth of a second faster than most scouts had anticipated from the 2011 All-American and two-time defending Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

As impressive as the WKU workout was, some will argue that the fact that only two teams were represented speaks to the relative lack of buzz about the prospects. That certainly wasn't the case at Auburn, where virtually all of the NFL's 32 teams were represented. Still, that didn't stop one athlete's performance from largely getting overlooked.

Despite a weak class of safeties this year and the fact thatNeiko Thorpe started 40 games (27 at CB from 2009-10 and 13 at free safeties) against SEC competition, hewasn't invited to the Combine. As such, he took full advantage of the opportunity to work out in front of scouts, recording numbers that ranked among the elite of all defensive backs tested at the Combine this year.

Thorpe was clocked at 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash and4.01 seconds in the short-shuttle. He also posted a 38" vertical jump and a 11' 5" broad jump.

Finally,Ohio linebacker Noah Kelleris hoping that an impressive Pro Day workout will help prove that he has the athleticism to handle the jump from the MAC to the NFL.

A three-timeall-conference pick with 438 career tackles,the 6-1, 245 pound was clocked at 4.56 in the40-yard dash and 4.3 seconds in the short-shuttle. He also recorded 28 repetitions of 225 pounds and showed off his leaping skills in the vertical (37") and broad jump (10-0).

All four non-Combine prospects listed tested well enough that scouts will be checking (or perhaps re-checking) the tape.
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