Last Week’s Pro Day Workouts

It’s one of the pieces of the personnel puzzle that forms the complete picture of potential draft choices for NFL teams. The Pro Day workout, or on campus visit does not always provide any type of physical numbers that will change any team’s evaluations. But it’s a chance for injured players to get their important numbers on paper, like 40-yard dash times and weight lifting totals.

It’s also another chance for teams to interact with the player. Anybody from the GM, to personnel director, to head coach, to position coaches will be on site for the Pro Day. (That’s a pair of former Chiefs on the right that were in Norman, Oklahoma for the Sooners Pro Day, former TE Jonathan Hayes, now assistant coach in Cincinnati and next to him is WR Willie Davis, now an area scout for the Chiefs.)

Here are a few notes on what went down last week at Pro Day workouts around the country.

Arizona State

There was a cloud hanging over the Aztecs session on Friday. With 20 NFL teams represented including Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, the news was about one player who didn’t work and another who did, but performed badly.

QB Brock Osweiler was supposed to work out but he pushed back his workout for two more weeks. He’s recovering from a strained foot suffered in the Las Vegas Bowl.

LB Vontaze Burfict continued his freefall in the draft rankings after a poor season on the field in 2011. Of the drills and tests he took part in, none produced the types of numbers expected including just 16 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press.

Good news came from CB Omar Bolden who missed the ’11 season after having ACL reconstruction surgery. It was his first workout for the scouts and NFL types and he ran 4.59 in the 40-yard dash and 6.93 in the 3-cone drill.


There were 25 NFL teams in Ann Arbor for the Wolverines Pro Day, including Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin.

Two players who worked for the visitors and helped themselves were WR Junior Hemingway who scouts said looked very good catching passes from Bengals QB Bruce Gradkowski who was brought in to throw.

One surprise was CB Troy Woolfork. He’s the son of former first-round draft choice RB Butch Woolfork who went to the N.Y. Giants in 1982. He missed the 2010 season after suffering a foot injury and was just rounding back into top form at the end of the 2011 schedule. He ran the 40 in 4.56 seconds and did 20 reps on the bench press. Not bad for a 5-11, 195-pound defensive back.

Michigan State

The man the 26 teams wanted to see was former Spartans QB Kirk Cousins. He went through a throwing session that he scripted and was accurate on short and intermediate routes, but he missed on a couple of longer throws. Cousins did nothing to change his position as the fifth or sixth best QB in this year’s draft class.

One player who looked good was TE Garrett Celek. He’s the brother of Eagles TE Brent Celek and he ran a 4.69 in the 40 yard dash, with 19 rep on the bench press.


There were 15 teams in Lincoln and they wanted to see DT Jared Crick. They especially wanted to see Crick lift weights because he’s trying to bounce back from a torn pectoral muscle and did not lift at the NFL Combine.

He had 26 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds, an impressive number coming off that type of injury.


RB Brandon Bolden helped himself with 15 NFL teams watching him in Oxford. Bolden ran a pair of 40 yard dashes under 4.5 seconds and did the 3-cone drill in 6.91 seconds. He showed again his ability to catch the ball well out of the backfield.


Sometimes Pro Day workouts create “Pro Day stars” and that happened at the University of Pittsburgh last week with CB Buddy Jackson.

In four seasons at Pitt, Jackson did not have an interception and started only one game. Thus, there were no invitations to the NFL Combine or post-season all-star games.

So Pro Day was his Super Bowl. Jackson ran in the low 4.3s in the 40-yard dash. He also had an 11-9 broad jump. Those numbers would have pushed him to the top of the list at the Combine.

One well-known player who had a good Pro Day was DE Brandon Lindsey, who dropped 10 pounds since the NFL Combine and dropped his 40-yard dash time from 4.92 to 4.76 seconds.


The player who got the most out of this Pro Day with 29 NFL teams on hand was LB Travis Lewis.

Lewis was timed at 4.88 seconds in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine, but moved that time down to 4.75 seconds at Pro Day. He also improved his bench press number from 22 reps to 26 reps at 225 pounds.

His improved numbers could push him into the third round or higher.


Monday – Arizona, Iowa.

Tuesday – Texas, South Florida, North Carolina, Iowa State.

Wednesday – Baylor, Boston College, North Carolina State, Iowa state.

Thursday – Boise State, LSU, Stanford.

Friday – Vanderbilt, Southern Mississippi.

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