The headliner takes place in Gainesville where the Gators are working out but critical pro-day events are also scheduled for Illinois, Tennessee and Fresno State. Update : Fresno State, Illinois & Michigan State
Ryan Mathews was really impressive in drills at the Fresno State pro-day. Sources told us during the bag drills and when running through the cones, Mathews looked like he was tap dancing. The word amongst scouts is Mathew may not get out of round one.
San Diego Chargers general manager AJ Smith was at the workout to watch Mathews and we have learned the team will bring him in for an official visit. The New York Jets and St. Louis Rams have also scheduled time to bring Mathews to their facilities for visits. The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers are individually working out Mathews in the coming weeks.
Receiver Chastin West also looked solid today, first running the forty in times below 4.6 seconds then catching the ball. Scouts are impressed with the physical stature and nature of West. The belief is he could be drafted as early as the fifth round for as much as his special teams skills besides being a potential fourth receiver.
Jeff Cumberland put on show for scouts today. Cumberland started the day measuring 6044/249 pounds. He ran the forty in a time of 4.46 seconds. His marks in the short shuttle (4.39-seconds), three cone (6.89 seconds) and vertical jump (35.5 inches) were all impressive. Cumberland also posted a broad jump of 9’10’’ and completed 20 reps on the bench.
The team’s other tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui, measured 6035/263lbs, ran a 4.75 in the forty, posted a 32.5 inch vertical jump, 4.52 short shuttle and 7-flat three cone.
Wide out Arrelious Benn ran the forty in the low-to-mid 4.4 second area. In fact some scouts had the big wide out as fast as 4.36 seconds. Scouts said Benn caught the ball exceptionally well during drills. Benn’s other marks included a 37.5 inch vertical jump, 10’1’’ broad jump, 6.78 three cone.
Isiah Williams, who has been working with a quarterback coach in the off-season, looked sharp throwing the ball today. Williams threw the ball during wide receiver, tight end, running back and defensive back drills and some estimated he delivered almost 200 passes when the afternoon finally ended. He measured just over 6-foot 1-inch. His 40 time was 4.95, vertical jump 33.5 inches, short shuttle 4.33 seconds and three cone 6.8 seconds. Surprisingly Williams solely worked out at quarterback and was not asked to catch any passes.
Blair White shocked the 18 teams on hand at Michigan State’s pro-day today. He measured 6022/206 then ran forty times which clocked between 4.37-to-4.42 seconds, much faster than anyone could have imagined.. White ran terrific routes during drills and caught everything thrown to him.
Tennessee’s premiere prospects chose not to participate in today’s workout as both Dan Williams and Eric Berry stood on their combine numbers. Montario Hardesty and Chris Scott also did not workout out.
Jeff Cottam, the one time highly rated tight end that struggled with a back injury in the middle of his career, turned a few heads today. Cottam 6063 262-pounds. His official 40 time was 4.79 seconds, not bad considering most of the times today were slow. Cottam looked sensational catching the ball, making a number of athletic receptions. Originally graded as a free agent prospects, Cottam could now get looks in the late rounds.
The story was completely different for another one time highly rated prospect, linebacker Rico McCoy. McCoy’s workout was terrible. He measured 6002/226lbs, timed 4.95-seconds in the forty, 7.45 in the three cone, posted a vertical jump of 30.5 inches and completed 24 reps on the bench.
Quarterback Jonathan Crompton, who had been receiving rave reviews all off season, struggled throwing the ball today. His accuracy was off and Crompton was unimpressive for the most part.
Running back Ryan Mathews repeated his 40 times running in the mid 4.45 range but like Florida this morning, the field Mathews ran on was soggy from rain. His teammate, receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, in the low 4.5 seconds area.
Alex Carrington did not participate at today’s ASU workout. Carrington will be working out on the Arkansas State campus on April 8th.
Sources have told us that Mitch Petrus, who pulled up with a hamstring injury during his first attempt in the forty at the combine, ran a time of 5.1 seconds today. We expect to get his other marks later.
Safety Eric Berry slightly injured his toe at the start of the Volunteers workout and sat on the sidelines the rest of the day. It was not deemed serious.
Some more official numbers.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez was given a time of 4.56 in the forty, 4.1 in the short shuttle and 6.56 in the three cone.
Linebacker Dustin Doe posted times of 4.65/4.70 in the forty, had a 35-inch vertical jump and 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump after measuring 6016/228lbs. The Tampa Bay Bucs spoke with him at length after the workout.
The position drills have been completed at Florida’s pro-day.
Tim Tebow looked improved but still needs a lot of work on his game. He completed his passes yet for the most part was poorly under throwing pass catchers on the outs and down the field. Tebow was also struggling to throw tight spirals. It was better than the Senior Bowl yet Tebow still has a ways to go.
Aaron Hernandez and David Nelson each displayed sure hands and caught everything thrown their way and both stood out in pass catching drills. While Riley Cooper looked solid, he was not as good as the above two.
Dustin Doe looked better than Brandon Spikes in drills. Doe was quick and showed a good amount of lateral range, running with speed to the sidelines. Spikes on the other hand practiced with an upright stance and seemed mechanical. There was some talk early in the day that Spikes was telling teammates he was struggling with an injury and was undecided about how much of the workout he would complete today. Sources have also told us that scouts had to prod Spikes to run this morning and told him they needed a time on their sheets before next month’s draft. There is unconfirmed speculation that Spike will run again in the beginning of April.
Joe Haden looked good in position drills as was expected but his 40 times may have been a bit slower than we first reported. A number of scouts have since told us their watches read 4.52 when Haden crossed the line.
Finally Carlos Dunlap also had a noteworthy day. He was timed at 4.66-seconds on the wet field and looked good in position drills afterwards.
Scouts in Gainesville have told us they are likely to take .05 seconds off of each time run today because of the field conditions. The grass was still a little damp from rain and the field at Ben Hill Griffin stadium where the players ran is not a completely flat surface as they must allow for drainage. The start of the second forty was moved to a different area of the field to allow for better traction.
Joe Haden ran significantly better today, timing right around 4.45 seconds on both his 40′s.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez was quick again and timed 4.64/4.59 in the forty after surprising scouts by completing 30 reps on the bench press- a terrific number for Hernandez.
David Nelson posted a 38-inch vertical jump and 10’ 4.5’’ broad then ran an unofficial 4.57 and 4.47 in the forty.
Brandon Spikes has run an unofficial 5.02 and a 5.08 in the forty.
Two Gator defenders who won’t be working out are defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and linebacker Ryan Stamper. Cunningham is still recovering from a torn labrum while Stamper recently injured his back. Both are scheduled to workout in early April.
As we first broke on TFYDraft.com, Jon Asamoah, rated by most teams as one of the top five guards available in April’s draft, did not workout at the combine and will bypass today’s Fighting Illini pro-day because of the hairline fracture he suffered of his shoulder blade suffered during the Senior Bowl. Asamoah has already scheduled April 8th as the day he will workout privately for NFL scouts.