We are reporting live from two different locations today as crowds of scouts, coaches and general managers have gathered in Austin, Texas for the Longhorn pro-day and Los Angeles, California for the USC event. We will have real time results updated all day. Update: Final Notes from USC
Running back Joe McKnight did nothing to help his cause today. Those at the workout told us McKnight seemed uninterested throughout the session besides looking like he had not been training. It is interesting to note that his 3-cone time of 7.03 seconds was poor, especially for a pro-day.
One player we failed to mention who had a terrific day was cornerback Kevin Thomas. Thomas was timed in the low 4.4′s and looked terrific in terrific drills. Scouts commented it was an improvement over his combine performance. We presently have Thomas graded as a fourth round pick and that may be a round too late from what we are hearing.
Scouts think of all the offensive linemen who worked out today only reserve Nicholas Howell is draftable. This means both Jeff Byers and Alex Parsons are likely UDFA’s.
We hate to beat a dead horse on the Taylor Mays issue but a number of people have commented that the Trojans other safety, Will Harris, showed a better change of direction, quicker footwork and smoother hips. This is not a huge surprise to us as it’s obvious on film Harris is a better sideline-to-sideline safety compared to Mays. Harris, who was not even graded by National Scouting before the season began, presently ranks as our 29th safety. There will be a complete report on Harris posted by next week.
We were surprised Damian Williams did not run the forty today and so were a few of his teammates. According to those we heard from Williams said he was going to run the forty when the day began but later decided not to. As we stated earlier his pass catching workout was terrific.
Everson Griffen again turned in another terrific workout. So why is he not flying up draft boards as most defensive ends would? We’ve always thought Griffen’s instincts were poor but scouts are also concerned about his production, or lack thereof, at USC. As someone plainly put it to us this afternoon, Griffen, “tests like Tarzan but plays like Jane.”
Once again the issue of Brian Price and his poor workout at UCLA yesterday was the topic of conversation today at USC pro-day. Even more people feel the defensive tackle may slide out of the first round and are grading him as an early second rounder. Some have plainly said Price simply plays better than he tests.
For the second time this week a quarterback from the Big Twelve conference stepped up to the plate and hit the ball out of the ballpark. This time is was Colt McCoy’s opportunity and the Texas senior impressed all on hand with his accuracy and surprised them with his arm strength.
McCoy’s passes displayed excellent speed and velocity. His outs were on the mark as receivers were not waiting on the ball as they left their breaks. McCoy’s deep passes were spot on, and he hit pass catchers down the field in stride. Scouts and coaches on hand took note of the way McCoy was able to get the ball downfield and for the most part, did not have receivers slowing up in their routes.
He was also very effective throwing the ball on the move, hitting targets with precise accuracy.
There were a few passes that wobbled as the Longhorn senior was pressing to get extra zip on throws.
All in all is was an incredibly successful day for McCoy and those on hand believe he significantly helped his draft stock. McCoy will now move into the middle part of round two, possibly a bit earlier.
Taylor Mays did not improve in the position drills after poor showings at the Senior Bowl and combine. He was stiff, practiced upright and looked very robotic in his movements. Mays looked uneasy and off balance breaking to the ball. He struggled changing direction at full speed and was asked to repeat drills on a few occasions.
As was the case earlier this year, several scouts repeated that they think a move to linebacker is in the offing for Mays. Scouts are starting to compare Mays to former Dallas Cowboys first round pick Roy Williams; an oversized college safety with poor skills in pass coverage.
Receiver Damian Williams decided against running the forty today but did participate in position drills and looked terrific. He ran crisp routes and caught everything thrown his way. It was an improvement from his practice session at the combine.
Tight end Anthony McCoy went against the recommendation of doctors, who said he needed seven days of rest with tonsillitis, and also participated in position drills. Like Williams the big tight end looked terrific. He also ran good routes and displayed soft, receiver-like hands. We will have a lot more on the USC workout later tonight.
Forty Times from USC:
Charles Brown 5.30
Jeff Byers 5.10
Nicholas Howell 5.0
Stafon Johnson 4.59
Alex Parsons 4.95
Averell Spicer 5.05
Charles Brown 5.30
Jeff Byers 7.47
Everson Griffen 7.12
Will Harris 6.88
Nicholas Howell 7.22
Stafon Johnson 6.98
Taylor Mays 6.90
Joe McKnight 7.03
Alex Parsons 7.50
Averell Spicer 7.72
The Trojans are just now running the forty.
Offensive tackle Charles Brown, who did not run at the combine, hurt his left hamstring during his first running of the forty.
Early results has utility offensive lineman Nick Howell completing 38 reps on the bench, posting a 31.5 inch vertical jump and a 8’11” broad. Howell was never able to break into the starting line-up at USC but saw extensive action as a reserve and he’s a legitimate late round pick next April. Howell ran his first 40 in 5.05 seconds, while the second one was faster at 5.00.
Center/guard Jeff Byers completed 36 reps in the bench and posted a 8’2” broad. Byers first forty was 5.01 seconds.
As expected there’s a huge crowd in Austin for the Longhorns pro-day. It’s been described as a zoo at the facility.
They are in the midst of the position drills and by all accounts Sergio Kindle has looked awesome. Kindle stood on most of his marks from the combine but thus far has been very quick and explosive in linebacker drills. He also successfully participated in defensive line drills.
Lamarr Houston continues to look impressive and move north on draft boards. Like Kindle, he stood on his combine times but has looked quick and fluid in position drills. He’s also easily moving about the field, which is what scouts wanted to see.
The workout just started a while ago but in the early going safety Earl Thomas has been the star. First reports from Texas have the underclassman timing at 4.35 seconds in the 40, a full one-tenth better than his combine mark.
Receiver Jordan Shipley ran his 40 in times which stopped watches in the mid 4.5 (4.54/4.55) area, which is much better than his mark from Indianapolis.
Linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy ran times, which ranged in the high 4.6-area (4.68) to the mid 4.7’s (4.75). This is an improvement from the combine.
Thus far unheralded offensive lineman Charlie Tanner has turned in a terrific workout. Tanner started the day by completing 35 reps on the bench, posted a vertical jump of 36 inches then ran his 40 in times as fast as 5.06 seconds. His official average times for the two runs will be in the range of 5.12 seconds. His ten yard split was 1.72 seconds. Tanner’s short shuttle time was also a very solid 4.55 seconds.
Adam Ulatowski ran his forty in 5.53 seconds with a ten yard split of 1.78 seconds. He did not bench today.
For the most part the top Gamecock prospects participated in drills during this morning’s workout and stood on their combine numbers.
Defensive back Darian Stewart looked terrific and came away a big winner.
The big safety, considered by most primarily a run defender, capitalized on his solid practice session from the combine and again displayed terrific ball skills. His footwork in reverse was smooth and Stewart showed speed moving laterally. More and more Stewart is proving to scouts there are many dimensions to his game.
Defensive lineman Clifton Geathers was also impressive. The 6-foot, 7.5-inch prospect weighed 296 pounds and while his arms measured 37-inches long. His short shuttle time was 4.73 seconds and three cone 7.2 seconds, the latter being a big improvement over his combine mark. Geathers also did well in position drills though he’s a bit rough around the edges. Scouts feel he’s a player with a great amount of upside and a prospect whose best football lay ahead of him. Geathers performances at the combine and today could cement him as a third round pick.
Sources said Eric Norwood did not look all that sharp in drills. They noted a large number of passes that slipped through his hands during ball drills.