– Phillip Thomas ran a solid forty time of 4.53s on slow field turf then looked good in drills. Most of the 26 teams on hand where there to watch Thomas and by most accounts he did not disappoint. Thomas was fast in both a straight line and laterally then displayed terrific ball skills.
– Robbie Rouse also impressed timing 4.58s in the forty. What stands out about Rouse is how quick his initial step was/is and how he immediately gets to top speed. His top end speed is not great yet the belief leaving the pro-day is Rouse will be a terrific rotational back at the next level, potentially for the New England Patriots.
– Tristan Okpalaugo was one player who did not impress. He timed 4.78s and looked heavy legged in drills and constantly off balance.
– Shawn Plummer turned in a surprisingly strong performance. A college linebacker who projects to safety, Plummer ran in the mid 4.5s and was solid in position drills. As someone noted Plummer “looks like he really wants it.”
– Lost in the shuffle of last week’s Rutgers pro-day was the performance of Columbia defensive end/outside linebacker Josh Martin. Measuring 6024/246, Martin timed the forty between 4.67s-to-4.70s, touched 37-inches in the vertical jump then timed 4.41s in the short shuttle and 7.28s in the 3 cone. Scouts were pleased that Martin, who primarily lined up at defensive end for Columbia, measured over 6′ 2” (he was listed at 6′ – 1.5″ prior to the season). He will workout again during Columbia’s pro-day on April 2nd. Sources tell me the New York Jets have shown an exceeding amount of interest in Martin.
– Mike Catapano was another Ivy League prospect who turned in a sensational performance. His marks included measurements of 6037/271lbs, times of 4.70s/4.75s in the forty, 4.31s in the short shuttle, 7.03s in the 3 cone. Catapano also completed 33 reps on the bench press and touched 37.5-inches in the vertical. We’re told the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Bucs and Philadelphia Eagles have shown a ton of interest in Catapano.
– DE/OLB Rufus Johnson, who totaled 17.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last season, looked good from start to finish at Tarleton State pro-day. Johnson measured 6054/266lbs, was timed officially at 4.72 in the forty, posted a vertical jump of 34.5-inches and broad jump of 10′-2”. He worked out at defensive line drills before the Cleveland Browns put him through a battery of linebacker exercises. Teams requested Johnson workout again at the Texas State workout next week, March 26th. Johnson already has official visits set up with the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers.
– Unlike many pro-day workouts which are scripted then run by personal coaches, teams on hand were impressed when Tyler Bray ran his own workout and basically took requests on the types of throws scouts/coaches wanted to see him make.
– Justin Hunter looked much better catching the ball yet his route running and release off the line are still an issue. Hunter is a long strider and never improved on his lopping style since the combine.
– And while Cordarrelle Patterson is explosive moving in every direction of the field we heard he did way too much body catching today and struggled snatching the ball cleanly away from his body.
– Bart Bartholomew, a terrific lead blocker with an underrated game, performed well today. He was faster than expected and turned some heads.