A number of NFL scouts and the head coach of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots were on hand Tuesday morning for the Auburn Tigers' 2015 Pro Day.
It was a chance for a number of former Tigers to show their abilities to scouts, GMs, coaches, etc and attempt to improve their draft stock or at least impress enough to be picked up as an undrafted free agent.
A number of players who competed in the NFL Combine two weekends ago elected to stand on their performances there in the weight room and in the measurable drills. Sammie Coates, Nick Marshall, and Cameron Artis-Payne were among that group.
Jeff Whitaker put up 41 (Forty. One.) reps on the bench. From what I can see that would have given him the most reps of any other person at the NFL Combine by 6.
Numbers for Corey Grant's 40 yard dash time varied from as low as 4.19 to a high of 4.34 on either of his two runs from what I was able to find on Twitter. Regardless, no RB in the Combine ran faster than a 4.4, and only three broke 4.5. Even if you add .1 on to his slowest time to account for the hand timing, he still would have been the second fastest running back at the Combine. According to Charles Goldberg, Grant says the NFL guys told him he clocked in at 4.26. That would have been the fastest 40 yard dash of the entire NFL Combine. He fast.
Oh, I'm not done with Corey, yet. He also put up very impressive numbers in the vertical and broad jump. His 37 inch vertical and 10'7" broad jump would have been tied 7th and tied 2nd at the Combine. Those are excellent numbers for a very under utilized running back over the past two years. His 22 reps on the bench would also have put him in the top half among running backs at the Combine. I think he will definitely earn a spot on someone's roster.
Most of Auburn's players put up decent numbers at Pro Day. I think Angelo Blackson built on the good word he established at the Combine, and Gabe Wright looked impressive, as well. I don't have a full compliment of stats at this point on each players' performance, but I think CJ Uzomah put up numbers that would have put him in the upper half of the tight-ends invited to the NFL Combine. His reported 4.62 40 would have been tops among TEs. As with Grant, even if you allot an extra .1 for the hand timed nature of these 40s, he still would have been second fastest. That combined with his Senior Bowl workouts could help push his stock higher.
Brandon King had a 38 inch vertical, which topped Corey Grant's 37 inch for the highest that I have seen reported. LaDarius Owens put up 29 reps on the bench, which was impressive until Jeff Whitaker blew away everyone else. Jermaine Whitehead, Trovon Reed, and Robenson Therezie all posted lost 4.4 numbers in the 40, which makes them all competitive with the DBs at the NFL Combine. Whitehead improved upon his 4.59 Combine time with his unofficial times.
Sammie Coates caught the ball fairly well, and Nick Marshall didn't look too bad throwing the football (albeit in controlled drills). Bill Belichick was seen around those two fairly often. It wouldn't shock me if he takes either or both. Marshall provides great versatility and Coates can provide the Patriots with another deep threat. Corey Grant's numbers were unbelievable, and with his size of 5'9", 201 lbs you can easily seeing teams looking at him as an option.
Here are the final numbers from the school:
|Artis-Payne, Cameron||5-9 3/4||212||--||--||--||--||--|
|Blackson, Angelo||6-4 5/8||315||--||--||21||4.9||4.96|
|Coates, Sammie||6-1 7/8||212||--||--||--||--||--|
|Dismukes, Reese||6-1 7/8||212||--||--||--||--||--|
|Fulse, Brandon||6-4 1/2||253||28-6"||8-11"||12||4.87||4.94|
|Grant, Corey||5-8 7/8||201||37-0"||10-7"||22||4.26||4.32|
|Hill, Forrest||6-1 3/8||249||24-6"||8-3"||9||5.4||5.43|
|Marshall, Nick||6-1 5/8||217||--||--||--||--||--|
|Miller, Patrick||6-6 3/4||292||27-6"||8-10"||16||5.2||5.15|
|Owens, LaDarius||6-1 1/8||236||31-0"||8-6"||29||4.95||--|
|Reed, Trovon||5-11 1/2||191||35-6"||10-1"||--||4.51||4.5|
|Slade, Chade||6-5 1/4||313||29-6"||8-10"||25||5.15||5.16|
|Therezie, Robenson||5-9 5/8||205||34-6"||10-2"||19||4.39||4.37|
|Uzomah, C.J.||6-5 3/4||262||31-0"||9-10"||19||4.63||4.65|
|Whitaker, Jeffrey||6-3 1/4||322||22-0"||7-10"||41||5.81||5.89|
|Whitehead, Jermaine||5-11 1/8||195||--||--||--||4.44||4.5|
A Good Day For Auburn
Having the SEC Network air Auburn's Pro Day is a big tool to use for the team going forward. I'm sure they'll do the same for most SEC schools when there's no conflict, but it's just another thing to point to recruits as a way the team can get them more exposure.
It was also interesting that UnderArmour created a special Auburn Pro Day uniform for the Tigers, similar to what players wear at the NFL Combine. You can see an image of it here in this tweet:
With the Combine and Auburn's Pro Day over, those Tigers hoping to make it in the NFL now go back to training to maintain their conditioning - or get healthy in the case of players like Cameron Artis-Payne. The NFL Draft is still practically two months away, so there's a lot of time between now and then.
For the Tigers still on the team, Spring Practice begins a week from today. Just one step closer to the 2015 football season at the college and professional level.