Pro-days are largely insignificant events that have minimal impact on the actual draft process. At the end of March, most team’s will feel pretty comfortable with their draft grades and really – how much can you learn from a work out like this? But as modest as these things are, today was about as noteworthy as it gets this time of year. Courtney Upshaw, Trent Richardson and Ryan Tannehill all worked out for scouts after injury-hit off-seasons.
So here’s what we learnt. Richardson ran a 4.59 according to SI.com’s Tony Pauline. Or he ran a 4.43 according to ESPN’s Merrill Hodge. Or a 4.49 according to NFL.com’s Booky Brooks. Or a 4.58 according to Rotoworld’s Josh Norris. Basically, we have zero idea exactly how fast 227lbs Trent Richardson can run in a straight line in his underwear. I’m glad we cleared that up.
Courtney Upshaw also ran a forty after passing at the combine, but again – it’s a complete mystery what time he actually achieved. Brooks says anywhere between 4.73 and 4.76, Pauline is quoting a 4.78 while Norris is saying it was a 4.81.
Pauline explains why there’s such a discrepancy: “Unlike the combine, there is no real timing mechanism to clock players in the 40 during pro-day. Basically a group of scouts sit at the finish line with stopwatches in hand, timing each participant as they cross the line. Most teams use the times recorded by their scout on the scene. When the 40 is complete most of the scouts gather together and share the times they’ve recorded for the prospects who ran. A happy medium between the fastest and slowest 40 time is found, hence the “official” pro day 40 time. Still, teams will use the time clocked by their scouts at the workout.”
Courtney Upshaw on his performance today: “I wanted to run well. I heard a lot of negative stuff from my performance at Indy and I wanted to do better. I was focused on the 40-yard dash and wanted to be in the 4.7 range. I heard a lot of times and I’m happy with it.”
Upshaw on adding weight ahead of his pro-day: “I feel 250, but I wanted to weight in about 265, 268, but I tipped the scales at 279, so that’s the only disappointment for the day. I weighed in at 273 in Indy, so I wanted to get down to 268, 265. Honestly, I gained weight, but I also gained flexibility. My hips feel better. I’m able to do things that I couldn’t do when I was in Indy or throughout the season with my hips and stuff.”
For a post-work out Courtney Upshaw video interview, click here.
Trent Richardson on his forty time and health after minor knee surgery: “I’m 100 percent. I’m going to get better and better as the days go by. My 40-time, it was pretty good. I slipped a little bit at the start. I did pretty good overall.”
Mark Barron, safety, also worked out for the first time as he recovers from a hernia. He ran unofficial times of 4.54 and 4.73. Barron: “I think it went pretty good. From all the feedback I got, people said I looked good. I’m OK with the performance I had today. I’m probably at about 80 or 90 percent.”
Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell were both at the Texas A&M pro-day to see, among others, quarterback Ryan Tannehill. ESPN’s Todd McShay clocked Tannehill at a 4.61 in the forty, a faster time than Andrew Luck. But perhaps the headline news came after the work-out, when it was reported Carroll, John Schneider and others joined the Aggies quarterback and Dolphins representatives for dinner. Before we start casting Carroll and Schneider as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, it seems this wasn’t so much a gatecrashing rather than a pre-arranged get-together. So don’t expect to see the pair at your wedding, uninvited.
Predictably, Carroll, Schneider and Bevell’s presence in Texas has kicked up a hornet’s nest regarding the team’s interest in Tannehill. It’s worth noting that Schneider made a personal visit to Ryan Mallett’s pro-day last year (a player not even included on the team’s draft board) and the Seahawks gave Jimmy Clausen a thorough work-out after his pro-day (another player Seattle had no interest in). So while we can only second-guess the team’s intentions, I suspect there was an element of convenience involved (Carroll is conducting a ‘Win Forever’ workshop in Dallas) and taking an opportunity to watch several prospects work-out (including Tannehill and Jeff Fuller – who’s stock is falling nicely into bargain territory). No need to read too much into this.
If you’d like to see a lovely picture of Pete and John at the Texas A&M pro-day, click here.
In other news, Peter Konz will work-out for the first time on April 4th alongside fellow Wisconsin lineman Kevi Zeitler. Konz is the best center prospect since California’s Alex Mack was drafted by Cleveland in 2009.
Sigmund Bloom has an interesting mock draft including a trade that sees the New York Jets move into the top-10. It’s a very realistic proposition and I would anticipate Jacksonville trying to move down the board if the top-six fall as expected.
Todd McShay also updated his mock and added a second round, giving the Seahawks Quinton Coples and Mychal Kendricks – the two players we projected to Seattle last week.
It’s been a busy week of mock drafts on this blog too. Having taken part in a collaboration earlier this week and then publishing my own projection yesterday, today myself and Kip represented Field Gulls in the SB Nation mock. At least we’re consistent. This is a ‘hat-trick’ of picks that will please some and torture others. But we must be doing something right, 82% of Mocking the Draft’s readers have given our pick an A or B grade. I particularly enjoyed this comment from a reader named ‘dt3’ who said, “Surprising pick… thought for sure they were going to go with Taylor Mays.”
If anyone missed the NFL Network’s supposed leak of Seattle’s new logo, take a look here. Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times has since relayed information suggesting the Seahawks will get a gray alternate jersey. A bit of digging online and you’ll find enough info to get you through to next Tuesday’s big reveal. If you want to believe the internet – expect a mostly navy home look, a white away uniform and a gray alternate. There’s going to be feathers of some kind on the pants and jersey, but allegedly not in the Oregon style. The numbers will be gray on the home uniform and the helmet blue (and look something like this). According to the internet.
Let’s look at some tape. Below I’ve added videos of Ronnell Lewis (LB, Oklahoma) vs Florida State, Michael Brockers (DT, LSU) vs Ole Miss and Jake Bequette (DE, Arkansas) vs South Carolina. Thanks to Aaron Aloysius and JMPasq.