On Friday the Missouri, Michigan and Florida State pro-days took place. Several big-name players participated. Here are some results and takeaways from the three events…

Missouri pro-day

Linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper has a playing style that could interest the Seahawks. Pro-day results are never official so we can only go off what others are reporting. Hopper is a great example of how unreliable these things can be. Tony Pauline says he ran a 4.63 forty and a 4.43 short shuttle. Other reporters who were on site say he ran a 4.44 forty and a 4.18 short shuttle. That’s quite a difference.

Darius Robinson supposedly ran a 4.58 shuttle and a 7.56 three-cone. What does this mean, if the results are accurate? I never felt the comparisons to Cam Jordan were fair. Regulars from back in the day will remember I mocked Jordan #3 overall to Buffalo in my final 2011 projection and was convinced he was a top-five talent. Although Robinson and Jordan are the same size, Jordan ran a 4.76 forty, a 4.37 shuttle and a 7.07 three-cone. He was a far twitchier athlete than Robinson and they are very different players.

Based purely on tape, as I’ve been saying, I think Robinson has some Jadeveon Clowney to his game. Neither player was particularly refined as a rusher. They were both ungainly but capable of creating chaos. Clowney was a better athlete and Robinson is bigger but their styles are similar. The comparison that intrigues me the most is Arik Armstead. I do think there are similarities here.

Armstead was only 7lbs heavier than Robinson at his combine but ran a slower forty (5.10 vs 4.95) and 10-yard split (1.75 vs 1.73). Armstead’s shutle was a 4.53 compared to Robinson’s 4.58 and a 7.57 three-cone compared to Robinson’s 7.56. They share very similar testing results and Robinson, coming into the league, is similarly being viewed as a player who can play across the line.

Given his fantastic character, SEC production, physique and Senior Bowl display — if Robinson was twitchy he’d be a top-10 lock. Armstead lasted to pick #16 (funnily enough) and has had a fantastic career. I think it’s possible Robinson could emulate what he achieved — and it’s why I think he’s a name to watch as someone who could go earlier than people think. Tony reports he’ll go between picks #25-40. I think the Seahawks will really like his playing style, character and attitude.

Here’s footage of Robinson’s workout:

D.K. Metcalf was also in attendance at the Mizzou pro-day, apparently because his former receivers coach at Ole Miss is now working for the Tigers.

Michigan pro-day

Firstly, I’ve no idea why they had the players dress the way they did for this pro-day. J.J. McCarthy looked like he was either copying Justin Timberlake from the ‘Rock your Body’ video or he was preparing to bowl medium-fast for the England cricket team.

For the last few years I’ve been able to watch and study pro-day footage from all of the top quarterbacks. Not with McCarthy. There were a few highlights courtesy of the NFL Network on YouTube, with an annoying baseline running in the background. The camera focused on McCarthy so you couldn’t actually see if the throws were hitting the mark or how the passes were being delivered. There were no big flashy highlights from the event on social media.

It reminded me of Bryce Young’s pro-day a year ago. C.J. Stroud went out and put on a show right from the off — while Anthony Richardson and Will Levis took the opportunity to show off their physical prowess. Young went through the motions. He knew he didn’t have the big tools to ‘wow’ anyone and his pro-day felt like an exercise of getting it out of the way. He was going first overall and just needed to avoid any drama. This isn’t hindsight — I said it at the time. Young’s session was underwhelming. McCarthy’s pro-day, from what little we can see, felt the same.

I have two big takeaways from this. Firstly, it’s further evidence of his physical limitations — otherwise he’d be making all the trendy throws we see at these events and they’d be plastered all over Twitter. He didn’t have a great combine session — so this was probably more of the same. Secondly, I fear the league has convinced itself that McCarthy is something he isn’t because they’ve fallen for his intangible qualities.

His tape is unspectacular. He doesn’t challenge opponents vertically. He doesn’t throw with particularly good anticipation. We all know by now the positive stats in terms of scrambling completion percentage and third down conversions — and these are positives. I’d also argue that he had by far the best environment from which to succeed in a critical area such as third down — on a loaded team with weapons, an O-line and a great running back, often playing with a lead. His situation will be far different if he’s drafted by, say, the New England Patriots.

I think the league and sections of the media have talked themselves into believing McCarthy is something he isn’t based on his clear intangible qualities and winning record. There’s no doubt he is charismatic, immensely likeable and capable of leading a team. He’s also won a lot of games. But he also played for the best team, for the best coach and they dominated nearly everyone. I don’t believe he’s anything more than a day-two talent and because there’s this huge desperation for quarterbacks in the NFL — we’re seeing the hype machine going into overdrive.

It’s been incredible to hear how much people have got carried away when discussing McCarthy. So much so than even a modest, realistic appraisal of his abilities will now be viewed as a damning criticism. I think he could be pretty useful for the Vikings given their Head Coach and weapons. There’s no way I’d want to give up multiple first round picks to acquire him though. He just doesn’t have the upside to justify it, or the tape for that matter.

The fact he had a low-key pro-day that seemingly nobody was allowed to film properly feels deliberate. It was like the pro-day version of his performance against Penn State — ‘let’s just get you through this one’.

Linebacker Junior Colson didn’t work-out, just as he didn’t at the combine. He’s a solid player who is getting a bit overrated within sections of the Seahawks media and fan base. We need to see some testing numbers to gauge his upside.

Jaylen Harrell, who I interviewed recently, ran a 4.39 short shuttle according to some sources (although Tony Pauline reports a 4.33). Kris Jenkins ran a 4.63 shuttle. It’s not bad for a defensive tackle but we were promised mutant-like testing numbers from Jenkins this off-season and we haven’t really seen them. His tape was underwhelming too.

Left guard Trevor Keegan, who I recently mocked to the Seahawks in round four, also ran a 4.63 short shuttle. Right guard Zak Zinter is still recovering from his broken leg — he was hoping to do something at pro-day but isn’t quite ready. Trente Jones only managed 22 reps on the bench press, meaning we now have an underwhelming confirmed TEF score for him of 2.71.

The Seahawks reportedly met with O-liner Karsen Barnhart — a player who can play any position across the line. After the combine he had a projected 3.00 TEF score but after doing only 22 reps on the bench at pro-day, we now have a confirmed 2.87 score. He ran a 4.62 short shuttle.

Linebacker Michael Barrett ran a mediocre 4.70 forty and a 4.55 short shuttle at 232lbs, adding a 31 inch vertical. He is reportedly still recovering from a hamstring issue.

Florida State pro-day

Jared Verse didn’t work-out because he did everything at the combine. Kudos to him for completing a full set of tests — including the shuttle and three-cone. He attended pro-day to speak with teams.

I wanted to raise this tweet, though, which is interesting:

Braden Fiske was asked which teams are showing interest and although he mentions himself it’s difficult to get a read on intentions, I still think it’s worth noting that he name-checked the Seahawks as a team that is sniffing around.

The simple fact is that his combine testing performance was exceptional. There aren’t many players like him. Then you look at the tape and he stands out. He’s disruptive and his motor never stops. What’s interesting for the Seahawks is the way Florida State used Verse and Fiske on stunts to create opportunities. That was a feature for Mike Macdonald in Baltimore and Fiske is athletic enough to pull around the line and still break to the quarterback.

This is what an elite athlete at defensive tackle looks like:

If Seattle trades down — players like Fiske, Robinson and Malachi Corley (who they’re bringing in for an official visit) will come into play. It’s absolutely possible that those three names will out-perform players selected in the teens over the course of their NFL careers.

A final point on Fiske — this is a player who played lights-out for the Seminoles, shone at the Senior Bowl, changed teams upon request in Mobile to help out Jim Nagy, blew up the combine and was still out there working hard at pro-day. Teams are going to love this guy — the medical checks on his injury history will be big, though.