With a little over a month to go before the 2012 NFL Draft, Arizona State's draft eligible players worked out on Friday for the school's annual Pro Day in front of NFL scouts.
The six Sun Devils invited to last months scouting combine--Omar Bolden, Vontaze Burfict, Brock Osweiler, Jamaar Jarrett, Garth Gerhart and Gerell Robinson--were joined by their other senior teammates. Osweiler did not participate in any of the workouts, as he is holding his own Pro Day on March 30th.
There were many good performances on the day and some that failed to move the needle. Here now are my observations from ASU's Pro Day.
- ASU's offensive linemen did very well in the bench press. Gerhart improves his combine total of 25 reps to 33 of 225 pounds, an impressive number. The big star was Dan Knapp, who hoisted the bar 41 times, which would have tied for the lead among offensive linemen had he been invited to the combine.
- Wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad did 22 reps, which also would have tied for the position lead at the combine.
- The other bench press performances were less than impressive. All eyes were on Burfict, who did not lift at the combine. He did a disappointing 16, as did Jarrett. Linebacker Colin Parker had a solid 23, while offensive lineman Aderious Simmons had 26. Wide receivers T.J. Simpson (12) and Mike Willie (6) brought up the rear.
- Cornerback Omar Bolden looks like his old All Pac-10 First Team self. In perhaps the most anticipated event of the day, Bolden was timed as low as a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash. He looked quick and agile in the shuttle drills, and his fluidity of movement and breaks on the ball during defensive back drills also looked good. The only negative on the day were a few dropped passes, but he also made a great diving grab along the sidelines. All told, he should be a mid-round pick at worst.
- Burfict did not run the 40-yard dash after his dismal 5.09 at the combine. He said he will participate in the March 30th workouts with Osweiler. To his credit, he did look to be in much better physical shape, but his other agility drill work was, as one current ASU player said, "sloppy".
- Pflugrad probably earned himself a camp invite. In addition to his impressive bench presses, he ran in the 4.6s, looked quick in the shuttles and caught every ball thrown his way.
- I'd be surprised if Mike Willie was brought to an NFL camp. He ran in the 4.7s and just didn't seem to do anything overly well. He was solid all around, but his road to the NFL was already uphill and he's yet to turn any heads.
- Gerell Robinson did not run in the 40, letting his 4.62 from the combine stand. He looked great in position drills, and continued to show off great hands. He sported some shiny all-gold cleats, much like Michael Johnson did in the 1996 Olympics.
- Wide receiver George Bell was doing well in the positional drills, but injured his hamstring on a post pattern and appeared to be in a lot of pain. He limped off the field with assistance.
- The big winner of the day may have been Knapp. In addition to his great strength showing, he ran a reported 4.8 in the 40 and looked fluid and swift in the positional workouts. A converted tight end, Knapp could be an intriguing guard prospect.
- Gerhart looked good in position drills, and with his improvement on the bench, he should have moved from a fringe draftable prospect to being fairly certain to have his name called in April.
- While his 40 time was underwhleming (4.6-4.7 range) Simpson drew some "wooooo"s from the players with a fantastic showing in the short shuttle.
- Former Sun Devil LeQuan Lewis was on hand and ran a sub 4.4 40-yard dash.
- In what should not be a surprise to any ASU fans, Eddie Elder looked quick and fast during drills but dropped numerous passes.
- Former ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter was on hand to throw to the receivers and defensive backs.
All told, the day's big winners were Bolden and Knapp. Bolden likely brought his name into the third or fourth round discussions, while Knapp could now be drafted, and at worst receive a camp invitation. Gerhart was impressive as well, and should feel safe with being a late round pick. Pflugrad still seems unlikely to be drafted, but should follow in Kerry Taylor's footsteps as finding a spot in a training camp.
Conversely, Burfict said after practice that he had an "average" workout, but with the massive hole he dug for himself over the last few months, he will need an extraordinary next six weeks to secure a mid-to-late round draft slot.
With Pro Day out of the way, players will now have workouts and interviews with individual teams. Bolden said that he has visits to the Giants, Patriots and Eagles upcoming.
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