Inside LSU’s Pro Timing Day
News, notes, quotes and photos from Monday’s action
By BEN LOVE
Tiger Rag Acting Editor
LSU held its annual Pro Timing day on Monday, allowing 18 Tiger players (17 seniors and junior Chad Jones) to show their stuff to NFL scouts one more time before the league’s draft takes place April 22-24 in New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
Twelve of the 18 participants already endured these same drills and timing sessions at the NFL Draft Combine several weeks ago in Indianapolis.
With that in mind, many players decided to “sit” on their combine numbers, feeling the marks couldn’t be bested at Monday’s Pro Day inside the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. So, there was an interesting mix of players competing in some drills, but not others, since each participant was allowed to elect which drills he’d run in.
Among the players content with their combine numbers was Trindon Holliday. At Pro Day, the Zachary speedster only caught punts and ran routes in a quarterback-receivers drill conducted after the timing part of the day had passed.
On his decision, Holliday later said, “I was kinda happy with my 40 time from before, I didn’t want to come out here and do it anymore. I just wanted to come out here and establish myself as a receiver and catch some more punt returns like I did earlier.”
Of course, the temptation was there to top his blazing 4.34 40-yard dash time at the combine, but Holliday said his agent interceded.
“I wanted to run, but my agent told me that he didn’t think I needed to run anymore from what I did at the combine,” explained Holliday. “I can run faster but he said that I ran well at the combine so there was no point in me coming out here and hurting myself.”
For those opting to participate in the timed portions of the day, here’s a list of those drills: Vertical Jump, Long Jump (or Broad Jump), Shuttle, 3 Cones, Bench Press and the 40-yard dash. All of this accompanies each player being measured for height, weight, arm length (wing span) and hand length.
Several players really impressed during this portion of the day. CB Chris Hawkins proved his mettle as an out-and-out athlete, putting up an impressive 36.5-inch jump on the vertical before being unofficially clocked at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. S Danny McCray also looked good during the timed sessions, repping the 225-pound bench 23 times (tied for tops on the day with DL Al Woods) and being timed unofficially at sub-4.4 in the forty (the stop watch nearest me read 4.33).
For a full listing of each player’s times and statistics from Pro Timing Day, click on this link from www.LSUsports.net.
After the workout, WR Brandon LaFell commented on some of the guys flying under radar who impressed him.
“Chris Hawkins and R.J. Jackson (were impressive). Those guys have been playmakers since they’ve been here,” LaFell said. “R.J. is a very good special teams player and Hawk is just one of those guys on defense who has a knack for the ball. He came out here today and ran a sub-4.4 (40-yard dash) and has been one of the best athletes on our team the last four years.”
Some quick notes reflecting my impressions
- Far and away the most underwhelming moment of the day was DL Charles Alexander’s lowly six reps on the bench press. In an attempt to most likely save face, Alexander got off the bench grabbing his left shoulder. He would return later for the running-based drills.
- TE Richard Dickson repped the bench press 14 times, well under what he would’ve done had he not hit the bar against a metal part of the physical station on two separate occasions, greatly slowing his momentum and throwing him off balance. He said after the workouts that scouts told him not to fret, that they know that’s not an accurate indicator of his strength.
- S Chad Jones was rather pedestrian early on for a guy who needed to rebuild his slightly tarnished image from the combine. He didn’t do a vertical jump (making him 0-for-2 there since he declined in Indy as well), was average in the broad jump (9′7″ is okay, but for example was below the tally of players like Perry Riley, Chris Mitchell, Jacob Cutrera and Harry Coleman) and didn’t greatly improve his 40 time. Jones was, however, pretty impressive in individual drills when he broke away with the defensive backs. I saw at least one one-handed grab on an interception, and he just looked pretty fluid during actual football drills.
- A coach from the Bengals took some extra interest in all three of LSU’s linebackers. During individual drills, the coach asked for and received permission to break away with Harry Coleman, Jacob Cutrera and Perry Riley.
- RB Charles Scott fared pretty well on some of the timed sessions, but was mediocre at best when catching balls out of the backfield. He’ll have to work on his hands to find success at the next level.
Keeping a running count throughout the day, I ended up spying representatives from 20 different NFL teams. There could’ve easily been more, but here are the franchises (in no particular order) I know were there: Jaguars, Jets, Browns, Bengals, Chiefs, Cardinals, Steelers, Panthers, Titans, Redskins, 49ers, Raiders, Eagles, Texans, Falcons, Seahawks, Lions, Dolphins, Bills and a flock of people from the defending Super Bowl champion Saints.
The Saints showed at least some remote interest in Ciron Black, putting him through individual drills after the timed session. The LSU left tackle left with a good overall feeling of the day.
“I just wanted to show them that I could move my feet a little bit more,” said Black. “By the time I got to the shuttle and the three-cone at the combine I was so tired because I already did more drills. I wanted to improve my time in those and I did. Also here you get the work with a one-on-one coach.”
There actually was a 19th player being put through the paces Monday.
Former Oklahoma State (then Texas Southern) quarterback Bobby Reid worked out with the rest of the Tigers as well. Reid, a former Les Miles recruit to Stillwater, finds himself looking to make an NFL roster. When Reid reached out to lifelong friend Brandon LaFell, the LSU wide-out gladly pled the QB’s case to Miles, requesting Reid participate in LSU’s Pro Day.
Miles accepted, realizing that without any senior Tiger quarterback to throw to the WR’s, RB’s and TE’s, somebody would be needed to lead a passing drill.
As it turned out, Reid was that somebody. His stats aren’t listed in that link above, but I caught him leaping 33.5 inches in the vertical jump and repping the bench 19 times (a figure which tied him for third on the day).
Here are some still shots of the day’s action. Sorry that some are a bit more out of focus than others.