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Thirteen former Colorado State football players participated in CSU’s Pro Day on Wednesday morning, working out in front of NFL scouts at CSU’s Indoor Practice Facility. In total, 34 scouts representing 28 NFL teams were on hand for the audition.
Draft-eligible players who participated include OL Nick Callender, LB Kevin Davis, P Hayden Hunt, TE Danny Nwosu, TE Nolan Peralta, WR Robert Ruiz, DB Tyree Simmons, OL Paul Thurston, DB Jordon Vaden and OL Fred Zerblis. Additionally, Class of 2015 graduates Trent Matthews, Jasen Oden, Jr. and Kevin Pierre-Louis also took part in the workout.
Players began the morning in the weight room where their height, weight, hand, arm and wingspan were measured, followed by bench press testing. From there, the event transitioned to the Indoor Practice Facility, allowing players to test their vertical and standing broad jumps, 40-yard dash, pro shuttle, and three-cone drill.
Last week, Davis and Hunt were invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where they worked out in front of a national contingent of scouts, coaches and executives, and a worldwide television audience. Hunt kept his stats from the Combine and only participated in individual work on Tuesday. Davis kept his bench press total from the Combine, but used Tuesday’s Pro Day to improve his 40-yard dash time (unofficially a 4.82).
“I pretty much got better numbers than everything at the Combine,” Davis said. “Today was a lot less waiting around, constantly having to get warmed up. It was a lot more structured as far as being able to get things done. I felt a lot more comfortable out there and thought I performed well.”
For All-Mountain West first-team offensive lineman and Pro Football Focus second-team All-American Fred Zerblis, Pro Day was his chance to give scouts more than game film to grade him on.
“I thought it was real good,” Zerblis said. “For me, I wanted to focus on the position work, and I thought that went real well.”
Fellow offensive lineman Nick Callender, an All-Mountain West honorable mention honoree, turned the heads of many scouts with an impressive showing. He led all participants with 23 reps on the bench press and tied for the highest vertical jump (34 inches), despite weighing in at 321 pounds. The vertical jump was better than any offensive lineman at last week’s Combine by at least two inches.
Unfortunately for Callender, he suffered an injury near the end of his workout. Individual sessions included breakout time by position, with the defensive players working on pass coverage and pass rushing, offensive linemen working on footwork and receivers and tight ends running routes. Hunt’s session included punting outside on the Rams’ practice fields.
“There are only so many punter jobs open in the NFL every year,” Hunt said. “Not every team needs a punter, so I was just trying to do my best and show what I’m capable of doing. I want the opportunity. I just want to compete at the highest level. If someone gives me the chance, I think they’ll see that I can.”
For many, putting Wednesday behind them is a relief, and now they can focus on continuing to train, talking with NFL teams and waiting for the NFL Draft, which will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia, Pa.
“I’ve done all I can do,” Davis said. “Now, it’s up to the teams to make their decisions.”
- Several current and former Rams were on hand to cheer on their former teammates, including Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeAndre Elliott.
- Following Callender’s 23 reps on the bench press (225 pounds), Nwosu had 18, Peralta recorded 16 and Thurston and Zerblis totaled 14 apiece.
- Callender and Ruiz recorded 34 inches on the vertical jump, just ahead of Nwosu and Simmons (33). Using last year’s measurement, Pierre-Louis hit 35.5 inches in 2016.
- Vaden – who worked out as a wide receiver and defensive back – led all Rams with 10 feet on the board jump. Ruiz (9-8), Simmons (9-7), Nwosu (9-6), Davis (9-4) and Peralta (9-3) followed.
- Ruiz unofficially had the fastest 40-yard dash time, with one scout clocking him at 4.63. Matthews, who last year could not participate in Pro Day due to an ACL tear in November, was also in that range, running in the mid-4.6s. A scout’s stopwatch showed Vaden at 4.66, Simmons at 4.72 and Pierre-Louis at 4.73.
Featured Image Credit: CSU Rams Football, Twitter