College Pro Days are a special time of the year where players can use the comfortability of their school environment to perform in front of NFL coaches and scouts. What is on film matters the most when it comes to player evaluation, but Pro Days give athletes an opportunity to show just how athletic they are when it comes to speed, explosiveness and agility. They also allow smaller school players to be tested on a level playing field as far as athletic testing is concerned. Players have the opportunity to put themselves on the map with their testing numbers, or force teams to take another look at their tape. Here we take a look at some of the best results from both large and small school prospects in the 2022 Draft.
Top 5 Pro Day Risers:
Leo Chenal – LB – Wisconsin
40: 4.53 (Combine)
Bench: 34 reps
VJ: 40.5” (Combine)
Broad: 10-8 (Combine)
Chenal fits the bill as an old school type of LB due to his high level play against the run. While he may be a bit limited in coverage, he tested off the charts this process, showing scouts that he has the potential to grow in the area.
At 6026 and 250 pounds, Chenal ran a 4.53 40-yard dash, vertically jumped 40.5 inches, and broad jumped 10-foot-5. While he opened some eyes at the combine, the freak athlete helped his draft stock even more at his Pro Day, where he ran a 6.84 three-cone and benched 225 pounds 34 times, both which have been top in the class for his position.
Arnold Ebiketie – EDGE – Penn State
Bench: 21 reps
VJ: 38.0” (Combine)
Broad: 10-8 (Combine)
In such a deep pass rusher class, it has been hard to separate yourself especially if you have not been one of the consensus top guys. Many edge rushers have seen their stock rise throughout the process and it would be hard not to buy Arnold Ebiketie stock after this workout. While he is still developing, his athleticism and college production are good signs that he can be a really good player given some time at the next level. For Ebketie, he benched 21 reps, vertical jumped 38 inches, and broad jumped 10-foot-8. At his Pro Day, he followed that up with a 4.65 40-yard dash at 247 pounds. It would not be a surprise to see this player sneak his way into the first round.
Boye Mafe – EDGE – Minnesota
40: 4.53 (Combine)
Broad: 10-5 (Combine)
As we talk about pass rushers and athletic testing, it would be impossible not to mention Boye Mafe. At the combine, the 261-pound Mafe ran a blazing 4.53 40-yard dash, vertical jumped 38 inches, and broad jumped 10-foot-5. If that was not impressive enough, Mafe went to his Pro Day and improved his vertical jump to 41.5 inches, and ran a 4.2 shuttle, which would have ranked first and second respectively at the combine. Mafe dominated the senior bowl, the combine, and his Pro Day, so he should hear his name called much earlier than originally anticipated.
Jelani Woods – TE – UVA
40: 4.61 (Combine)
Bench: 24 reps (Combine)
Like many players on this list, Woods has shown off his extremely impressive and rare size/speed combo that projects well to the next level. While there is no TE that is locked into the consensus TE1 spot, Woods has done a good job making ground and boosting his draft stock, especially for someone that was very overlooked going into the process. At 6071, 259 pounds, Woods ran a 4.61 40-yard dash and benched 24 reps of 225, which were both top two at the position group. At his Pro Day, Woods shed a few pounds but vertically jumped 37.5, broad jumped 129 inches, ran a 4.2 shuttle, and a 6.91 three-cone. All these would have been top tanks for TEs at the combine. Woods has good film as both a blocker and pass catcher, as his rare athleticism should give teams hope that he can develop into a starting TE.
Christian Watson – Wide Receiver – NDSU
40: 4.36 (Combine)
Bench: 18 reps
VJ: 38.5” (Combine)
Broad: 11-4 (Combine)
At this point, it would be hard to not have heard of Christian Watson, as he has dominated the entire pre-draft process. While he is not from the biggest school, despite NDSU’s FCS dominance, Watson should hear his name called early. At the combine, the talented wideout ran a blazing 4.36 40-yard dash, vertical jumped 38.5 inches, and broad jumped 11-foot-4, all which are very high ranks among the WRs. He followed that up with an impressive field workout and tested great once again at his Pro Day. He ran a 6.96 three-cone, a 4.19 shuttle, and benched 18 reps, all of these would be right around the top ranks for WRs at the combine. No player has helped themselves more than Watson in this process and we should see that reflected on draft day.
California OLB Cameron Goode
Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor
Nebraska OC Cam Jurgens
Kansas EDGE Kyron Johnson
Maryland DL Sam Okuayinonu
Standout Small School Performances:
Tyshaun James – Wide Receiver – Central Connecticut State University
Bench: 22 reps
Tyshaun James is a legit 6-foot-2 receiver who was a great outside threat for CCSU. Most of his snaps came from being split out wide and had good production. He had 14 touchdowns and over 1500 yards between his 2019 and 2021 season. At his Pro Day, he tested extremely well. He showed great explosiveness with a vertical jump of 37.5 inches and 10-foot-11 broad jump. Both of these would have placed him 5th at the combine against the players who tested there. These are the types of numbers and measurements that will make scouts take another look at the film.
Tyler Dressler – Linebacker – University of Richmond
Bench: 22 reps
Tyler Dressler is an off-ball linebacker for the University of Richmond. He was a 3x all conference player and accumulated 247 career tackles in his time there. During his Pro Day he showed good explosiveness with a 37-inch vertical that would have placed him 7th at his position during the combine. He showed off his endurance and strength with 22 reps on the bench press which would have placed him 4th among LB’s in Indianapolis. Dressler has the ideal size and height for a 3-4 ILB with some explosive tool NFL teams will find interesting. His athletic test results and measurements helped bump his stock upward.
Dallis Flowers – Cornerback – Pittsburg State University
Dallis Flowers is a tall cornerback from Pitt State who transferred in from Grand View University for his graduate year. At his Pro Day he tested extremely well running a 4.40 40-yard dash and jumping 10-foot-11 the broad. These numbers are eye-catching because his 40-time would have been 11th at the combine and his broad 2nd among participants at his position. These numbers show he has the height, speed and explosiveness to at least be looked at at the NFL level. Flowers’ Pro Day really elevated his stock in this upcoming draft.
Patrick Peek- Safety – University of New Mexico
Patrick Peek had an outstanding performance during the athletic testing at the University of New Mexico’s Pro Day. His 40-time of 4.42, vertical of 38-inch and broad of 10-foot-5 all would have placed top ten at the combine for the safety position. Peek primarily saw snaps as a slot defender as well as a free safety on the third level. His athletic testing numbers are on par with draftable players this year. His performance at his Pro Day was a positive step for him making a good impression as an athlete.
Ouachita Baptist CB Gregory Junior
Chattanooga OG Cole Strange
North Dakota OT Matt Waletzko
UMass DL Avien Peah
Stuttgart (Germany) DB Marcel Dabo