Sometimes finding specific information on the NFL’s website feels like trying to track down some guy named Murph on St. Patrick’s Day: you pretty much know what you’re looking for, but you have no idea how to narrow the search.
One thing NFL.com does get right? Posting Gil Brandt’s oft-entertaining pro day blog. Every football player has a story; for those not invited to the NFL combine, each pro day serves as an introduction.
The NFL’s site also does a pretty good job of explaining such drills as the 20-yard, or short, shuttle (five yards left, 10 yards right, five yards left) and the 3-cone or L drill.
Below, some workout notables who excelled at their early March pro days after missing the NFL combine in February.
Sinkfield, Swimmingly: Northern Iowa wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield (6-1, 199) posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.33 seconds (after making headlines with an unofficial 4.19). Sinkfield also flew with a 40.5-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot, 5-inch broad jump. At the 2013 combine, his 40 time, vertical and broad jump would have placed him second, third and second overall, respectively.
Commander Cody: Kudos to safety Cody Davis out of Texas Tech (6-2, 203). He notched a 4.41-second 40, a 41.5-inch vertical, 15 bench reps, and a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump. Throw in a 4.0-second 20-yard shuttle and a 6.78-second 3-cone and we’re looking at one physically talented defender. Davis led the Red Raiders with 101 tackles and three interceptions in 2012.
Hot Rod, Lincoln: Previously listed at 6-2, 250, we’re now unsure where to fit the currently 6-1, 237-pound Nebraska defensive end Eric Martin because his size makes him a ’tweener (as in somewhere between too small and too, too small). Still, we’d like to find a spot. Martin turned heads with a 4.53-second 40, but he really wowed scouts with remarkable quickness times: his 3.97 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle would have been fourth best overall at the combine, while his 6.63 seconds in the 3-cone drill would have qualified as third best.
Martin had 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss as a rush end for the Cornhuskers this past season.
Foster The Person: Talk about some Pumped Up Kicks. Illinois defensive lineman Glenn Foster (6-4, 286) posted a 39.5-inch vertical and 10-foot, 9-inch broad jump, both of which would have led all DLs at the combine. Foster also put up 29 bench reps, a 4.79-second 40 and a 7.15-second 3-cone drill, every one of them combine-worthy.
Gigantic, Gigantic, Our Big, Big Lug: Really, we can’t find a better way to put it. Terrell Brown, offensive tackle out of Ole Miss, measured 6-10, 388 pounds. Brown did little else of note besides getting measured, but ignore his glacial 5.80-second 40. Put aside his escargot-infused 8.98-second 3-cone drill. Turn your head from his pedestrian 22 bench press reps.
Here’s a photo of Brown next to an averaged-sized guy. I’d pay money just to see him alongside Leon Washington.
Head Of The Charles: Grand Valley State wide receiver Charles Johnson’s head must have been swimming after he ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds (a top 10 time at the combine). The 6-2, 215-pounder also ran a 4.31 short shuttle and 6.96 3-cone drill. He added a 39.5-inch vertical (top 10) and 11-1 broad jump (top five) for good measure.
Johnson caught 72 passes for 1,199 yards this past season (16.7 avg), scoring 16 TDs.
The Right Tuel For The Job? We mention quarterback Jeff Tuel of Washington State (6-3, 218) not only for his impressive 40 (4.60 seconds) or his 6.90-second 3-cone drill, but also for the fact that he’s scheduled to work out for Patriots scouts on March 22. Because when you think of New England QBs over the past 20 years, you think of speed and quickness. Right, Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe?
Anyway, playing for WSU coach/mad genius Mike Leach, Tuel completed 64 percent of his passes on his way to compiling 2,091 yards this season. The Pats showed previous interest in a Leach protégé when they took former Texas Tech QB (and current Texas Tech offensive coordinator) Kliff Kingsbury in the sixth round of the 2003 draft.
William, It Was Really Nothing: Defensive tackle William Campbell of Michigan (6-5, 311) ran the 40 in 5.15 seconds and put up 35 lifts on the bench press. Campbell had 44 tackles and one sack this year.
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, The White Stuff: Michigan State defensive back Mitchell White (5-11, 184) ran a 4.42 40 and had a 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump. His quickness was on display during his 20-yard shuttle (4.15 seconds) and 3-cone (6.76). Factoring in his 14 bench reps, White raised his draft stock considerably after compiling only seven tackles this past season as a Spartan special teamer.
We Can’t Think Of Any Puns For This Guy: Hmm. UMass running back Mike Cox (6-0, 220) ran a big-time 40 for a bigger back (4.58 seconds) and impressed in other events. His 6.87-second 3-cone drill and 24 bench press reps would have placed him alongside the top 10 running backs at the combine. He added a solid 4.24-second 20-yard shuttle.
Cox, who can be seen here auditioning for Cirque du Soleil on a touchdown leap, led the Minutemen with 807 yards rushing in 2012.
Keep on the look out for Part II later on this month.
You can email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @cwarn89