Sure, there's a certain big basketball tournament starting tomorrow, but there was another big event today that went a little under-the-radar: Pro Day.
Ah, Pro Day: the Combine for people that didn't make the Combine.
That's not to say that Chris Turner and Cory Jackson didn't deserve an invite, of course, but neither attended Indianapolis's NFL stock-boosting Combine a week or so ago, meaning that the workouts in front of scouts is a perfect opportunity to strut their stuff. The same goes for fellow seniors Travis Ivey, Terrell Skinner, Richard Taylor, Phil Costa, or Jared Harrell. Bruce Campbell, however, did make the combine, and shined in it. Thanks to that, he was able to do nothing but sit, smile, and look like the Greek god that he is.
The rest, though - joined by Nolan Carroll, who made the combine but didn't participate in drills - took to the field today for Maryland's Pro Day, participating in a variety of drills in front of scouts and coaches. Details on the event have been sparse with seemingly every journalist in the world preparing for the ACC tournament; one of the only articles I've found on it is from the AP (via Yahoo) and is Chris Turner focused.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Turner ran the 40 in 5.16 seconds, then in 5.10. He pressed 225 pounds 11 times. Those numbers aren't as important as the fact that he was a three-year starter, threw 30 touchdown passes, had four 300-yard games and was 5-2 against teams in the Top 25.
"He's got the body type they're looking for, he's a smart guy," Franklin said. "I've coached in that league. It wouldn't surprise me if he made a team. Where he gets drafted, I don't know all that. But his arm is strong enough and he's more athletic than you think. So I think he's got a chance."
Said Turner: "I think with good performances, good interviews, with good tryouts with different teams I can get drafted. It's just a matter of doing it."
Methinks they got it right on the career thing - Turner isn't going to dazzle with his athleticism or arm strength, but he's a good leader with an accurate enough arm. He'll probably get a camp invite if not a full-out draft pick, and hopefully he can make something of it and have a career in the pros. If he can't, I have a sneaking feeling he'll end up on Capitol Hill in some form or fashion.
The other big name there for Maryland was the indomitable Cory Jackson, the hard-hitting FB from Morgantown. Patrick Stevens has been maintaining a record of Jackson's pro journey, and it was understandably a big day for CJ. He posted a 4.7 in the 40, a pretty good time for a FB; hopefully some scouts saw it, because he deserves a future in the league.
It was Carroll's numbers, though, that jumped out at me the most: he ran a 4.39 in the 40, under the golden 4.4 time, and had a 37.5 inch vertical. Considering that he's coming back from a season-ending leg injury, I'm very surprised he posted times that good. Despite never being a #1 corner, he'll likely get drafted at a decent position. He's currently ESPN's 29th CB, and 39 were selected last year. Looks good for Nolan.
A WBOC article has a few more times and stats, and is where I got the times listed in this post.
Update: Frequent commenter here and author at the SBN Ravens blog Baltimore Beatdown (don't UrbanDictionary that) Mr MaLoR attended the Pro Day and had some short impressions, pictures, video, and a list of teams that sent scouts. A partial list of attendance includes Washington, unsurprisingly, alongside Oakland, Green Bay, New England, and a few more. Check it out if you have the time.
This was the last (public) stop for NFL-hopeful Terps before the draft, which kicks off on Apr. 22. Bruce Campbell is expected to go early in the first, and Turner, Jackson, and Carroll are possible 2nd/3rd day picks. Hopefully they can make a living despite the rough senior season.