With the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine operating under a different format this year, pro day workouts are taking on a heightened importance this spring. Indiana, Oregon and Tulsa were among the schools that held their pro days on Friday, giving some top 2021 NFL Draft prospects a chance to make an impression on scouts and NFL executives.
How did the top talents perform? Check out the quick rundowns below.
NOTE: Times listed below are unofficial.
The Hoosiers safety gave NFL scouts a complete workout Friday. He checked in at 6-foot-2 1/4 and 205 pounds before clocking 40-yard dashes of 4.58 and 4.60, per Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy. Johnson also posted a vertical leap of 35 inches, a 10-2 broad jump and agility times of 4.41 in the short shuttle and 7.22 in the three-cone drill. On the bench press, he repped 225 pounds 17 times.
The versatile early entry gave NFL scouts an eyeful last fall in IU’s biggest win of the season, a 36-35 overtime upset of Penn State. Johnson made 10 tackles with a TFL, a forced fumble and an interception to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. The 21-year-old Florida native has been rising throughout the pre-draft process, slotting in as the No. 3 safety in Bucky Brooks’ latest prospect position rankings. Chad Reuter projected Johnson to the Lions in the third round (No. 101 overall) in his most recent mock draft.
Thirty-one NFL teams (all but the Rams) were represented at the Ducks’ pro day. Among the notable attendees: general managers Brian Gutekunst (Packers) and Rick Spielman (Vikings); director of player personnel Duke Tobin (Bengals); head coach Zac Taylor (Bengals).
Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50: No. 12
The Ducks’ massive offensive tackle prospect, who tops Bucky Brooks’ ranking at the position, was the biggest draw of UO’s pro day for NFL scouts, particularly as a 2020 opt-out. Sewell measured 6-4 7/8 and 331 pounds, was timed unofficially at 5.09 in the 40-yard dash, and had jumps of 28 inches (vertical) and 9-1 (broad), with 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. His arm measured 33 1/4 inches, while his hand was 10 3/8 inches.
Sewell was responsible for just one sack over his final two seasons of play at Oregon (2018 and ’19), spanning 1,376 snaps. As one of the most ballyhooed prospects in the 2021 class, the 20-year-old is widely projected to be a top-10 pick.
“Generational player. And I would say the same about him as a human being,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said on Friday to NFL Network’s Taylor Bisciotti, who was on assignment in Eugene, Oregon. “The leadership, the power which he plays with, his football IQ … His ability just to see things, his instincts is something that, again, can change an entire franchise.”
Holland measured 6-0 5/8 and 207 pounds, up 11 pounds from his school-listed weight, for NFL scouts on Friday. He didn’t run heavy, though, based on an unofficial time of 4.45 in the 40-yard dash. He broad jumped 10-6, with a 35.5-inch vertical.
Like Sewell, Holland opted out of the 2020 college season. He logged four interceptions and flashed strong punt-return skills in 2019. NFL Network’s Maurice Jones-Drew touts him as the best defensive player in the entire class, while Chad Reuter had him coming off the board to the Raiders in Round 2 (No. 48 overall) of his most recent mock draft.
All 32 NFL teams were represented at the Golden Hurricane pro day.
Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50: No. 25
The potential first-round pick matched a lot of size with impressive speed on Friday. Collins measured 6-4 7/8 and 259 pounds, clocking a 4.67 40-yard dash, according to Jeremiah’s scouting sources. He posted a broad jumped of 10-2, a vertical leap of 35 inches and 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Typically, coaches conduct position drills at pro days, but for Collins, Titans GM Jon Robinson got involved. And Collins turned heads with his work on the turf.
“The big thing he did was on the field in the positional drills,” said NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha, who was on assignment in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “He’s 6-5, 260 pounds, he moved great, very fluid catching the ball, he really showcased that versatility that makes him so attractive to all these teams. The guy could be a three-down linebacker for you — he showed that.”
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks ranks Collins as his No. 1 outside linebacker, while draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares the Tulsa product to Leighton Vander Esch.
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