Each year, college players attempt to solidify their draft stock during NFL Pro-Days. Depending on the players working out, each team will send a representative. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers paid attention to Florida State University’s Pro-Day because of their needs on both sides of the line of scrimmage. There may be players from FSU that could be selected all throughout the draft. Could any of them be future Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Broken down into two groups, the players participated in five scheduled events. Mimicking the NFL Combine, the players rotated through the bench-press test, 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump. Players also participated in the three-cone drill, long shuttle and finished with position drills. After the completion of the scheduled events, the players had media availability.
DE Brian Burns, DT Demarcus Christmas, WR Nyqwan Murray, RB Jacques Patrick, DB A.J. Westbrook, DB John Moschella, WR Jarron Barrett, C Alec Eberle, OT Derrick Kelly, FB/TE Johnathan Vickers, OL Arthur Williams, DL Fredrick Jones, DL Wally Aime
Looking to Confirm
Brain Burns set out to ensure those who scouted him have graded him appropriately. Though he did not run the 40-yard dash, he did participate in individual drills. He was solid in his performance, looked quick and had loose hips. Subsequently, he looked fluid and every bit the first round talent he is graded to be. His workout confirmed that he can be a special talent.
Looking to Improve
Some players use their Pro-Day to improve upon the NFL Combine results they established earlier in the year, in hopes of boosting possible draft grades.
Nyqwan Murray was one of those players. Fighting through pain, Murray did not run the 40-yard dash. He needed to best his 4.63-second time and was unable to perform. Even though he did not run the 40-yard dash, Murray was able to run some routes. He looked crisp and smooth. In his interview afterwards, he mentioned that the scouts praised him for his performance.
Demarcus Christmas, the other NFL Combine invitee, went into his Pro-Day with the hopes of having a better 40-yard dash. As a result of some work after the combine, he was able to shave some time and clocked in at 4.90 seconds.
Looking to be Noticed
For the rest of the players at the FSU Pro-Day, it was about being noticed. The players wanted to perform. Some felt snubbed from the NFL Combine while others tried to make an impact. Additionally, they just wanted team scouts to go back and review their tape. Maybe the scouts missed something, maybe they are the diamond in the rough.
Safety A. J. Westbrook may have the scouts rethinking their grades and have them looking over tape prior to the draft. He posted a blazing 40-yard dash, rumored to be in the high 4.3-second to low 4.4-second range. Additionally, he flowed through position drills with quick feet and the ability to change direction well. His stock may increase after scouts look over film again.
Running back Jacques Patrick participated in the 40-yard dash, posting a unconfirmed high 4.5-second to 4.6-second time. For example, this would place him around the 13th best time at the combine had he been invited. Weighing in at 255 pounds, he looked solid. He is a bigger back and may have teams look to draft him in later rounds as a change-of-pace back.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade back in the first round, Burns may be there for the taking and there may be some options from FSU in the later rounds as well.