Notes on Toledo’s Pro DayWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Scouts from all across the NFL gathered in Toledo’s Fetterman Training Center on March 13 to watch players from the UT football team work out running drills, trying to show their worth for an NFL roster spot.
“I thought it was a really good day, and I thought our kids came out ready to go,” UT head coach Matt Campbell said. “It was a day for them to prove themselves, and the work that they’ve done the last two months has prepared them to take the next step.”
Below are some notes and observations from the outing.
- Some Rockets who participated in the pro day include wide receivers Eric Page and Kenny Stafford, running back Adonis Thomas, tight ends Jerome Jones and Danny Noble, offensive linemen Mike VanDerMeulen and John Moorokian, defensive lineman Malcolm Riley and defensive backs Desmond Marrow, Diauntae Morrow and Taikwon Paige.
- Other former Rockets also showed up to participate in drills. Among those who worked out included former rusher DaJuane Collins, defensive end Terrell Willis and even safety Isaiah Ballard, who played the year at Findlay after being kicked off of Toledo in the beginning of the season.
- Fifteen NFL teams were represented at the pro day by scouts: the 49ers, Bengals, Browns, Buccaneers, Colts, Eagles, Jaguars, Jets, Patriots, Rams, Ravens, Saints, Seahawks, Texans and Titans.
- Most of the scouts present were in attendance to see Page after leaving school following his junior season and bypassing a shot at the NCAA all-time receptions record. Page’s only major drill was the 40-yard dash as he tried to improve upon his time of 4.6 seconds that he ran at the NFL Combine.
Page worked out the last few months specifically to lower his time and it paid off. The school’s all-time leading receiver posted a times of 4.49 and 4.51 seconds as he continues to try and attain the mid-round draft selection the NFL projected him a few months ago.
Page also ran an assortment of routes for the scouts with former UT great and former Bengals quarterback Bruce Gradkowski throwing to him. Page caught five of the six throws, with the only miss being thrown just a bit out of his reach on a deep route, grazing his fingertips.
“I just wanted to run my 40 over again and continue to do what I can on the field,” Page said. “I ran a better 40 so I was proud of that and on the field I think I did well too.”
- With Page’s participation being limited, other Toledo athletes had a shot to show off for the 15 teams that supplied scouts. Marrow and VanDerMeulen in particular greatly helped their chances to get a late-round draft pick.
Marrow has good size at 6-foot-3 for a cornerback, but could also play safety in the NFL. He ran his fastest time of 4.49 in the 40-yard dash and was impressive throughout the other drills.
“I was a lot more calm than I thought I would be,” Marrow said. “Training for months I was getting more and more nervous but this was a more relaxed setting where I could just come out and do what I do. I think I did good overall. A scout said I had one of the better days here so I am pleased with how I did.”
VanDerMeulen showed off his athleticism with a staggering 32.5 inch vertical jump while also running a 5.08 40-yard dash. Among the 47 offensive lineman at the NFL Combine, those totals would rank him second and fifth, respectively.
- The Rockets also showed their speed with the 40-yard dash, most notably from Paige and Stafford as both players ran it in 4.37 seconds. Paige’s time would have made him tied for first among 36 combine invitees at cornerback, while Stafford would be fourth among 40 players at receiver. Overall, just four players among the more than 300 combine participants ran faster than a 4.37.
- Running back Adonis Thomas ran a 4.41 and 4.45 40-yard dash and looked impressive running routes and catches passes from Gradkowski. With the performance Thomas has shown the last two seasons, especially from his agility and elusiveness, he deserves a shot at an NFL roster spot.