On Monday, some of the National Football League’s brightest made their way down to Troy for the University’s Pro Day.
And unlike years past, there was a lot going on in and around Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium.
“This has been one of the biggest (Pro Days) we have had since DeMarcus (Ware) or Leodis (McKelvin),” strength and conditioning coach Richard Shaughnessy said Monday afternoon.
In all, Shaughnessy said 31 representatives from various teams, everyone from general managers, to positions coaches to scouts were in attendance to watch Trojan draftees perform a variety of drills and workouts.
“I think a lot of these guys have had great days today, in front of the right people,” the coach said.
“There were a lot of kids who may have earned their opportunity at the next level,” Shaughnessy added.
For four Trojans, Brandon Lang, Cameron Sheffield, Boris Lee and Levi Brown, this was the second chance for scouts to look at them thanks to their time at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, IN., last month.
“I felt pretty good (Monday),” Brown said.
“My main goal was to improve upon everything I did at the combine – and I was able to do that.”
The former Trojans participated in every event with the exception of the bench press, which he stuck with his combine number of 20 reps.
Before the activities began at Troy, Brown had a busy morning meeting for breakfast with Kansas City offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss and afterwards spending time with representatives from the Carolina Panthers.
“It was good to be able to meet with everyone and talk about things,” he said. “Everything was really positive.”
For Sheffield, it was good to be back and working in a familiar environment.
“I felt pretty good,” Sheffield said after his workouts.
“(At the combine) there was a lot of pressure to perform well, but here it was a more relaxed feeling.
“No place like home,” he laughed.
Sheffield ran a 4.8 on the 40 and had a 35.5 vertical but due to a tweaked shoulder the senior could not do some of the tests including the bench press but said he would be able to do everything at Troy’s next Pro Day, on March 24.
However, for many of the players this was their first opportunity to try and impress at the next level.
One of those players was linebacker Bear Woods
“I think I definitely had a good day,” Woods said. “I feel like I have built up a pretty good reputation for myself (during the season) and today was an opportunity for me to backup what I did.”
Woods, who finished his Trojan career with 184 tackles and an interception, jumped 34.5 inches for the vertical leap, ran a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash and finished with the most reps on the bench with 21.
“I wanted to show what I could (on Monday),” he said. “I felt like I did that (in each of the activities).”
Another Trojan getting some looks was one that didn’t even touch the field this past season.
Thanks to ineligibility issues, Jorrick Calvin was unable to play out his senior season but was still able to show what he had thanks to his 33-inch vertical and 4.4 40-yard dash.
The cornerback also will have private workouts with the Detroit Lions today and the Cleveland Browns later on this week.
“Both Bear and Jorrick were getting a lot of good looks,” Shaunghnessy said. “Bear has done everything he has been asked to do and done it well.”
“To be out a year like Jorrick was and to be able to come back and still impress scouts is very impressive and shows what kind of player he is.
“I think in the end, both players will be in camps with teams – I will be really surprised if they are not,” the coach added.
One player that may not have been on many scout’s radars coming into Monday may haven changed his stock a lot, according to Shaughnessy.
David McDowell, a 6-foot-1, 235 pound outside linebacker, was “someone who helped himself out the most” said the coach.
McDowell, who got little playing time at Troy, ran a 4.5 on the 40, had a 37.5 on the vertical leap and had 20 reps on the bench.
“David did extremely well with his testing. He was someone many people probably did not know a lot about coming in, but that changed after they saw him,” Shaughnessy said.
The couch continued by saying this could be one of the most productive draft classes for the Trojans.
“Before, we have had a lot of scouts come here to look at maybe one or two players. But this year, there are a lot of people looking at a lot players,” he said.
“We have a lot of guys that could go high in the draft and in the middle rounds as well. We could have more draft picks then we have had in a while – and very well could have eight to 10 guys in camps when its all said and done,” Shaunghnessy added.
Click here for pictures from Pro Day.