College area scout Todd Brunner had a few days to relax after the Combine, but he's back on the road again covering college Pro Days. Find out where he's been and what he's seen...**
The month of March is usually a busy time for NFL scouts as we try to hit the majority of Pro Days in our respective areas.
My first Pro Day was last week at the University of Delaware where I had a chance to see quarterback Joe Flacco throw again. There was a big turnout with most people there to watch Flacco and once again he did well for himself. I thought he looked really good in his workout, and he really fits the bill for those teams in need of a quarterback. I've gotten to know him fairly well. He's a good kid and it's nice to see things go well for him.
It also gave running back Omar Cuff another chance to show NFL scouts what he could do, and so it was good overall exposure for Delaware and their program there.
I also went to Wagner College last week, which is a small school in Staten Island. I worked out a kicker, and then also a fullback from Maine who lives in Long Island. The kicker has a very strong leg and did well. He has chance to come in and help somebody out on kickoffs. He needs to work on his accuracy, but he had a very strong leg and could possibly be a developmental guy for somebody. The fullback is a big sized kid and also did what I expected him to do in his workout.
This week I hit three Pro Days, heading first to the University of Maryland on Wednesday morning for their scheduled Pro Day. They had all of their seniors working out, about 12 guys. They had a defensive lineman I wanted to see, Dre Moore, and then also two running backs, Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball. Some of you might remember Dre getting some mention at the Combine because he did well in his 40, but a couple of these other guys weren't at the Combine, so it gave me a better feel for them after they worked out.
One player in particular who I was interested in watching was Erin Henderson, a junior linebacker who came out early and declared for the draft. Being at the Pro Day gave me another chance to get more of a feel for him, and then also another opportunity to meet with coaches, and gather some more background information on him.
I went into West Virginia on Thursday, where they had three juniors working out in Steve Slaton, Darius Reynaud and Johnny Dingle. They all three did very well for themselves really. Slaton did very well and ran very fast, as did Reynaud. Even Dingle ran very well for a big guy and was in the 4.8's.
Friday morning I was at Duquesne which is in Pittsburgh, so there were a lot of kids from the Pittsburgh area who came for the workout. It was good for me to make it there because you never know when a small school kid is going to pop up and you want to have as much information as you can. Year in and year out, small school kids tend to pop up on rosters and camps so you have to keep your eyes and ears open to find that so-called sleeper.
At all of these workouts you get to see who's in shape and who's not in shape. If a kid comes into his Pro Day and he's out of shape, there's a problem there. Players have a couple months to prepare and if they're serious about playing in the NFL, they'll get themselves in shape. They need to be ready to run the drills and know how to do everything, and when they are out of shape you wonder who they're training with.
Hopefully I don't come across many of those as I wrap up these Pro Days. Next week I'll be going to William and Mary, Boston College and Virginia Teach. Boston College will be very interesting because it will be the first time Matt Ryan has worked out and the NFL Network is going to be there broadcasting it. Boston College also lets outsiders work out so the rumor is there is going to be 60-plus players, so it could also make for a very long day!
Virginia Tech has a lot of receivers down there – Josh Morgan, Justin Harper, Eddie Royal, and then it will also be nice to see Brandon Flowers again because he didn't have a great Combine as far as his numbers were concerned. I think he'll be really focused and will want to show the NFL that he can run faster than he did at the Combine. He sure does play faster than he ran, and so I'm anxious to see how he does because he's a good player. From sitting down and meeting with him I also know he's a good kid and I hope things work out for the best for him.
Obviously I have kept an eye on what our team has done in free agency as well, because that can impact what you in the draft.
I think all the guys we've added are going to help the team. I think Isaac Bruce stands out because he has veteran leadership and a proven track record. He's probably nearing the end of his career, but he's still a really good player and he's going to get the job done. He can teach some of the young guys and I expect him to be a positive influence.
I remember Justin Smith when he came out and he was a high pick, as well as DeShaun Foster, and when you remember liking those guys back when they came out of college, it does tend to get you excited when you finally land them on your team!
I'm looking forward to seeing how they fit in as camp gets underway!