Pro Day March 10: Tulsa & Alabama State

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

There are several interesting workouts on the pro-day schedule that we are following today, including Northern Illinois, Tulsa, Auburn and Alabama State.

Alabama State

This was a workout I was looking forward to hearing about, and it met all expectations. The team has three sleepers who scouts went to watch and people must pay attention to.

Tight end Brandon Barnes measured 6047 and 255 pounds, had an arm length of 35 inches and hands which stretched 10 7/8 inches. He pushed up 20 reps on the bench, touched 35.5 inches in the vertical jump and reached 9-foot-6 in the broad. He ran the 40 in 4.69s, timed 7.01s in the three-cone, 12.12s in the 60-yard shuttle and 4.28s in the short shuttle despite slipping.

I’m told he looked terrific during pass-catching drills and with his hand size looked as though he was plucking baseballs from the air. I would expect Barnes’ schedule to quickly fill up with official visits, and he’s moved into the last day of the draft.

Defensive tackle Rod Henderson measured 6004 and 339 pounds, down some 35 pounds from his playing weight. He completed 26 reps on the bench and posted a 28-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-1 in the broad jump. His 40 time of 5.22s included a 10-yard split of 1.79s. Henderson ran a time of 4.82s in the short shuttle.

I’m told Henderson looked exceptional during drills, displaying great quickness and solid movement skills. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans were on hand for Henderson. This is the second time this week I’ve reported the Jets and Seahawks on hand to see a late-round/free agent wide-bodied NT/DT.

I’m still waiting on official numbers for offensive tackle Jylan Ware but was told he looked terrific during drills. Ware measured over 6-foot-7 and clocked under five seconds in the 40 on a number of watches.

I have Ware graded just outside of draftable territory in our tackle rankings.


There was a moderate crowd of NFL teams on hand at Tulsa to watch three players from the offensive side of the ball.

The main attraction was receiver/return specialist Keevan Lucas, who participated in the combine last week.

Lucas touched 37 inches in the vertical jump, almost five inches better than his combine mark of 32.5. His broad jump reached 10-foot-3, a four-inch improvement from Indianapolis.

Lucas looked good during position drills, catching just about everything thrown to him. Teams are also excited about his potential as a return specialist.

The Kansas City Chiefs worked him out individually today, and Lucas met with the Minnesota Vikings. The Arizona Cardinals are also showing a lot of interest in the skill prospect.

Josh Atkinson, the team's other receiver, ran 4.60s in the 40 despite suffering from a quad issue. His other marks included 34 inches in the vertical jump and 12 reps on the bench. Atkinson measured 6005 and 200 pounds.

I’m told the arm strength of quarterback Stephen Evans turned a few heads. As one person on the scene told me, “Evans can spin it and deliver the ball with speed.” The problem for Evans is size, and he measures just over 6-feet tall. Of the 50 passes he threw, only three were counted as errant tosses.

Northern Illinois

The only player from NIU who participated at the combine last week was receiver Kenneth Golladay, and he exceeded expectations. Moving into Friday’s workout, we were concentrating on two other players from the offense.

Golladay stood on his combine numbers but did go through position drills. I’m told the Cincinnati Bengals put the receiver through drills and the Detroit Lions sent their receivers coach to inspect Golladay.

Underrated offensive lineman Levon Myers had a solid day. The college left tackle, who projects to guard on Sunday, measured 6046 and 309 pounds, completed 24 reps on the bench press and timed 5.38s in the 40.

I’m told he looked solid in drills and was much more athletic than his numbers would lend one to believe. The Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams have shown a lot of interest in Myers, who many thought deserved an invitation to the combine.

Running back Joel Bouagnon also looked good. Measuring 6011 and 230 pounds, Bouagnon timed 4.61s in the 40, 4.31 in the short shuttle and 6.90 in the three-cone. He touched 34 inches in the vertical jump and 10-foot-2 in the broad.

Bouagnon, who had dinner with the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday night and met with the San Diego Chargers after the workout, looked good in drills.

New Mexico

The New Mexico workout took place Wednesday, and only three teams made the trip. They included the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets, the latter of which sent their special teams coach.

Running back Teriyon Gipson, younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson, measured 5083 and 187 pounds and timed in the low-4.4s in the 40 (4.40s/4.43s) and 4.22s in the short shuttle. His vertical was 36.5 inches and his broad jump was 10-feet even.

Underrated blocker Reno Henderson measured 6045 and 287 pounds, timed 5s flat in the 40 and 4.9s in the short shuttle. Henderson did not bench after tweaking his shoulder in training.

Henderson is hoping to participate in another workout, whether locally near New Mexico or in his home state of Florida.