Pro Day March 12: Fort Hays State, Old Dominion & Arizona

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Half of the league descended upon Hays, Kansas, to watch Nathan Shepherd work out and the small-school defensive lineman did not disappoint. Also this morning: 22 teams stood in the cold and rain at Old Dominion to watch a pair of prospects. Here’s our first update of the day.

Arizona

Defensive back Dane Cruikshank was the highlight of Arizona's pro day. He stood on all his combine numbers, but the big defensive back did weigh in at 210 pounds, one pound heavier than he weighed in Indianapolis.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin put Cruikshank through a grueling set of position drills, and by all accounts he looked terrific. The team later spent an extensive amount of time with him.

Teams are split on where Cruikshank will play at the next level, as some feel he’s sized as a safety while others feel he has the ball skills to play cornerback. We presently grade the senior on our cornerback board.

Tennessee State

Cornerback Terrell Bonds, graded as a potential late-round choice entering the season, had a solid pro-day workout. Bonds measured 5085 and 184 pounds, ran the 40 in 4.51 (much better than the 4.64 scouts expected) and timed 4.23 in the short shuttle and 7.00 in the three-cone. He completed 14 reps on the bench press and reached 10-foot-2 in the broad jump.

Bonds will be visiting the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans as part of their local pro day and is drawing interest from the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins.

Middle Tennessee

Twenty-six teams were on hand for MTSU's pro day.

Receiver and return specialist Richie James stood on his combine numbers but was put through pass-catching drills and fielded both punts and kicks. He looked good, especially in special-teams drills.

James interviewed with the Bengals, Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Corner Charvarius Ward, who did not participate in the combine, measured 6005 and 198 pounds, had an arm length of 32-1/4 inches and a hand which came in at 10-1/8. He timed 4.47 in the 40 and 4.44 in the short shuttle, hit 37 inches in the vertical jump and 11-feet in the broad and completed 12 reps on the bench.

Fort Hays State

Sixteen teams were on hand to watch Nathan Shepherd, including defensive line coaches from the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals

Shepherd stood on his combine numbers, which included a 40 time of 5.09 (1.77 10-yard split), a 31-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 9-foot-4. Shepherd did not bench press at the combine or pro day, as he’s still receiving from the broken metacarpal he sustained in his left hand during Senior Bowl practices. I’m told Shepherd had been completing 35 reps on the bench prior to leaving for Mobile.

The Cincinnati Bengals ran the drills, and Shepherd was terrific. He easily moved about the field, displayed a good change of direction and looked very athletic.

Besides the four teams who sent defensive line coaches, I’m told the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions are very interested in Shepherd.

Some of the other names on hand today at Fort Hays State's pro day included the Atlanta Falcons (Russ Bolinger), Baltimore Ravens (Brandon Berning) and San Francisco (Justin Chabot)

Old Dominion

The ODU workout was held outdoors in 40-degree temperatures on a field drenched by overnight storms.

Running back Ray Lawry, graded as a potential sixth-round pick entering the season, measured 5090 and 205 pounds, touched 33.5 inches in the vertical jump and 9-foot-9 in the broad jump and averaged 4.51s in the 40. Times in the 40 ranged from the high-4.5s to the high-4.4s on the wet field. His three-cone clocked as low as 6.84.

Lawry, who struggled with a hamstring injury most of last season, looked good in drills and caught the ball exceptionally well. The Los Angeles Chargers, who lunched with Lawry, put the running back through drills. The senior also met with the Jacksonville Jaguars

Wake Forest

The Wake Forest pro day does not take place until tomorrow, but sources tell me that fast-rising safety Jessie Bates III, who’s moved into the second day of the draft, was seen having dinner this evening with Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin.