Pro Day March 16: UPDATE - Clemson
Tony PaulineDraft Analyst Writer
The big pro day on today’s schedule is Clemson, while Illinois and Penn State will also work out for scouts. Also included are a few notes from yesterday’s workout at UNC Charlotte and Portland State.
The two standouts at Penn State pro day were a pair of juniors, Chris Godwin and Garrett Sickels.
Godwin stood on most of his combine numbers but looked tremendous catching the ball. Those on hand said he was very quick and looked natural in all aspects of the position.
Earlier this week, it was announced Godwin will be visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was on hand at Thursday's pro day for a little advanced scouting.
Sickels re-did everything from the combine and significantly improved all his marks. He measured a shade under 6-foot-4, weighed 255 pounds and touched 33.5 inches in the vertical jump. His 40 was timed in the high-4.7s to low-4.8s, while his three-cone was a very swift 6.8s.
Sickels worked both defensive line and linebacker drills, looking very athletic and fluid in each. Teams love the fact he can line up at multiple positions and in multiple schemes, with someone referring to him as a “Swiss Army Knife.”
Sickels met with the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and New York Jets.
Still waiting on numbers, but here’s a very interesting note from ASU's pro day; I’m told Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis and the Bengals special teams coach made the trip out west.
The pair is on hand to scout Zane Gonzalez, our top-rated kicker, as the team is expected to select one at some point during the draft.
UPDATE 3:15 PM
I’ve heard several really positive reviews about Carlos Watkins. His 40 times, as we mentioned earlier, were not only good for a big man, but good for a big man getting over a hamstring issue, which is why Watkins did not run at the combine.
Everyone I spoke with mentioned the good shape Watkins is in and how well he held up today despite being worked hard by Cincinnati Bengals defensive line coach Jacob Burney. Watkins definitely helped himself.
Watkins met with the Pittsburgh Steelers last night -- Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin were on hand today -- as well as the Indianapolis Colts and is meeting with the Detroit Lions as well.
The performance of Jordan Leggett continues to receive high praise.
Two things really impressed scouts today; Leggett’s 40 time and the strength he displayed during blocking drills. The Cincinnati Bengals spent a significant amount of time with Leggett who also met with the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets.
The Jets had their tight end coach on hand as well as Rex Hogan, the team’s director of college scouting.
Linebacker Ben Boulware looked terrific in bag drills today and better in coverage drills. While he’s not a player that will be asked to drop in space much, his hip movement and backpedal looked the best it has been the past two months.
I shared opinions about Deshaun Watson with several people this afternoon and the consensus remains the same; his accuracy and timing on the deep outs and out to the flanks will be an issue for teams. A longtime friend affiliated with Clemson told me Watson struggles throwing to his left and it showed today.
As is the case with most pro days, 40 times are unofficial and all over the place.
Sources timing on the ground tell me they had receivers Mike Williams at 4.51s/4.49s and Artavis Scott at 4.50s/4.51s, tight end Jordan Leggett 4.69s/4.68s, defensive tackle Carlos Watkins at 5.00s/5.01s and linebacker Ben Boulware at 4.79s.
Except for one deep pass which was an outright drop, Williams caught the ball very well. Once again he showed the ability to snatch the pass from the air with his hands and is very natural catching the ball. His route-running is awful. Williams rounds his routes and shows little in the way of quickness into his breaks.
I thought Scott did relatively well during the position drills. He caught the ball well and shows a lot of quickness in his game. Scott is going to be a late-round gem as a slot receiver and return specialist.
Leggett was a big winner today. The tight end ran well in the 40, was timed in the three-cone at 7.15s and caught the ball well.
While he had a solid pro day, I thought Deshaun Watson threw the ball better during the combine. Much has been made about Watson’s ball speed and the MPH. I’m more concerned with receivers waiting for passes to arrive or slowing up in routes so the ball can arrive versus MPH on the ball. I saw that often today. That’s a combination of ball speed as well as timing, and it’s a dangerous intangible on Sundays.
More as it comes in.
The workout at Illinois is just beginning. I’m told 31 teams are on hand, every franchise in the league except the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach is on hand to watch Wes Lunt.
Kevin Greene of the New York Jets is presently working out Dawuane Smoot and Carroll Phillips.
This is the third consecutive pro day where Greene has run the linebacker drills, as he was on hand directing the Youngstown State workout on Tuesday and was in Wisconsin yesterday for the Badgers' duo.
The UNC Charlotte pro day was held outside yesterday in windy 18-degree temperatures. I received a variety of opinions on Larry Ogunjobi, with the majority of them being positive.
He was worked hard for 20 minutes by the Cincinnati Bengals and -- except for hitting a few bags with his feet during drills, where teams want to see clean footwork -- he looked good. Once again comments were made on how ripped and physically fit Ogunjobi looked.
Keep an eye on running back Kalif Phillips. Measuring 5093 and 218 pounds, Phillips timed 4.64s in the 40, 4.35s in the short shuttle and 7s in the three-cone. He also completed 17 reps on the bench press.
Phillips is getting a lot of attention from the Los Angeles Chargers. The Green Bay Packers are also showing interest in the sturdy ball carrier.
There were two players worthy of mention from pro day at PSU, which was held Wednesday.
Cornerback Xavier Coleman, who received a priority free-agent grade from scouts entering the season, measured 5110 and 190 pounds, completed 17 reps on the bench and touched 40 inches on the vertical jump and 10-foot-5 in the broad. His 40 time averaged 4.48s and he clocked 4.13s in the short shuttle and 6.86s in the three-cone.
Coleman has an official predraft visit scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks.
Center/guard Cam Keizur, who’s rated slightly higher on our board than his teammate, measured 6035 and 303 pounds, completed 29 reps on the bench and touched 35.5 inches in the vertical jump and 9-foot-3 in the broad jump. His 40 time of 5.1s included a 1.75s 10-yard split. His short shuttle was 4.7s and three-cone 7.68s.
Keizur has a visit scheduled with the Atlanta Falcons and a workout with the Detroit Lions.