Pro Day March 8: Colorado

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

There were almost 25 teams on hand for Colorado's pro day, with the vast majority on hand to watch the Buffs defensive backs and a pair of underrated front-seven players.

UPDATE: 3:40PM, Thursday, March 9th

Defensive lineman Samson Kafovalu turned a lot of heads with his workout yesterday.  The senior measured 6040/299lbs, timed as low as 4.94s on several watches and also completed 33 reps on the bench press.  His other marks included 32.5 inches in the vertical jump and 8-foot-8 in the broad jump.

Kafovalu, projected at end in a 3-4 alignment as well as tackle in a 4-3, is drawing strong interest from the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins interest is significant as Kafovalu is the antithesis of starter Jordan Phillips.  Unlike Phillips, Kafovalu is a high revving, self starter who gets the most from his ability.

Linebacker Ken Olugbode had a strong workout timing 4.7s in the forty, completing 19 reps on the bench and posting a 35 inch vertical jump.

I continue to hear the New York Jets have a lot of interest in 350lb nose tackle Josh Tupou.  A late round pick, at the very least Tupou will off some competition at the position for the Jets.

One of the stars from the CU workout yesterday was not a Buff player but a running back from Western State, Austin Ekeler.

Wednesday, March 8th

The elusive ball carrier measured 5085/199lbs, timed 4.43s in the forty, touched 40.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10-foot-8 in the broad jump.

Jimmie Gilbert, who comes off a terrific senior season and a great week of practices at the Shrine Game but got snubbed by the combine, had a solid workout despite dealing with a bad hamstring.

Gilbert measured 6041 and 235 pounds, touched 37.5 inches in the vertical and ran the 40 as fast as 4.62s, tweaking his hamstring in the process. He timed 4.57s in the short shuttle but further injured the hamstring. He toughed it out during drills, but the hamstring issue kept him from being his best. Gilbert also completed 12 reps on the bench after measuring in with 34-inch arms.

Prior to the workout Gilbert met with the Detroit Lions, and he sat down with the Arizona Cardinals afterwards. 

Nose tackle Josh Tupou, another combine snub, also had a solid outing. The big man measured 6024 and 353 pounds, completed 29 reps on the bench (scouts took away two or three reps for not locking out) and ran the 40 in the 5.3 area with a 10-yard split of 1.9s. If you’ve watched film on Tupou the 10-yard split is not surprising, as he lacks top first-step quickness.

I’m told he looked smooth and athletic during position drills. I’m also told Tupou hopes to get his weight down into the 335-pound range before camp.

Tupou met with the New York Jets, who sent their defensive line coach to CU for the workout, the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

He has an official visit set up with the Seattle Seahawks, and those within the organization tell me the New England Patriots have interest in Tupou.

Unheralded Jordan Carrell caused a bit of a buzz with a fine performance.  

The defensive tackle measured 6021 and 293 pounds, timed in the mid-4.8’s in the 40 and touched 31.5 inches in the vertical jump. He completed 23 reps on the bench but had two taken away.

During drills Carrell looked smooth, quick and very fluid. He will be signed after the draft

Potential first-round pick Chidobe Awuzie re-did the vertical jump and touched 39.5 inches, a five-inch improvement from his combine mark. Awuzie had one-on-one meetings with defensive back coaches from the Cincinnati Bengals, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Lions.

The team’s other cornerback, Ahkello Witherspoon, sat on his combine numbers but did position drills. He was another who met with the Lions, and I’m told the Jets are showing strong interest in the potential third-round selection.