Pro Day March 8: Oklahoma

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

UPDATE - 2:45 PM: Day two on the pro-day schedule is a huge one as NFL general managers, coaches and scouts will be spread out around the nation. Alabama, Oklahoma and Colorado are the biggest workouts of the day, but we’re also keeping an eye on Temple, Marshall and Kentucky.

Oklahoma

Obviously Joe Mixon is the name that will be mentioned most during the Sooners' pro day, as the controversial running back works out for the first time after not being invited to the combine.

It will also be the first time maligned receiver Dede Westbrook works out after declining an invitation to participate in the Senior Bowl and then not working out at the combine.

For those keeping track, Westbrook met with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday night.

Running back Samaje Perine will run the 40, trying to improve on his combine mark, and he also plans on participating in position drills.

UPDATE 6PM

I'm told Dede Westbrook met one-on-one with the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers. As I posted on Twitter, the Jets ran the pass-catching workout for the receivers and running backs.

UPDATE 2:45

The Oklahoma pro day is over, and several prospects looked very good.

Let’s start with running back Joe Mixon, who performed as expected.

Mixon’s 40 times ranged from 4.43s to 4.46s, his short shuttle timed 4.25s and he clocked around seven seconds flat in the three-cone. All those marks ranked top six when compared to the times of running backs at the combine.

His other marks included 9-foot-10 in the broad jump and 35 inches in the vertical jump, and he looked strong in completing 21 reps on the bench.

I thought Mixon looked a little stiff in ball-carrying drills, especially bag drills when he moved laterally.

The pass-catching drills were another story altogether.

Mixon looked natural catching the ball, running sharp, crisp routes and snatching the ball with his hands away from his frame. His quickness and footwork into breaks and exiting routes was outstanding. I saw one deep pass route hit the turf.

When all is said and done, this workout was expected by Mixon and his numbers will come as a surprise to no one.

Where does Mixon get drafted? Does he even get drafted?

The resounding theme I hear can be summed up by what I was told by a team a little while ago: “I hope someone else drafts him so we aren’t tempted.” The last time I heard this type of comment made about a player was in 2014. The player was Johnny Manziel.

Samaje Perine slightly improved his combine time of 4.65s in the 40, clocking under 4.6s on a number of watches. I thought he looked better than Mixon in ball-carrying drills, as he was looser and quicker. Mixon had a large edge during the pass-catching drills.

Dede Westbrook was impressive running the 40 and looked like a Sunday receiver in position drills.

He clocked in the mid-to-high 4.3’s in the 40 (4.36s) and reached 10-feet-even in the broad jump.

His pass-catching workout was exceptional.

Westbrook practiced at his 40 speed, showing a tremendous burst which he turned on in a single step. He easily caught deep passes in stride and consistently made the catch away from his frame.

His route-running was impressive. Westbrook exploded into routes, quickly exited out of breaks and stayed on balance.

Overall it was a terrific day for Westbrook, which makes you wonder why he refused to participate at the Senior Bowl or workout at the combine. He’s a talent but the latter two statements will hurt his draft stock.

Linebacker Jordan Evans won’t receive the headlines of Mixon or Westbrook, but one can argue he improved his draft stock more than anyone else.

Evans, who entered the season graded by scouts as a street free agent with 4.8 speed, timed in the low-to-mid 4.5s in the 40, 7.03s in the three cone and 4.28s in the short shuttle

He also touched 38.5 inches during the vertical jump. His vertical jump bettered any linebacker mark at the combine.

Evans looked terrific in position drills. He was quick-footed in cover drills, flipped his hips with ease and got great depth. Presently graded as a free agent by just about everyone, there are several teams who now stamp Evans as a fifth or sixth-rounder.

Charles Walker looked very impressive in drills. He was quick-footed moving laterally in bag drills and showed a good degree of athleticism.

Defensive tackle Jordan Wade deserves mention, as the big man ran the 40 in 5.16s and completed 30 reps on the bench.

I was surprised to see the Oklahoma pro day sparsely crowded considering the Mixon/Westbrook workouts. One source told me it was bad timing to have a pro day scheduled at the same time that Alabama is working out, never mind the fact that free agency begins in a few hours.