It's not often that the University at Buffalo is a premier stop on the pro day tour, but more than 20 teams were in attendance to watch All-American pass rusher Khalil Mack, among others, perform a variety of drills.
Per Jeff Reynolds of CBS Sports, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine and Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley were all in attendance on Tuesday. SB Nation's Buffalo blog, UB Bull Run, had a breakdown prior to the pro day of the scouts that were expected to attend, and there's plenty of note.
Mack is less than two weeks removed from his impressive showing at the 2014 NFL Combine, but managed to improve his 40-yard dash time to match that of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Mack has been considered one of the top defensive ends coming out this year, so we'll start with him and then get through the rest of Buffalo's pro day and into others from Tuesday:
Khalil Mack impresses in 40
After finishing with an official time of 4.65 seconds at the Combine, scouts clocked Mack between 4.53 and 4.55 seconds on Tuesday, according to Reynolds.
While one reporter from the Toronto Sun spoke to a scout that timed Mack at 4.45 seconds, Bills writer Chris Trapasso spoke to five scouts who had times in the range that Reynolds reported. With an improvement of a tenth of a second on his combine time, Mack may have separated himself from the rest of the field as the best defensive player available after Clowney. Putting up 23 reps on the bench press doesn't hurt his case, either.
The Buccaneers were one of the teams showing interest in Mack, as they had their defensive line coach run him trough drills.
Bucs were not only at Buffalo LB/DE Khalil Mack's pro day today, but had DL coach Joe Cullen running him through drills, per @ChrisTrapasso— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 4, 2014
They've got his results over at UB Bull Run as well.
Chris Trapasso had a Vine of Mack running the 40 below:
40 time: 4.54
Bench press: 23
Branden Oliver puts up 26 reps
Running back Branden Oliver, who was considered a fringe candidate at the position, put up a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash. The 40 time isn't the be-all, end-all for running backs or anything, but that's a decent time, especially compared to the original estimation of 4.63 seconds. He was already considered a late-round pick. Then again, putting up 26 reps of 225 pounds at the bench press can't hurt his stock, either. According to Trapasso, Oliver impressed in that drill and received applause from the crowd watching.
40 time: 4.63
Bench press: 26 reps
Alex Neutz sustains injury, but shows off solid speed
Another big name is wide receiver Alex Neutz. He's been considered a potential late-round pick thanks to his impressive hands, and after three attempts on the 40-yard dash, put up something in the 4.57-4.59 range, according to Trapasso. Unfortunately for Neutz, he also hurt his hamstring on his final 40-yard dash attempt, according to Chris Brown of the Bills' team website. It's unclear how serious, if at all, the injury is at this point, but it's worth noting at the very least. He also managed to put up 14 reps on the bench press.
40 time: 4.58
Bench press: 14 reps
Najja Johnson looks to be the fastest at Buffalo
Johnson has gone under the radar big time in his four seasons with Buffalo, but he was impressive in the drills on Tuesday. Johnson received an unofficial 4.38 in his second 40-yard dash attempt, according to the team's Twitter account, though Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News reported that he was recorded as quickly as 4.32 on said attempt.
40 time: 4.38
Broad jump: 10'8.5
Fred Lee puts up 10 reps
Lee didn't take part in everything on Tuesday. He's hoping to make it as a late-round pick or find himself picked up as an undrafted free agent. He managed just 10 reps on the bench press and that's all we have from his day thus far.
Bench press: 10 reps
Okoye Houston runs a 4.56
Houston is part of a very strong safety class this year, but has good film to back up his numbers, and on Tuesday, he put up a decent 40-yard dash time of 4.56 seconds. There's no word on any other measurements just yet.
40 time: 4.56
Buffalo wasn't the only school to hold a pro day on Tuesday. Auburn also hosted its pro day and there's plenty more high-profile players worth looking into, from Dee Ford to Greg Robinson to Tre Mason. There were also plenty of eyes at said pro day, as it sounds like every NFL team had someone present, so we're going to jump into the results:
Dee Ford has huge day
After being sidelined for the NFL Combine in February, this was Ford's chance to shine. Considered a fringe first-round pick prior to the combine, he needed a big day to solidify himself as a top-32 pick. Ford improved on a fast 40-yard dash time his second time out, putting up an unofficial 4.53, according to the official Auburn Tigers football Twitter account. That's incredibly fast, and ties him with Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus top defensive player coming out this year.
In addition to his solid 40 time, Ford also managed to put up 29 reps on the bench press, as noted by Auburn Gold Mine, and also managed a monster broad jump of 10'4, again according to the Auburn football Twitter account. He had a very impressive performance and did a lot for his draft stock, for certain.
40 time: 4.53
Bench press: 29
Broad jump: 10'4
Greg Robinson sheds five pounds
Widely considered to be one of the top offensive lineman prospects coming out this year, Robinson might be the first of Auburn's players off the board in May. Robinson is considered the top tackle prospect, which essentially guarantees a top-10 selection. The most significant news regarding him to this point is the fact that he came in at 327 pounds, five pounds lighter than he measured at the NFL Combine in February. Knox Bardeen tweeted a photo of Robinson speaking with offensive line coaches from the Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams. The Rams have the No. 2 overall pick and could definitely grab Robinson at that point in the draft, or maybe a couple spots down if they trade.
Tre Mason runs the 3-cone
Mason is one of the top offensive players in the nation, but he didn't do a lot at the pro day on Tuesday. Mason had a solid scouting combine showing, including a 4.5 40-yard dash, and decided to sit on most of those times. The only drill he took part in was the 3-cone drill, though the only report we have on his time is from ESPN 106.5 The Drive, which clocked him at a solid 6.7.
3-cone drill: 6.7
Blake Poole turns heads with fast 40
Though he's gone slightly under the radar, the defensive back turned heads with a blazing 40-yard dash on Tuesday. Poole turned in a 4.45 on his first run and a 4.48 on his second, but some clocked him as fast as 4.38 on his second attempt.
40 time: 4.38
Jay Prosch impresses
Fullback Jay Prosch has always been considered an athletic freak. It's not often you see fullbacks making headlines, but he did have an impressive outing at the pro day on Tuesday. He managed to put up a whopping 27 reps on the bench press, as noted by Auburn Gold Mine, and added a 4.72 40-yard dash time, which is pretty darn fast for someone at his position, as noted by Joel Erickson.
40 time: 4.72
Bench press: 27 reps
Davis has strong vert
Chris Davis is another player who had a lot to prove on Tuesday, especially after he, like Ford, missed the combine due to injury. Davis ended up posting a 40.5 in the vertical jump, according to Ryan Black of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, which comes up just an inch shy of the top mark at the combine. His 40-yard dash of 4.51, reported by the Auburn football account, was solid.
40 time: 4.51
Vertical jump: 40.5
There are not a whole bunch of big names coming out of Eastern Illinois, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is one player worth some attention. Garoppolo has been considered a second-round pick by most draft experts, and drew the attention of one high profile coach in particular at Northwestern's pro day (Eastern Illinois doesn't have their own pro day) on Tuesday: San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, according to Peggy Kusinski of NBC Chicago.
According to Mike Huguenin of NFL.com, Harbaugh had Garoppolo throw with him on an "off-limits-to-others part of the field," and the two spent about 45 minutes together. Garoppolo will be wanting an opportunity to start, which he won't get in San Francisco, but the 49ers need a solid backup and learning behind Colin Kaepernick for a few years would certainly benefit Garoppolo.