The Kentucky, Stephen F. Austin, and San Jose State Pro Days were the next stops on the NFL Pro Day schedule, as several highly-rated prospects worked out in front of NFL decision-makers. Let’s take a look at how prospects such as Will Levis, BJ Thompson, and Viliami Fehoko performed during today’s events, as well as the other headlines coming out of Kentucky, SFA, and San Jose State.
Pro Day News and Rumors | Kentucky QB Will Levis’ Performance
It was a who’s who at Kentucky’s Pro Day. Front offices from the teams selecting at the top of the draft made their final stop this week after checking out Ohio State’s and Alabama’s Pro Days.
The internet and sports media world was buzzing about the deep passes delivered by Will Levis today, and he was able to spin the ball with ease. But that tells just a small part of the story.
Once again, scouts came away unimpressed with the shorter throws delivered by Levis and his inability to put touch on passes. All too often, the big-armed quarterback was trying to throw the ball through a brick wall rather than deliver a catchable pass in the short-to-intermediate field.
MORE: Key Takeaways From Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Will Levis’ Pro Days
The general consensus was he was throwing darts when he should be putting touch on passes or air under the ball. Even in warm-ups, scouts noted Levis was trying to throw the ball through pass catchers.
Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. had a good day and cemented himself as a middle-round choice. He timed in the high 4.4s to low 4.5’s in the 40-yard dash — depending on the watch — and hit 33″ on the vertical jump. Rodriguez looked good in RB drills, which were run by the Indianapolis Colts, and caught the ball extremely well.
BJ Thompson, Xavier Gipson Highlight Stephen F. Austin’s Pro Day
More than two dozen teams were on hand for SFA’s Pro Day — a large number for an FCS school with just two late-round prospects. The wind made the conditions difficult, but there were solid performances.
Shrine Bowl participant BJ Thompson performed well despite suffering from food poisoning and being physically ill before the workout. He measured 243 pounds (after vomiting), up six pounds from his Shrine Bowl weight of 238 and 22 more than his season-ending weight of 221.
Thompson measured a shade under 6’5 1/2″ at the Shrine Bowl. He touched 37.5″ in the vertical jump and 10’5″ in the broad, despite jumping into a stiff wind. His 40 times ranged from 4.55 to 4.62 seconds. Thompson was put through defensive end and linebacker drills under the watchful eye of the Cincinnati Bengals defensive line coach. He’s already had official top 30 visits with the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions.
Xavier Gipson, quite possibly to most underrated wide receiver/return specialist in this year’s draft, also had a good day. He measured slightly over 5’9″ and tipped the scale at 189 pounds, 12 heavier than scouts expected. Gipson then timed as fast as 4.38 seconds in the 40. He looked terrific in receiver and return drills.
Gipson’s college stats are pretty astounding — he averaged 18.1 yards per catch on 146 receptions the past three seasons, with 22 TDs. He’s also averaged 20.2 yards on 17 punt returns the past two seasons, with 3 TDs. The Dallas Cowboys are expected to invite Gipson to their local pro day, and he’s drawing a lot of interest from the Chicago Bears.
Large Turn Out at San Jose State for Viliami Fehoko
More than 40 scouts were on hand for SJSU’s Pro Day, quite likely a record for the Mountain West program. And most were on hand to see defensive lineman Viliami Fehoko, who did not disappoint. Fehoko tipped the scales at 282 pounds, six more than his weight at the Combine.
He ran in the low 4.7s (4.72 seconds on many watches) and looked outstanding in position drills. He was relentless during defensive line drills, which were run by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons had DL coaches on-site as well.
Fehoko measures a shade under 6’4″ and comes with arms that are 33″. He’s one of the most intense defenders you’ll find in this year’s draft class and offers the versatility to be used at a number of spots up front. He projects as a middle-round pick, and Fehoko could sneak into the third round.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Receiver Elijah Cooks measured 6’3″ and 219 pounds. He touched 37 1/2″ in the vertical jump and 10’6″ in the broad. Cooks then timed in the mid-to-low 4.5s in the 40.
Cooks accounted for more than 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last year at San Jose State — his first with the program. He was one of Carson Strong’s favorite wideouts at Nevada in 2019 before struggling with injury the following year. Cooks is not a deep threat but rather a solid possession receiver that is a proven red-zone target.