Florida headlined Thursday’s NFL pro day schedule, and there were some terrific performances at Appalachian State as well. With the latest on those workouts, as well as a few updates from last week, here is Thursday’s pro day report.
Pro Day News and Rumors: Anthony Richardson Stars in Interviews
While there are reports Richardson did not have dinner with the Carolina Panthers last night, people in Gainesville told me the signal-caller did meet with the franchise extensively yesterday. For those keeping score, Richardson completed 55 of 62 passes, though there were several drops.
He missed on a pair of 65-yard throws, but I’m told the receivers were not fast enough to run under his deep ball. There were a few passes that came out of his hand wobbly, and Richardson struggled to throw to his left. Passes to the right side were on the mark.
When it comes to Richardson the person, I’m hearing good things. He’s been described as humble and very down-to-earth during interviews. If you watched Football Insiders with Trey Wingo, Brett Yarris, and myself, I mentioned that I’m also getting excellent character reviews on C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young.
Speculation from league insiders during Florida’s pro day is the Seattle Seahawks could be the team that leapfrogs the Indianapolis Colts and trades up with the Arizona Cardinals to secure Richardson. Several reasons were given.
The cost to move up won’t be much for the Seahawks, who have another first-round pick — the 20th selection.
Additionally, the general manager and coach who draft Richardson have to be on safe footing. Even Russell Wilson couldn’t get Pete Carroll and John Schneider fired. Finally, Richardson is the type of freaky athlete that the Seahawks have drafted in the past and had success with — think Tariq Woolen and DK Metcalf.
As far as Richardson’s bust factor, people say it doesn’t matter. The fourth pick of last year’s draft, Sauce Gardner, signed a four-year deal worth $33.4 million, guaranteed. Kyler Murray will be the fifth highest-paid quarterback this season and is scheduled to make $39 million. In other words, the risk is worth the reward.
Justin Shorter looked good catching passes from Richardson today. He measured in at 234 pounds, five more than his Combine weight of 229. Shorter needs to polish his game, but he caught the ball well and is physically impressive.
He’s being looked at as a hybrid pass catcher — a sort of go-between a possession receiver and move-tight end. The Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars have shown plenty of interest in Shorter.
Defensive tackle Gervon Dexter looked terrific, even at 318 pounds which was ten heavier than his Combine weight. He looked agile and fluid during drills, and the increased weight had no effect. Dexter is reportedly at 15% body fat at his present weight.
I was told trainers had him doing a lot of cardio just before the Combine, and Dexter dropped a bunch of weight. The big defensive tackle has official 30 visits with the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens.
Offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence came in at the same weight at which he tipped the scales at the Combine — 330 pounds. But he looked cut up and smooth during position drills. Torrence ended the season at around 344 pounds and dropped weight during the pre-draft process. The Tennessee Titans ran him through offensive line drills. Torrence has official 30 visits with the Washington Commanders, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Detroit Lions.
Brenton Cox Jr. was welcomed back to UF with open arms for his pro day after being pushed out of the program at the end of last October. He came in at 259 pounds, up from his Combine weight of 250. Cox was unable to better his Combine 40-time (4.83 seconds) and only worked defensive line drills. He’s getting plenty of looks from the Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, and Minnesota Vikings.
Underrated linebacker Amari Burney had a terrific workout. He timed the forty as fast as 4.48 seconds, touched 33 inches in the vertical jump, 10’ in the broad jump, and completed 22 reps on the bench press. He has an official 30 visit with the Baltimore Ravens and has met with the Eagles.
Burney completed defensive back drills today at 230 pounds as opposed to linebacker drills. Since he was the only linebacker at the pro day, scouts gave him the option to work out by himself or participate with the defensive backs. Burney chose the latter. Ironically, his 40-time was two-tenths faster than the UF defensive backs who worked out — Trey Dean III and Rashad Torrence II.
Camerun Peoples Drawing Interest at Appalachian State
More than two dozen teams descended on Boone, North Carolina for Appalachian State’s Pro Day.
The big ticket item on hand was linebacker Nick Hampton, who stood on his Combine marks but did position drills.
Primarily used as a 3-4 pass-rushing linebacker in college and during the Senior Bowl, Hampton was asked to make plays in reverse and looked good. His drops were smooth, and he quickly changed direction and caught the ball well. The Green Bay Packers ran the drills and did plenty of extra one-on-one work with him later in the workout. Hampton also met with the Indianapolis Colts, Lions, and Vikings during his pro day.
He’s a natural fit as a 3-4 OLB, though several teams believe he can play with his hand in the ground. While he tips the scale under 240 pounds, his natural pass-rush skill trumps any inability to hold up against the run. It’s unlikely Hampton gets past the third round.
Running back Camerun Peoples sat on most of his numbers from the Combine and did position drills. The Packers have shown interest in the big ball carrier. He also met with the San Francisco 49ers and Bengals.
Offensive lineman Cooper Hodges tested incredibly well. His marks included 5.06 seconds in the 40, 29 reps in the bench press, 29″ in the vertical jump, and 9′ in the board. A right tackle for the Mountaineers, Hodges projects to guard and even did some snapping today. He’s already gone on an official 30 visit with the Kansas City Chiefs.
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