Pro Day News and Rumors: Deonte Banks, Calijah Kancey, and Drew Sanders Solidify Draft Stock

The NFL Pro Day schedule continues, providing more news and rumors coming out of events from Pitt, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Maryland.

Pro Day News and Rumors: Deonte Banks, Calijah Kancey, and Drew Sanders Solidify Draft Stock

Maryland and Pittsburgh headlined Wednesday’s NFL Pro Day schedule, and there were some terrific performances at Ole Miss and Arkansas as well. With the latest on those four workouts, as well as a few updates from last week, here is Wednesday’s pro day report.

Pro Day News and Rumors: Calijah Kancey Dominates Pro Day Workout

The Pittsburgh Panthers have three defensive linemen who should be drafted.

Defensive tackle Calijah Kancey followed up his swift 40-yard dash time at the Combine with a few other terrific testing numbers. He timed as fast as 4.28 seconds in the short shuttle, 6.9 seconds in the three-cone, and touched 33.5″ in the vertical jump. Kancey looked good in position drills and met with the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints.

The underrated Deslin Alexandre measured a shade over 6’4” and 275 pounds. His 40 times ranged from 4.72 to 4.83 seconds, and his three-cone was a swift 6.92 seconds. Alexandre also hit 35″ on the vertical jump.

He’s being looked at as an interchangeable DE/DT, and teams like his athleticism and pass-rush ability on the inside. Alexandre is drawing interest from the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. He also had dinner with the Saints the night before pro day.

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Defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado, who gave PFN a great interview during Shrine Bowl practices, participated in the shuttles and position drills. His three-cone was an impressive 6.92 seconds, and his short shuttle was 4.21 seconds. Baldonado spent time with the Packers and Saints, both of whom had defensive line coaches on hand.

Rarely mentioned offensive guard Marcus Minor measured 6’4’’, 310 pounds, and completed 31 reps on the bench press with arms that measured 33.5″. He had a 30″ vertical jump and ran the three-cone in 7.75 seconds.

Minor has been on my radar since his days at Maryland when he played alongside Jaelyn Duncan. Minor won’t get drafted but will compete for a spot in a power-gap scheme. He’ll be attending the Buffalo Bills’ local pro day.

Is Deonte Banks a First-Round Lock?

When multiple special teams coaches show up on a pro day it’s a big deal, and that’s exactly what happened at Maryland. As I tweeted out earlier, the Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, and New England Patriots had special teams coaches on hand to watch kicker Chad Ryland’s workout.

Ryland was terrific when indoors. The Patriots took him outside to work in the elements, and he did well enough to cement himself in the late rounds.

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Cornerback Deonte Banks sat on his Combine performance and did not even take part in position drills today. That’s not a big deal, as the junior will likely end up in the bottom third of Round 1. Teams have been impressed with Banks during the interview process and say the big corner comes across as completely genuine and someone who loves football. Banks met with the Saints, Minnesota Vikings, and Baltimore Ravens.

Receiver Jacob Copeland also sat on his Combine numbers and did position drills. Copeland, who was timed as fast as 4.37 seconds during the 40 in Indianapolis, met extensively with the Titans, a franchise that needs a speed receiver.

Jadon Haselwood, Drew Sanders, and Zach Evans Perform Well

There were a few standout performers between the Ole Miss and Arkansas pro days.

Running back Zach Evans, who did not work out at the Combine, timed 4.45 seconds in the 40, 7.08 seconds in the three-cone, and 4.26 seconds in the short shuttle. He was solid and smooth in position drills.

Safety AJ Finley, who was a star during Shrine Bowl practices and then snubbed by the Combine, timed 4.47 seconds in the 40, 7.01 in the three-cone, and 4.24 in the short shuttle. He also hit 35.5″ in the vertical jump. Finley is an aggressive safety who would do well in a zone system and lend a hand on special teams.

Another Shrine Bowl participant, Arkansas receiver Jadon Haselwood, really improved his 40 time from the Combine. The junior, who timed in the low 4.6s in Indianapolis, was clocked between 4.47 to 4.54 yesterday. Haselwood measured 6’2 1/4″ and 215 pounds at the Combine with 10-inch hands. I’m told he looked terrific in drills and met with the Ravens, Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns at length during pro day.

Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders, who did not run at the Combine, turned in an impressive workout. His 40 times ranged from 4.57 to 4.65 seconds, and he touched 37″ in the vertical jump.

Sanders looked equally athletic during drills and translated that speed onto the field. He’ll now compete with Trenton Simpson of Clemson and Jack Campbell of Iowa to be the second true linebacker drafted after Nolan Smith.

Offensive lineman Nick Broeker, who played left tackle for two years before moving into guard this season, took snaps at center for scouts.

Tony Pauline is an NFL Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @TonyPauline.

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