By Shehan Jeyarajah
Baylor football held its annual NFL Pro Day on Wednesday at the Simpson Athletic Complex and Allison Indoor Practice Facility. The football program hosted 36 representatives from 30 NFL teams.
“It’s always exciting at Pro Day,” head coach Art Briles said. “I think the guys competed well, just like they did in the fall. All these guys certainly helped us win a Big 12 Championships; it’s nice for them to go and see them try to get to the next level.”
NFL Draft prospects took part in the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 40-yard dash, 5-10-5 drill, 3-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle.
Wide receiver Darius Jones led the way in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.40 seconds. Cornerback Demetri Goodson and running back Lache Seastrunk both posted times of 4.46, improvements on both of their performances from the NFL Combine.
“The 40 is all about mechanics, all about little things,” Seastrunk said. “In real football, you’re not going to run a 40, you’re going to run zig-zags or in between the tackles or something. I don’t know what I ran, but all I know is that it was pretty lightning fast, that’s all I can tell you.”
Seastrunk showed up at Pro Day 11 pounds lighter than his 2013 playing weight and sporting a new clean-cut haircut, contrary to the short dreads he wore during the season.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Seastrunk said. “Not a lot of people get this opportunity and have this opportunity to be blessed to be able to be home first and second round. I’m just wanting to look professional, didn’t want to have no red flags against me. I just wanted to be able to come into my job opportunity with a new look.”
Wide receiver Tevin Reese also ran a 4.46 40-yard dash and participated in wide receiver drills on Pro Day.
“I wanted to come here and show them I can run, but also show that I’m more than just a speed receiver,” Reese said. “That’s why I wanted to do position drills, show them my hands and that I can catch the ball and get up field. Because I’m small, they don’t think I can go across the middle. I had to go out here and show them I can and then get up field and be an all-around receiver. I’ve always been that receiver.”
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright and Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams were in attendance to watch their former teammates.
“That’s exciting to see Baylor being referred to as Wide Receiver U,” Wright said. “If you’re a receiver, why not come to Baylor and play? We have quite a few receivers get drafted. I think Tevin improved his stock out here today. For him, just being able to go out here without getting nervous, I think that’s huge.”
Offensive guard Cyril Richardson did 27 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press, an improvement on his NFL Combine stats.
“I did good on everything, a lot better than I expected,” Richardson said. “After the Combine, I thought, I know I can do this better. I said it’s time to get back on the grind and push myself to succeed better.”
Six Baylor players previously took part in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Many of the players posted better times in the drills at their Pro Day than at the Combine.
“Food tastes better at home,” Briles said. “This is home for them, so they know what to expect before they get it, which is a very comfortable situation. The thing I think it correlates to is getting with a team and feeling comfortable with a team and they know what’s going to happen before it’s happen.”
Baylor had 18 athletes compete in Pro Day: running backs Seastrunk and Glasco Martin; receivers Reese, Terrance Nathan and Darius Jones; offensive linemen Richardson and Kelvin Palmer; defensive ends Terrance Lloyd and Chris McAllister; defensive backs Dixon, Goodson, Joe Williams and K.J Morton; linebackers Prince Kent and Cordarius Golston; tight end Jordan Najvar; kicker Aaron Jones; and long-snapper Zach Northern.
The 2014 NFL Draft will take place between May 8 and May 10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Baylor is second in the Big 12 with 11 NFL Draft picks over the past three seasons.