Baylor Football shines at the NFL Combine

Baylor offensive lineman Kyle Fuller runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 3, 2017. Photo credit: Associated Press

By Jakob Brandenburg | Reporter

Three former Baylor football players participated in the NFL Scouting Combine last week at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Wide receiver KD Cannon, quarterback Seth Russell and center Kyle Fuller participated in tests, drills and interviews while being evaluated by all 32 NFL teams. The six day event lasted from Feb. 28-March 6.

The combine acts as a job interview of sorts, only in addition to meetings with NFL personnel, players have their measurements taken and go through athletic testing and position specific drills.

For example, the 40-yard dash is used to measure a player’s speed, while strength is measured by how many times a player can bench press 225 pounds. Vertical jumps and broad jumps are among other tests used to gauge a prospect’s explosiveness and general athleticism.

Cannon, a junior who left school a year early for the NFL, measured in at 5’11” and 182 pounds. Cannon ran a 4.41 second 40-yard dash, which was the fourth fastest time of all the receivers at the combine. Baylor’s leading receiver from this past season also posted a 37-inch vertical jump, which tied him for fifth best at his position.

In the wide receiver on-field drills, Cannon flashed his hands and made multiple acrobatic catches.

One of the many people Cannon impressed was NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

“KD Cannon ran fast and looked really comfortable running routes he wasn’t asked to run in college,” Jeremiah tweeted.

Jeremiah’s tweet included an up arrow emoji, indicating Cannon’s draft stock was rising with NFL teams.

Russell is still recovering from the ankle injury that ended his 2016 season, but at the combine he was healthy enough to throw during quarterback drills, in addition to interviewing and meeting with teams.

Russell expressed his appreciation for being able to participate in the combine with an Instagram post.

“Performing at the NFL Combine was a dream come true!” Russell wrote. “Now it’s time to continue to get better and focus on pro day.”

Russell is expected to run the 40-yard dash and take part in all the other physical tests at Baylor’s Pro Day on April 5. He will also go through a scripted throwing session in front of the NFL personnel in attendance.

Fuller spent the last three seasons as the starter in the middle of Baylor’s offensive line. At the combine he was measured at 6’5″ and 307 pounds, which an anonymous scout for an NFC team said is the size most teams look for and play at center. Fuller bench pressed 225 pounds for 23 reps.

All three players will take part in Baylor’s pro day, although to what extent is to be determined. The workout, which features the same tests and drills as the combine, will take place April 5 at Baylor’s weight room in the Simpson Athletic Center and in the Allison Indoor Practice Facility.

The NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.