My First Utah Pro Day
I’ve been watching NFL Combines for years, so I thought I knew what I was walking into. I was wrong. When you first walk in, there is caution tape separating the NFL coaches and Utah Staff from the Media and families of the players. I occupied an empty spot in the front looking down the center aisle.
Let the Meat Market Begin
The players lined up alphabetically at the back of the room in the previously mentioned center aisle. Then the meat market began. The players walk up to the area about four feet away from my vantage point and held there hand up to be measured. A member of the Arizona Cardinals staff then had the player raise their arm up at approximately a 45 degree angle to establish the socket of their shoulder, then reach straight out to the side to measure their single arm reach. When the arm length has been established they hold both arms parallel to the floor and measure their wingspan.
The Next station for the NFL hopefuls is the height measurement. Conducted by a member of the Tennessee Titans staff. The players stand with their back against a pillar with the appropriate scale on it (down to 1/10th inch increments). The Coach uses what appeared to be a framers square to get a precise read on the heights of the players. From there the players walked down the front aisle to the scale. It appeared to be a member of the Oakland Raiders staff that took those numbers (then shouted them out for all to hear).
Let the Games Begin
Now it gets interesting. Towards the back of the gym the players lined up for the Standing Vertical Leap. At this point most of the players that participated in the NFL Combine bowed out for the remainder of the “measurable’s” events. The only noticeable exceptions were Isaac Asiata competing in the vertical, Brian Allen in the vertical and broad jump, and Pita Taumoepenu redoing everything. It should be noted that Pita did it all again with a huge smile on his face.
From The Vertical, they went counter clockwise to the front of the room to the Standing Broad Jump. Then over to the Bench Press. With the number of participants the U had going, there were athletes competing in all these events at the same time so it got a little confusing. You would occasionally hear shouts from around the room and look over to see who had just managed a 38″ vertical or to the left to see an 11’+ broad jump. Your attention was usually drawn to the crowd of players yelling in jubilant celebration for their Ute Brothers success. The loudest of such cheers came from Hunter Dimick hitting the a Bench Press Mark of 38 reps at 225 pounds (would have been #1 at the combine over Asiata’s 35). Jason Thompson’s 11’1″ Broad Jump, and Tim Patrick’s 37.5″ Vertical.
Let the Speed Begin
From the Alex Smith Strength and Conditioning Center, we all walked to the Spence Eccles Field House, where the rest of the events would take place. When we got to the turf, there were two sets of bleachers for the NFL scouts and coaches to sit. These benches were placed from 35 to 45 yards down field from the starting line for the crowd favorite event. The 40 Yard Dash. I found it odd that there was no electronic timing gates. Each of the NFL staff members had a stop watch and a notebook with a pen. I can only assume the “official times” are a combined average effort from the various stop watches. An interesting note: One of the media members standing next to me was using an app on his phone and got very close to what were considered the official numbers. My fitbit watch… not so much.
When the 40’s were completed a couple members of the Utah support staff slid the NFL designee bleachers a little further apart, rearranged a few cones, and the “Shuttle Drill” commenced in the newly formed arena. As the players finished this drill they started separating out into position groups.
From the position groups they started doing the position specific drills. Linemen doing linemen things Receivers receiving. Defenders defending. At the end of this all it was the interview process for the media.
As a lifelong football fan this was an amazing experience. It is also a very close up look at how big these individual athletes are in person. At 6’3″ and over 230 lbs I am rarely the little guy in any room, but standing between Garret Bolles and Isaac Asiata, with Leki Fotu behind me, I felt tiny. I am grateful for this opportunity and hope to do it again next year. So without further ado the numbers everyone wants from Pro Day (and a little of my personal feedback.
Brian Allen: Vertical: 38″ (3.5″ better than at the Combine.) Broad jump: 10′ 7″ (Combine jump of 9’9″) 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.18 (Combine time. 4.34)
Isaac Asiata: Vertical: 26.5 Vertical (1 inch more than at the Combine) Let the rest of his Combine measurements stand.
Garrett Bolles: Made a lot of money for himself at the combine so logically let his numbers stand.
Cory Butler-Byrd: Vertical:27.5″ Broad Jump: 8’7″ 40 Yard: 4.52 and 4.58 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.65 60 Yard Shuttle: 12.36 Bench: 13reps
Tevin Carter: Yes that Tevin Carter… Safety from a few years ago. He looked like he was in the best shape of his life. Vertical: 32″ Broad Jump: 10’3″ 40 Yard: 4.52 and 4.58 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.37 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.85 Bench: DNP
Hunter Dimick: Vertical: 28″ Broad Jump: 9’1″ 40 Yard: 4.73 and 4.76 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.13 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.75 Bench: 38 reps The only reason I’ve heard that Dimick wasn’t invited to the Combine was “Short Arms”. His numbers here and production throughout the year should have easily made up for that.
Dominique Hatfield: Vertical: 34″ Broad Jump: 9’6″ 40 Yard: 4.58 and 4.63 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.28 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.67 Bench: I thought I saw him doing the bench, but can’t find a rep count.
Tim Patrick: Vertical: 37.5″ Broad Jump: 10’8″ 40 Yard: 4.47 both times. 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.38 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.86 Bench: 22 reps Stellar numbers for a 6’4″ 213 lb guy.
Reggie Porter: Vertical: 34″ Broad Jump: 10’6″ 40 Yard: 4.45 and 4.49 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.37 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.26 Bench: 9 reps.
Pasoni Tasini: Vertical: 31″ Broad Jump: 9’3″ 40 Yard: 5.04 and 5.08 20 Yard Shuttle: DNP 60 Yard Shuttle: DNP Bench: 33 Reps
Pita Taumoepenu: Vertical: 29.5″ (28.5 at the Combine) Broad Jump: 9’3″ (9’4″ at the Combine) 40 Yard: 4.67 and 4.69 (4.67 at the Combine) 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.34 (4.33 at the Combine) 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.62 Bench: DNP (24 reps at the Combine)
Sam Tevi: Vertical: 27″ (26″ at the Combine) Broad Jump: 8’11” (same at the combine) 40 Yard: DNP (5.27 at the Combine) 20 Yard Shuttle: DNP (4.60 at the Combine) 60 Yard Shuttle: DNP Bench: DNP (15 reps at the Combine) I was surprised to see Sam not retry the Bench. 15 is not a terribly impressive number for an Offensive Linemen.
Justin Thomas: Vertical: 33.5″ Broad Jump: 10’0″ 40 Yard: 4.59 and 4.57 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.26 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.89 Bench: 14 reps
Jason Thompson: Vertical: 39.5″ Broad Jump: 11’1″ 40 Yard: 4.45 and 4.44 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.01 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.02 Bench: 20 reps. Jason seems to be an afterthought in this class. He shouldn’t be. Jason was a team captain and obviously one of the best all around athletes we had by the numbers and the position drills.
Joe Williams: Vertical: DNP (35″ at the Combine) Broad Jump: DNP (10’5″ at the Combine) 40 Yard: 4.42 in one attempt (4.41 at the combine) 20 Yard Shuttle: DNP (4.19 at the Combine) 60 Yard Shuttle: DNP Bench: 14 reps. Joe didn’t have a lot to prove.
Marcus Williams: Marcus had an outstanding NFL combine so he only participated in the position specific drills.
I haven’t found the numbers yet on the rest of the participants that include: Hayden Clegg, Tyler Cooperwood, Chase Doningez, Ken Hampel, Nick Nowakowski, Andy Phillips, Sharrieff Shah Jr., and a couple former Utes Delshawn McClellon (participated in most drills) and Joe Kruger (only participated in position specific drills. If I find that info and there’s interest I can update this. JJ Deilman didn’t do most of the drills, but seemed to be moving well.