Florida’s annual pro day provided 22 former players the opportunity to work out in front of all 32 NFL teams. The players went through various position drills, ran the 40-yard dash, were measured and jumped on the bench press in order to find just one team that wants to take a chance on them in the upcoming NFL Draft.
While the event was an all-around success there were some players who performed better than others and greatly improved their draft stock.
First and foremost we have to mention Matt Elam. With Sharrif Floyd moving his pro day back to March, 22, Elam became the star of the show today. Elam looked flu
id in all of his positional drills. He showed that he can not only come down and play in the box but he is also capable of playing in the back. “They see a lot of film of me playing nickel against a slot receiver.” Elam said. “There’s not a lot of me playing in the back end at middle safety and opening my hips and showing how fluid I am and my versatility.”
Elam spent some time on the field talking to the Jaguars among other teams. The combination of Elam’s game tape along with how well he performed at the combine and pro day could vault the talented safety into the first round.
Jon Bostic is another player who opened some scout’s eyes. He ran a 4.61 40-yard dash on turf in Indianapolis but was able to better that today, posting a 4.51 on wet grass. To put that into perspective, Jelani Jenkins ran a 4.78 today. Bostic’s tape shows that he is a 3-down player and running as well as he did should solidify that notion.
During his time at Florida, Bostic played in different defensive systems under three different defensive coordinators. Rather than using that as an excuse, Bostic insists that it has been good for him. “Playing in three defenses under three different coordinators was good for me.” Bostic said. “I learned so much and there’s things I can take to the next level. I played in the under defense, the 3-4, the over. Those are all things I can do. His speed and scheme versatility could have him project to all three linebacker spots at the next level.
Not every players gets the opportunity to attend the NFL combine so pro day is their only opportunity to workout in front of a wide variety of NFL teams. Players like Omar Hunter, Frankie Hammond Jr. and Earl Okine were a few of those players who were able to take advantage of today’s opportunity.
The most impressive of that bunch has to be Omar Hunter. Hunter came in at 6’ 313 pounds. He put up 28 reps of 225 on the bench, a number that would have tied him for 14th best among defensive linemen at the combine. He also posted a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash. That is a big, big man moving very fast. His performance today should open up some eyes and Hunter already has interviews lined up with the Colts, Jaguars, Redskins, Texans and Saints.
On a day where many former Gators took advantage of one of the biggest opportunities of their life, these three Gators were the ones that really stuck out above the rest.