The NFL Draft is a little less than a month away and teams across the league are hitting the road, attending pro days throughout the country.
Over the course of the past week, there were seven pro days in New England and all seven featured legitimate NFL talent.
Scouts, coaches and front executives all walked away impressed with the amount of talent that plays in the region. It is not just Division One talent. There is talent at the Division Two and Three level around here as well.
Here are some thoughts on each of the seven pro days that took place last week.
Holy Cross: Brown quarterback E.J Perry was the main attraction and Perry did not disappoint. He had a solid pro day and his stock continues to rise. Perry looks an early day three pick although I wouldn’t be surprised if he went at the end of day two. There are several teams that are interested.
The host Crusaders were represented by DE Benton Whitley and WR Tenio Ayeni. Both tested well and have an opportunity to get drafted next month as day three prospects. Whitley worked on some stuff with former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Leon Lett who was in attendance.
Framingham State defensive end Josh Onujiogu had an incredible workout and got the attention of scouts both locally and nationally. Onujiogu put up some impressive numbers during his workout. He had a vertical jump of 34.5, a broad jump of 10.1, a 6.90 in the three cone and a 4.14 short shuttle. An impressive afternoon for a young man who was an unknown coming into the workout. Despite his workout, Onujiogu still projects as an undrafted free agent.
Assumption, Framingham State, Bridgewater State and Anna Maria were all represented which speaks to just how much talent there is around here.
Harvard running back Aaron Shampklin also impressived. He looked smooth and fluid in drills and ran a 4.4 forty. He is one of the more underrated backs in the area.
UMass: Cornerback Bryce Watts and defensive end Avien Peah both had good days. Watts in particular impressed running a 4.39 forty yard dash and he had a vertical jump of 37.5. At 6-0 180, Watts has the size and the explosiveness to be a starting cornerback in the NFL. Watts began his career at Virginia Tech and then transferred to North Carolina briefly before landing at UMass.
Peah has a unique skill set at 6-2 280. He can play defensive end and kick inside and play defensive tackle. He projects as late day three or undrafted free agent prospect.
UConn: Travis Jones was the main attraction at the Huskies pro day but Ryan Van Demark and Omar Fortt also impressed scouts. Van Demark had a terrific workout and validated his status as a player who could get drafted in the fourth or fifth round range.
Fortt is a converted linebacker who will play safety at the next level. He has the size and the athleticism to be a 3X3 player. Fortt can play all three downs at all three levels of the defense.
Sacred Heart: Running back Julius Chestnut and guard Josh Sokol both got an opportunity to workout for scouts on campus. Chestnut tested well and showed good fluidity in drills. He has good feet for a big back and is a decisive runner. He displayed all those traits in his workout.
At 6-3 290, Josh Sokol has enough size that he can play guard or center. He moved well in drills and has impressed scouts with football I.Q. Sokol will certainly get a chance to go to rookie mini camp with a team and prove he can play at the next level.
Bryant: Both Bryant and Rhode Island had players work out on Wednesday. URI had seven players on hand. Linebacker L.B Mack, safety Coby Tippett and fullback Joey Kenny all impressed. Tippett ran a 4.41 forty while Kenny put up 225, 22 times on the bench press. Wide receiver Ivory Frimpong, kicker C.J Carrick running back Justice Antrum and linebacker Andre Blackett all tested well and got the attention of scouts.
Bryant’s Daniel Adeboboye and Mike Andrejco were on hand for Bryant. Adeboboye impressed CFL executives this past weekend at the CFL Combine. He had the most bench press reps of any skill player with 28. Andrejco is an intriguing swing prospect. He can play guard or tackle and has a lot of experience.
Merrimack: Quarterback Westin Elliott threw the ball well in tough conditions and impressed scouts with his ability cut through the wind with all his throws. Teams love Elliott’s size, his pocket presence and demeanor.
Clay Legault moved well for his size and looked like a player who could play tackle or guard. He tested well and has positioned himself to be a late at three pick or priority free agent after the draft.
Afterwards, Legault was happy to have the opportunity to show what he can do.
“I thought it was everything I expected it to be, just a great opportunity to come out here and show the scouts what I could do,”
Guard Shawn Page and cornerback Caleb Holden both tested well and certainly helped their stock despite testing in a rain storm.
Boston College: 31 NFL scouts were on hand at Fish Field House on Friday for Boston College Pro-Day.
Zion Johnson and Alec Lindstrom both took center stage and they did not disappoint, particularly in the drills portion.
Cornerback Brandon Sebastian and running back Travis Levy both tested well and got the attention of the scouts that were on hand.
Defensive end Brandon Barlow also helped his status and he echoed that sentiment after the fact.
“I feel like my Pro Day definitely helped my draft stock a little bit,” Barlow said. “Just because I was able to go out there and really show how I can run, jump and lift in front of every team that was there. I think I showed a little bit of my versatility and ability to play linebacker and special teams as well as d-line.”
A total of 15 prospects worked out including Dante Baldelli, the brother of Rocco Baldelli. Baldelli was a member of the Boston College Baseball team and now that his career is over, he wants to return to football and try to play in the NFL. Baldelli was a wide receiver at Bishop Hendricken High School but he was listed as a tight end at the pro day.
It was the final test in the draft process for these young men. Now it is about team visits, working out and getting to draft weekend.