USC Pro-Day Notes
Pro-Day at USC took place under threatening Los Angeles skies, but was completed without weather playing a factor in results. Some players continued to build on great postseason performances, while others may have taken another dip and hit in the wallet.
With representatives from NFL franchises present, one noticeable absence was former coach Pete Carroll, who opted to attend Texas’ Pro-Day workout in Austin. No one should consider this a slap in the face or disrespect for his former players and program. Carroll coached the participants during their entire stay at USC, and no one knows them better. He wasn’t likely to learn anything on Wednesday that he hadn’t in his time there.
Everson Griffen may have solidified himself in the first-round of the upcoming draft with another spectacular performance. Griffen posted a 34” vertical and 9’7” broad jump to go along with his 40-time of 4.59. His athleticism removes some doubts over his ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
Will Harris and Kevin Thomas can be added to a list of those with draft stock rising. Neither is expected to go early, but they showed scouts what they can possibly be getting late. Thomas’ 4.43 was the fastest of the day, answering any questions about speed. Harris ran a 4.59, but dazzled observers with his strength, completing 35 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.
Taylor Mays and Damian Williams sat on their 40-times from the combine, choosing not to run on Wednesday. Williams was impressive in pass drills and is still a possible late first/early second-round pick.
For Taylor Mays, it was more of the same. Scouts are fascinated by the physical specimen, but continue to sour on ball skills and lack of fluidity in his motion:
Taylor Mays did not improve in the position drills after poor showings at the Senior Bowl and combine. He was stiff, practiced upright and looked very robotic in his movements. Mays looked uneasy and off balance breaking to the ball. He struggled changing direction at full speed and was asked to repeat drills on a few occasions.
As was the case earlier this year, several scouts repeated that they think a move to linebacker is in the offing for Mays. Scouts are starting to compare Mays to former Dallas Cowboys first round pick Roy Williams; an oversized college safety with poor skills in pass coverage.–TFY
The same song has played for Mays, since the beginning of the 2009 season. He continues to respond to criticism by stating the he did what he was asked by coaches, and is willing and ready to learn something else.
Charles Brown pulled a hamstring after his second run, and was unable to complete the workout. Vying for a first-round selection, Brown only managed a disappointing 21 reps on the bench. Anthony McCoy was impressive, despite his current battle with tonsillitis. Joe McKnight struggled in 3-cone drill, posting one of the lowest times (7.03). He claims to have reaggravated a toe injury during preparation, which led to the disappointing number, but was better in football drills.
Among those working out, former Trojans Hershel Dennis and Ryan Powdrell were on hand.
• OT Charles Brown: 5.25
• OL Jeff Byers: 5.09
• TB Hershel Dennis: 4.65
• TB Adam Goodman: 5.03
• DE Everson Griffen: 4.59
• S Will Harris: 4.59
• OL Nick Howell: 5.07
• TB Stafon Johnson: 4.62
• DL Omar Nazel: 4.93
• OL Alex Parsons: 4.90
• FB Ryan Powdrell: 5.01
• DL Averell Spicer: 5.03
• CB Kevin Thomas: 4.43
Pro Day is dead. I killed it.–Damian Williams