The graduating USC football players and those early entrants, who have chosen to forego their senior season, took to the McKay Center weight room and Cromwell Field to show NFL scouts their abilities on Wednesday.
While some of the bigger names had already performed at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis a few weeks back, this was an opportunity for those players to re-affirm their abilities and for others that didn't get a combine invite to show off what they could do.
Most players participated in all the drills while some only did specific workouts and tests. Here are some notable observations from Wednesday's action:
- Marcus Martin and Xavier Grimble got an opportunity to show what they couldn't in Indianapolis because of injuries. Both had slow 40 times with Grimble coming in at a disappointing 5.02 for a tight end hoping to show some explosiveness.
- Morgan Breslin put up solid inside numbers with a 35.5 inch vertical and 26 bench reps of 225 pounds, but pulled up on his second 40 time and wasn't able to participate in position drills. His first 40 time was 4.75.
- Dion Bailey showed he was fully capable in the defensive secondary in the backpedalling drop drills.
- Senior defensive backs Torin Harris and Demetrius Wright, on the other hand, did not have a strong showing in the position drills. Neither was particularly fluid in the hips and both dropped multiple balls.
- Harris did produce an impressive 41-inch vertical and a 10'10" broad jump -- the best in both categories. (Ohio State's Ryan Shazier had the best vertical at the combine with 42 inches.)
- Marqise Lee chose not to run the 40-yard dash. Many thought he would try to improve on the 4.52 time he ran in Indianapolis, but he declined explaining, "I knew I could do better but at the end of the day, you have to understand that film is different than a 40."
Here's Lee talking about his Pro Day experience and what he would grade his Combine/Pro Day performance:)
- The receivers weren't helped by having only walk-on Emon Saee throwing to them. Saee overthrew several passes by enough that the pass catches couldn't even make an attempt.
- The difference between future NFL player and future pro-in-something-other-than-football couldn't have been more obvious than during the defensive linemen position drills. Devon Kennard showed his explosive size/speed/strength combination forcefully swatting away the dummy bags and getting off the ball quickly.
- Though he never showed much football acumen at USC, Kevin Greene was one of the most impressive athletes participating yesterday. The 6'2", 247-pound defensive end/tight end ran a 4.54 in the 40 -- the fastest of the day and a figure that would have ranked second in both the DE and TE groupings in Indianapolis.
- John Martinez dominated the bench with 42 reps, which would have been tied for the most at the NFL Combine. The next closest was Kevin Graf, who finished with 15 fewer.