GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Safety Reggie Nelson, widely considered a first-round pick by NFL scouts and coaches, put on an excellent performance at the University of Florida Pro Day on Wednesday.
More importantly, both the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots have shown particularly strong interest in Nelson. Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith had dinner with Nelson on Tuesday night. Jacksonville holds the No. 17 overall pick in the draft this year.
On Thursday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and general manager Scott Pioli will have Nelson and linebacker Earl Everett go through a private workout at Florida. New England has two first-round picks this year, No. 24 (from Seattle in the Deion Branch trade) and No. 28 overall.
If the workout at Florida meant anything, Nelson won't drop too far past Jacksonville. Nelson ran a 4.35 and a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash and ran a 3.98 in the 20-yard shuttle. He also looked impressive during the 60-yard shuttle.
"Reggie had a good workout," Jacksonville general manager James Harris said. "He ran well. He has the ability to go get the ball."
Nelson was likewise pleased.
"Everything turned out real good," said Nelson, who added that the interview with the Jaguars seemed to go fine.
"We just talked about football. That was all it really was," said Nelson, who had six interceptions and one returned for a touchdown for the national champions last season.