More pro day recaps: Sanchez strong

National Football Post
Yahoo! Sports

USC held its annual pro day Wednesday in front of a packed house of NFL officials. Head coaches Sean Payton (Saints), Brad Childress (Vikings), Mike Singletary (49ers), Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals) and Jim Schwartz (Lions) were in attendance, as were team executives Martin Mayhew (Lions), Ted Thompson (Packers), Mickey Loomis (Saints), Rod Graves (Cardinals) and about half of the Seahawks' front office. Seattle looks like an ideal landing spot for USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, and the Seahawks appear to be doing a significant amount of homework on him. With an abundance of talented Trojans taking part in workouts, the National Football Post analyzes the results from the pro day.

Note: Times listed below are not official but were obtained from a number of sources on site.

QB Mark Sanchez (6-2, 227) had a strong throwing session and missed on just three passes in his workout. His accuracy, footwork and confidence were apparent throughout the drills, and he proved to have more than enough arm strength to make the throws in the NFL. One of the more interesting bits of information: The Detroit Lions coaching staff asked Sanchez to make a few additional throws at the end of his workout. Sanchez agreed and was said to handle the extra work well. I absolutely love his mind-set and willingness to take on any challenge at any time. He may not have the elite physical skill set of quarterbacks Matthew Stafford or Josh Freeman, but he's the guy I want leading my offense in the NFL.

OLB Clay Matthews (6-3, 240) had another stellar workout. He not only ran an impressive 4.57 40 time, he also looked very fluid and natural during position drills. Matthews is a former prep safety, and his ability to play in space and get out of his breaks cleanly is one reason I think he has the makings of a three-down linebacker at the next level.

OLB Brian Cushing (6-3, 243) also had a solid workout but did not display the same type of fluidity or change-of-directions skills that Matthews possesses. Cushing did run well, posting a 4.68 40 time, and looks like a solid first-round pick. However, I still question his ability to play in space as a three-down linebacker.

At the Senior Bowl in January, one of the first pieces I wrote for the National Football Post included evaluations of Matthews and Cushing, in which I suggested Matthews might be considered a better overall prospect than his more highly publicized teammate.

"Matthews displays better body control and footwork in space as well as better overall technique and hand placement as a pass rusher. Matthews consistently is able to shed more blocks and has really done well for himself this week. By no means am I saying that Cushing is a bad prospect; he will certainly go in the top two rounds. But this is more of a plug for Matthews to show how far he's come since the beginning of the season."

Now that postseason workouts are all but concluded, I feel even stronger that Matthews is a superior prospect to Cushing, and I think Matthews has a chance to come off the board in the middle of the first round.

MLB Rey Maualuga (6-2, 249) got his first chance to work out since pulling a hamstring at the NFL combine. Maualuga ran an impressive 4.70 40; showcased good balance; and does a nice job changing directions and getting up to speed quickly. Maualuga looks to have solidified himself as a first-round prospect.

LB Kaluka Maiava (6-0, 229) is trying to follow in the footsteps of former Trojan reserve linebacker Thomas Williams, a fifth-round selection in 2008. Maiava ran well, clocking a 4.68 in the 40, but he pulled up lame and was unable to take part in position drills.

DE Kyle Moore (6-5, 272) is a tall, long-armed defensive end who has the ability to play as a base DE in a 4-3 – or add some weight and make the move to the five-technique position in the 3-4. Moore showcased impressive athleticism and flexibility during his workout and ran his 40 in 4.76 seconds.

WR Patrick Turner, considered one of the draft's top possession receivers, did a nice job during position drills. He caught the ball well and looked smooth in and out of his breaks. Turner also ran under the 4.60-second mark (4.58) in the 40, an impressive time for a guy who's 6-5, 223 pounds.

Safety/linebacker tweener Kevin Ellison (6-1, 221) improved on his 4.80 40 time at the combine to a more respectable 4.70. He's considered simply a football player and does his damage in pads. However, it's hard to imagine a team drafting Ellison and expecting him to develop into a starting strong safety with his lack of speed. A move to linebacker looks like his best option.

CB Cary Harris (6-0 187) pulled up lame during his 40 attempt and was unable to take part in position drills.

Former Trojans TE Dominique Byrd, RB Hershel Dennis, RB Desmond Reed and WR Jason Mitchell also worked out.


Orakpo has the motor, talent and body to go off the board early.

(Brian Bahr/Getty)

DE Brian Orakpo (6-foot-4, 262) had another impressive workout for scouts, posting a 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump, a 4.45-second short shuttle and a 7.26 three-cone drill. Orakpo is a physically gifted athlete and looks to be assuring himself a spot in the top 10.

RB Chris Ogbonnaya (6-0, 220) stood on all his numbers from the scouting combine in Indianapolis but was said to look natural catching the ball out of the backfield during position drills.

WR Quan Cosby (5-9, 198) sat on most of his numbers from the combine but elected to take part in the vertical jump (34½ inches), short-shuttle (4.34 seconds) and bench press (28 reps). Cosby is a natural receiver and good route runner who looks like an ideal slot guy at the next level.

OG Cedric Dockery (6-3, 314) completed the vertical jump (28 inches), broad jump (8-foot, 4-inches) and short shuttle (4.97). However, he pulled a hamstring during his 40 attempt (5.40 seconds) and missed the rest of his workout.

DT Roy Miller (6-2, 312) continues to impress scouts with his combination of size and athletic ability inside. He ran his 40 in 4.93 seconds and stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine. In a weak nose tackle class, Miller is starting to build momentum and looks to be solidifying himself a spot in the later rounds.

DE Henry Melton (6-4, 269) clocked in at 4.64 seconds in the 40 and reached 34½ inches in the vertical jump.

CB Ryan Palmer (5-8, 187) didn't display the kind of deep speed scouts want to see from an NFL corner, posting times of 4.62 and a 4.58 in the 40. He's considered more quick than fast and is likely to only play slot at the next level.

RB Shonn Greene (5-10, 227) vastly improved his 40 time from the combine (4.65), running 4.55. Greene also displayed good explosion with a 39-inch vertical and a 10-6 broad jump. Greene is never going to be a home-run threat in the NFL, but he has great vision, body control and power and will be able to wear down opposing front sevens.

OL Seth Olsen (6-5, 305) produced a 28-inch vertical, an 8-7 broad jump and did 28 reps on the bench. He's an athletic technician inside who has an ability to line up at right tackle or either guard spot.

CB Bradley Fletcher (6-0, 193) impressed scouts with his 4.44 40 time, 40-inch vertical and 10-7 broad jump. He displayed great overall athleticism for his size but has some rough edges to his game that he needs to polish.

DT Mitch King (6-1, 278) ran his 40 in 4.89 seconds, did 25 reps on the bench and hit 33½ inches on his vertical. His game isn't always pretty, but he finds a way to get it done. I expect him to come off the board some time during the third round.

C Rob Bruggeman (6-4, 293) showed impressive overall athleticism, running a 5.05 40 and a 4.69 short-shuttle. He also hit 33 inches on his vertical jump and did 32 reps on the bench.

DE Robert Ayers (6-3, 272) elected to keep most of his numbers from the combine but did run the short-shuttle (4.46) and three-cone drill (7.07). He was said to look good during his workout and took part in both defensive line and linebacker drills. Ayers is one of the nation's top defensive linemen, but we still think he's best suited to play as a down defensive end in a 4-3.

RB Arian Foster did not show up at the Tennessee pro day and instead decided to work out at San Diego State.

OG Anthony Parker (6-2, 290) has done a nice job cutting weight since the start of postseason workouts and ran a low of 5.08 in the 40.

DT Demonte' Bolden (6-4, 294) is an explosive, long-armed lineman who can play inside in a one-gap scheme or DE in a 3-4 team. Bolden ran a 4.95 40, benched 225 pounds 26 times and looked very good in position drills.

DB DeAngelo Willingham (5-11, 217) clocked in with a 40 time of 4.46 and had a 36-inch vertical and a 10-6 broad jump. He also looked good during position drills and is starting to generate positive buzz after a rough senior year.

RB LeSean McCoy (5-11, 204) had a very average workout, running his 40 in 4.50 seconds, but put up lineman-like numbers in the vertical jump (29 inches) and broad jump (8-11). McCoy is a natural runner who's considered more quick than fast, but this was not the type of workout scouts envisioned for him.

Leading the way for McCoy this season was fullback Conredge Collins (5-11, 224), who had a solid workout, posting a 4.64 40 time, a 6.93 three-cone drill and 24 reps on the bench. Collins is considered one of the nation's top FB prospects and will likely come off the board during the later rounds.

LB Scott McKillop (6-1, 245) sat on all his numbers from the combine but was said to look good in position drills.

OG C.J. Davis (6-2, 308) ran his 40 in 5.55 seconds, did 23 reps on the bench and posted a 24½-inch vertical.

WR Derek Kinder (6-0, 202) ran a 4.54 40, posted 12 reps on the bench and had an impressive 36½-inch vertical jump.

Short and slow is never a good combination for an NFL safety, but that's the only way to describe S Eric Thatcher, who measured 5-9, 200 and ran a pedestrian-like 4.71 40.


Donald Brown


RB Donald Brown sat on most of his numbers from the combine but took part in position drills. He looked sharp and decisive during his workout and is now considered a late first/early second-round prospect.

OT William Beatty (6-6, 307) also took part in only position drills and looked fluid and graceful in his workout. Beatty possesses great length and athleticism for the position, and in an offensive tackle-starved league, I expect his name to be called in the first round.

CB Darius Butler ran an impressive 4.38 40 time and looked good during position drills. Butler has been rapidly moving up draft boards since the Senior Bowl and looks to be in that late first round/early second-round mix.

DE/LB Cody Brown was able to improve on his 40 from the combine (4.76) by running in the 4.6 range.

QB Tyler Lorenzen (6-5, 227) is likely to make a transition to either WR or DB at the next level. He worked out at both positions for scouts.

The National Football Post ( is a unique and premier online source of insight about all sides of football featuring professionals with experience in all facets of the NFL.

What to Read Next