Pro day recaps: Ball State's Hill shines

National Football Post
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With the NFL draft less than two months away, college pro days now take center stage as prospects around the nation get their final chance to impress scouts. Here's the National Football Post's rundown of the first round of pro days.


Hall had 40 receptions, 7 for scores in '08.

(Al Behrman/AP Photo)

Ball State
Tight end Darius Hill ran much better than expected (4.74 40-yard dash), considering he measured 6-foot-7 and 246 pounds. His additional weight and 40 time will move him up some draft boards and give him a shot as a late-round pick.

Offensive tackle Robert Brewster, quarterback Nate Davis and punter Chris Miller will work out for teams on March 20.

Florida Atlantic
Inside linebacker Frantz Joseph, who was not invited to the scouting combine in Indianapolis, got his first opportunity to work out in front of scouts. Joseph measured 6-1, weighed 242 pounds and ran his 40 in 4.83. He finished with 19 reps on the bench and also posted times of 4.37 in the short shuttle and 7.34 in the three-cone drill. Joseph is a real plugger inside who does a great job taking on blocks and making plays in the hole. His performances in the short shuttle and three-cone show he's more quick than fast, and his 40 time shouldn't impact where he gets drafted.

Miami's top prospect, Bruce Johnson, must have felt more comfortable this time around, bettering almost all his numbers at the combine. He clocked a low time of 4.42 in the 40, posted a 38.5-inch vertical and registered a 6.92 time in the three-cone drill. Johnson is undersized (5-10, 167), but he plays a lot tougher than his frame indicates and will find a way to contribute in a man scheme at the next level.

Also impressing at the Miami pro day was inside linebacker Spencer Adkins and his 4.48 time in the 40. Adkins is only 5-11 but weighed in at 230 pounds and displays impressive athleticism for his size. He finished with 30 reps on the bench, a 36.5-inch vertical and a 4.25 short shuttle. He didn't have the type of senior year he expected, but these numbers might give him a shot as a late-round pick.

Cornerback Carlos Armour also had a strong showing. He measured 6-2, 201 pounds and posted a 37.5-inch vertical, a 10-foot long jump and a mid-4.5 range in the 40. He's an intriguing athlete who has the size to play corner and safety.

Idaho State
Typically, you don't see impressive numbers at the Idaho State pro day. However, cornerback/free safety D.J. Clark (6-1, 200) intrigued a handful of scouts with a 36-inch vertical and good times in the short shuttle (4.01) and three-cone drill (6.91). He ran a solid 40 time of 4.52, but his quickness in the short shuttle and three-cone says a lot about his body control and should give him a shot at signing a rookie free-agent contract.

Offensive tackle Jason Smith was the headliner of the group, although he opted to only take part in position drills and stand on his combine numbers.

Smith's linemate, tackle Dan Gay, was looking to put on a much better performance than he did at the combine, but he had little success. Gay, who measured 6-4, 303 pounds, ran in the 5.5 range and posted a less than stellar 20 reps on the bench. His 5.4 short shuttle and 8.47 three-cone drill were among the worst of the offensive tackle group. Gay played right tackle at Baylor and might be best suited to kick inside to guard. He plays a lot more fluid than his times would indicate, so you have to wonder just how much training, time and effort he put into this.

Offensive lineman Steve Jonas stole the show with a strong showing during position drills and a respectable 5.23 40-time. He measured in at 6-4, 308 pounds and managed 24 reps on the bench.

Offensive tackle Nick Hennessey measured in at 6-6, 293 pounds and ran his 40 in the high 5.2 range.

Also taking part in the Colgate pro day was Division III quarterback Jason Boltus from Hartwick College. Boltus completed most of his passes and was said to look a lot more accurate and comfortable than at his combine performance. Don't be surprised to see a team take a late round flyer on him toward the end of the draft.

Western Illinois
One of the most impressive performances so far from pro days came from Western Illinois outside linebacker Jason Williams, who absolutely shocked scouts with his combination of pure strength and athleticism. Williams posted a 40 time of 4.49, completed 28 reps on the bench and recorded a 39-inch vertical jump. Williams was very fluid and natural during position drills and may have solidified a spot as a late-round prospect.

Texas A&M
Quarterback Stephen McGee was the star of the show at the Texas A&M pro day. He threw the ball well and is starting to emerge in the second tier of quarterback prospects. McGee stood on all his numbers from the combine, including his 4.66 40 time and threw the ball as well as anyone could have expected. His stock is rising as we get closer to draft day, and he can no longer be considered a sleeper. He's on everyone's radar and looks like one of the most promising senior quarterbacks in the draft.

Running back Mike Goodson improved on his 40 time from the combine (4.54) running on the fast surface at Texas A&M. He clocked in at 4.43 and 4.47.

Defensive end Michael Bennett also bested his 5.0 40 time at the combine with a more respectable 4.86. He also posted an impressive 36.5-inch vertical.

Tight end Travis Beckum, who is returning from a broken left fibula, got his first chance to work out in front of scouts and did nothing but impress. He turned in a 40 time of 4.61 and posted an impressive 38.5-inch vertical and a 4.10 short shuttle. Beckum says he is still not 100 percent healthy, but he proved he has the athletic ability to create mismatches in the pass game. Running back P.J. Hill weighed in at 218 pounds, far less than his anticipated listed weight of 236. He ran in the mid-4.6 range and posted a 37-inch vertical

Wisconsin guards Andy Kemp and Kraig Urbik both had solid showings. Kemp ran in the mid-5.3 range, and Urbik did well running a 5.25 40 at 6-5, 328 pounds.

Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy weighed in at 6-5, 263 pounds and was able to slightly improve on his 4.88 combine 40 time with a 4.86.

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