Former players showcase skills on Pro Day

On an unseasonably warm March morning over 20 former players did their best to impress dozens of NFL scouts who descended on the Arizona State campus. Devils Digest was on hand for that event and talked to some of the attendants to get their impressions about their performance today.

While many eyes were fixated on players such as Omar Bolden, Vontaze Burfict and Gerell Robinson, offensive lineman Dan Knapp was all the rage. It started out in the weight room where he put up 41 reps of 225 lbs. and at 304 lbs. (up from 279 in January) he was able to run his 40-yard dash in 4.96 seconds.

"I feel good and obviously I am very pleased," Knapp admitted. "But even though I'm happy with my results I know I could have done better. I hit the rack a few times on my benching. I was aiming for 45 (reps) but I will take 41. I know I can do also better with my 40 time and I will come back on the 30th and see if I can't do better."

Knapp stated he hasn't heard from any NFL teams prior to today, which is why he was pleased with his overall performance.

"This was my big showcase," Knapp commented, "and the plan was to come out there and do well so hopefully I get some calls from the next level. It's been a process (getting ready for Pro Day) and I had a lot of fun. I had two workouts a day, six days a week and I was eating 7,000 calories a day to get over 300 lbs. I was working my butt off but it's paying off. So it's feeling good."

The lineman, who converted from tight end when he first came to ASU, added that he was projected to play at all five spots across the line.

Safety Eddie Elder on the other hand wasn't too pleased with his 4.6 40-time, but thought he did well in the position drills. "I'm just hoping I get picked up in the late rounds of as a free agent," Elder said. "But I think some teams should be interested in me based on what they see on game film. We will see what happens in the draft."

Wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad was probably second only to Knapp as a Pro Day surprise, and just like his former teammate it was important to him to show well today because he wasn't part of last month's NFL combine.

"I felt I did great and everything was on mark," Pflugrad remarked. "I did a lot of training and I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to work out in front of all these scouts and I think I did well."

Pflugrad had 22 bench reps, which was probably surprising to many but obviously not to the wide receiver.

"I have been working out a lot," Pflugrad said, "and I have been training for this for a long time. I have been working out 6-8 hours a day. I guess the adrenalin was really flowing today and it was a great experience. I'm looking forward to getting an opportunity at the next level."

Pflugrad reported a 35-inch vertical, a 40 time in the low 4.5's, 7.0 seconds in the three-cone drill and felt that he did well in all the position drills. The wide receiver was also excited for March 30th when he will get to showcase his skills again.

"On the 30th that will be more wide receiver drills," Pflugrad explained. "I'm real comfortable with Brock (Osweiler) and I'm looking forward to putting on a show. I really enjoyed catching ball today from Rudy (Carpenter). He's a real good quarterback and a real good guy and it's real nice that he took time to come out and throw for us. We all really appreciate it."

Coming back to Sun Devil Stadium was clearly very nostalgic for all the players working out today. Even though their ASU tenure didn't feature any winning seasons they will always remember their years in Tempe with great fondness.

"I'm a Sun Devil for life," Pflugrad said, "and I loved being part of the program. We didn't win as many games as I wish we could of, but these guys are like brothers to me and I love Coach Erickson for giving me an opportunity. We will all be close friends for a lifetime."

"I have no regrets because I had such a good time here," Knapp remarked. "I thank Coach Erickson. I love my teammates and I love my team to death. I had a great time. It's unfortunate the way things panned out, but that's life."

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