Representatives of every National Football League were at the event on Tuesday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium rather than the normal location for AU's pro days, the football complex fields which are not useable due to construction of a new indoor football practice facility.
Center Ryan Pugh snaps the football to Cameron Newton at the pro day.
Five of the pro day participants competed in the NFL Combine held in Indianapolis. That group included defensive tackle Fairley, quarterback Newton, offensive tackle Lee Ziemba, running back Mario Fannin and wide receiver Darvin Adams.
Ziemba, who has been working out at Competitive Edge Sports in Duluth, Ga., notes that he worked on drills that specifically apply to the combine and pro day tests the players go through as well as drills that will help make him a better football player.
"We would do our running and our lifting in the morning and then take a 30-minute lunch break that they catered in for us," Ziemba said. "After that we would do specific drills for the last couple of hours. We worked out from about 7:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m."
Auburn's pro day workouts were the third opportunity for Ziemba to be closely watched by pro scouts since he wrapped up his collegiate career with Auburn's victory over Oregon in the BCS Championship Game. In January the big lineman participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile.
Ziemba said being coached in a pro style offense and actually playing football in Mobile is probably a better indicator of how an offensive lineman projects for the NFL than the combine setting with those particular drills more important to running backs, receivers, defensive backs and players at other positions.
"They (at the Senior Bowl) got to evaluate how you learned and competed out there," Ziemba said. "I thought I did a good job. I was just trying to do what the coaches asked me to do. I had a blast. I enjoyed meeting all of those guys and I am still friends with a lot of them."
Lee Ziemba (73) makes a block in the Senior Bowl Game.
While the pro day is important to Ziemba and the four other Tigers who were in Indianapolis, it is even more important to their teammates who did not receive combine invitations. That group included offensive guards Mike Berry and Byron Isom, center Ryan Pugh, receivers Kodi Burns and Terrell Zachery, defensive linemen Zach Clayton, Antoine Carter, Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc, kicker Wes Byrum, linebackers Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens, safety Zac Etheridge and cornerback Demond Washington along with backup, walk-on offensive lineman Jorrell Bostrom.
All-SEC center Ryan Pugh is a player who will be looking to improve his NFL draft stock.
Quarterback Chris Todd, a senior on the 2009 team and tight end Gabe McKenzie, who was also a senior in 2009, also participated in the workouts.
Denver Broncos president John Elway, Broncos' coach John Fox, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis look on at the workouts at Jordan-Hare Stadiumm.
With Newton not having a great day throwing the football at the combine his passing was closely watched as he threw to familiar receivers Zachery, Burns and Fannin on Tuesday. The big QB is projected to go early in the first round of the draft as is Fairley. Both were juniors for the 14-0 Tigers this past season. Newton won the Heisman Trophy as the top player in college football while Fairley won the Lombardi Award as college football's top lineman.
12:30 p.m.--The players worked out in two groups. Adams, Berry, Blanc, Bostrom, Burns, Bynes, Byrum, Carter, Clayton, Etheridge and Fairley are in group A while Fannin, Goggans, Isom, McKenzie, Newton, Pugh, Stevens, Todd, Zachery and Ziemba are in group B.
The players started with 40-yard dash tests and then did vertical jumps, pro agility three cone drills, the long shuttle drill and bench press. They finsished woth position workouts starting with kicker and then going to defensive backs, linebackers, tight end, running back, offensive line, defensive line and quarterbacks/receivers.
12:33 p.m.--Former Tiger star Marcus McNeil, who is on crutches after having his knee scoped, is here to watch the workouts along with fellow former Tigers Jonathan Palmer, Antonio Coleman and Tyronne Green. McNeil plays for the San Diego Chargers.
1:20 p.m.--Newton and Fairley did not run the 40s, choosing to go with their NFL Combine times.
1:22 p.m.--Inside the Auburn Tigers clocked Washington at 4.35 and 4.43 in the 40, the fastest time on Tuesday. Zachery ran 4.40 and 4.40 in both directions with a crosswind on the grass on the ITAT watch. Etheridge ran a 4.56 and 4.48. Clayton ran 4.7 both ways on the ITAT stopwatch and one of the NFL scouts got him at 4.67 on his first run. Goggans ran a 4.7, too. Kodi Burns ran 4.57 and 4.62 on the ITAT watch.
1:24 p.m.--Ben Tate, the former Auburn running back, is at the pro day to check out the action.
1:25 p.m.--Blanc ran a 5.0 and 4.85 40 on the ITAT watch. Walk-on Jorrell Bostrom ran a 5.79. "Hot" Carter ran a 4.72 and 4.68. Bynes ran a best time of 4.72. Isom ran a 5.5, Pugh a 5.31, Ziemba a 5.44, Todd a 4.88 and McKenzie a 4.75.
1:50 p.m.--Stevens had the best standing broad jump with a leap of 10 feet, two inches. He also did well on the vertical jump going 33 1/2 inches. Clayton was close behind at 10 feet even in the broad jump. Washington went 9 feet, 9 1/2 inches and went 32 1/2 inches on the vertical jump. Etheridge jumped 9-9.
2:10 p.m.--Denver Broncos head coach John Fox pulled Zach Clayton aside to talk the defensive tackle after Clayton performed well in a variety of tests.
2:11 p.m.--On the subject of the Broncos, that franchise's all-time great player, was closely watching Newton at the pro day.
2:12 p.m.--Bynes had footing problems trying to run one of the long shuttle drills. The middle linebacker ran a best time of 4.70 in the 40.
2:15 p.m.--Adams went nine feet, nine inches inches in the standing broad jump despite having a hamstring tweak while Bynes did nine feet eight inches. Zachery did 9-7.
2:40 p.m.--With 27 reps for Zach Clayton he led everyone in the bench press (225 pounds). Pugh was next with 25 followed by McKenzie with 24, Blanc with 23 and Berry, Bynes, Bostrom and Isom with 21 while Stevens with 20.
Etheridge, Goggans and Washington had 14 reps apiece and Zachery had 11.
3:00 p.m.--Wes Byrum made 8-10 field goals on a windy day in the stadium. He was 1-2 from 50. His first kick from 50 had plenty of room to spare, his second was just short. He also had a wide left from the right hash mark from 35 yards out. Byrum just kicked. He didn't do any of the individual drills.
Nick Fairley, who tested at the combine, participated in the defensive line workout drills with his Auburn teammates. Fairley is shown going through a cone drill on Tuesday.
Height and Weight
Darvin Adams 6-1.875, 194
Mike Berry 6-3.125, 318
Mike Blanc 6-2.5, 286
Jorrell Bostrom 6-2, 339
Kodi Burns, 6-0.125, 206
Josh Bynes, 6-1.625, 240
Wes Byrum, 6-1.125, 217
Antoine Carter, 6-3.375, 259
Zach Clayton, 6-2, 299
Zach Etheridge, 5-11.25, 201
Nick Fairley, 297
Mario Fannin, 229
Michael Goggans, 6-1.625, 263
Byron Isom, 6-1.75, 304
Gabe McKenzie, 6-2.5, 261
Cam Newton, 244
Ryan Pugh, 6-1.375, 307
Craig Stevens, 6-1.875, 230
Chris Todd, 6- 2, 229
Demond Washington, 5-8.625, 180
Terrell Zachery 5-11.25, 305
Lee Ziemba 318
40-Yard Dash Times (unofficial)
Mike Berry 5.35/5.57
Mike Blanc 4.94/4.74
Jorrell Bostrom 5.62/5.60
Kodi Burns 4.58/4.55
Josh Bynes 4.70/4.82
Antoine Carter 4.63/4.70
Zach Clayton 4.68/4.71
Zach Etheridge 4.51/4.51
Michael Goggans 4.60/4.67
Byron Isom 5.40/5.51
Gabe McKenzie 4.74/4.76
Ryan Pugh 5.43/5.32
Chris Todd 4.88/4.88
Demond Washington 4.30/4.43
Terrell Zachery 4.40/4.42
Lee Ziemba 5.36/5.38
Standing Broad Jump
Darvin Adams 9-9
Mike Berry 8-3
Mike Blanc 9-4
Jorrell Bostrom 8-2
Kodi Burns 9-4
Josh Bynes 9-8
Antoine Carter 9-4
Zach Clayton 10-0
Zach Etheridge 9-9
Mario Fannin 9-8.5
Michael Goggans 9-7
Byron Isom 7-11
Gabe McKenzie 9-6
Ryan Pugh 7-10
Craig Stevens 10-2
Chris Todd 8-11.5
Demond Washington 9-9.5
Terrell Zachery 9-7
Lee Ziemba 8-4
Vertical Jump In Inches
Darvin Adams 35
Mike Berry 26
Mike Blanc 28.5
Jorrell Bostrom 26.5
Kodi Burns 32
Josh Bynes 33
Antoine Carter 26.5
Zach Clayton 33.5
Zach Etheridge 34
Michael Goggans 32
Byron Isom 25.5
Gabe McKenzie 35
Ryan Pugh 25.5
Craig Stevens 33.5
Chris Todd 28.5
Demond Washington 32.5
Terrell Zachery 32
Lee Ziemba 28
Linebacker Craig Stevens is shown at the pro day.
5:15 p.m.--Not surprisingly Newton had a solid day throwing the football for pro scouts, who watched intently as the big quarterback threw a variety of pass routes for approximately 40 minutes on a windy day at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Newton, who has been working out in windy San Diego, had no issues dealing with the swirling winds at the stadium.
Cam Newton is shown at pro day.
5:17 p.m.--Demond Washington caught the attention of pro scouts who had him do additional drills after he was finished with the defensive back group workout.
5:20 p.m.--Mario Fannin, who worked out at the NFL Combine, said he felt good about his limited workout schedule at the pro day. The running back said he felt a bit stiff in Indianapolis and he wanted to show the scouts he is an athlete with good flexibility.
5:30 p.m.--Defensive end Antoine "Hot" Carter said he was pleased with everything he did on the pro day.
5:35 p.m.--Clayton said that he was particularly pleased with the speed he showed in the 40-yard dash after checking in at 299 pounds. The defensive tackle said he would have been happy with anything 4.8 or less.