Football Tigers Show Their Skills at Pro Day

A variety of Auburn players had reasons to be pleased as they tested for NFL scouts at Auburn's annual pro day.

Auburn, Ala.--There was significantly more talent on display for Auburn's 2014 Pro Day than a year earlier, something that attracted football scouts from every NFL team to the AU campus on Tuesday.

What they saw was defensive end Dee Ford and cornerback Chris Davis putting on impressive performances and other members of Auburn's 2013 SEC championship testing well.

Greg Robinson, who will likely be the first Auburn player selected in this year's draft, weighed in but didn't test on Tuesday, electing to go with his results from the NFL Combine. He only did an offensive line workout for the scouts even though he said he could have improved his three-cone drill and L-cone drill tests from the combine in Indianapolis, but pointed out after talking with his agent they decided it wasn't a big deal.

A two-year starter for the Tigers at left offensive tackle, the 6-5 1/4, 327-pound lineman is coming off an outstanding redshirt sophomore year. He noted that going into the season his goal was to play well enough to be considered a high-level NFL prospect, which is exactly what happened.

"I worked my butt off," he said. "I didn't know what to expect, but I knew if I gave it my all that one of the goals that I wanted was to be in a position to be drafted high. I talked to my parents (last summer) and I just told them my mindset was to enter the draft."

The offensive lineman said he has been doing private workouts for teams and will continue to do that with the next one set on Friday with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

After the session at the Auburn football indoor facility on Tuesday, Robinson said his goal is to be the first player drafted in the opening round. Asked if it mattered to him if he is picked No. 1 or if he was okay with just being one of the early first round picks, he said, "It matters. I think it would matter to anybody. Just as high as I can go, that's my goal. I gave it my all. The No. 1 pick (Texans), hopefully, they will take me. I always want the best for myself and I felt I worked for it."

Defensive end Dee Ford led the testers in the bench press by doing 29 reps of 225 pounds. He also was clocked at under 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash on multiple stopwatches after weighing in at 244 pounds. Although some of the times from pro scouts were in the 4.5s, Ford said that based on his training he is sure he ran in the high 4.4s on Tuesday. There was no guessing on his exact vertical jump, which was impressive, too, at 35 1/2 inches.

"I think I did great overall," said Ford, who pro scouts also put through linebacker drills at the end of the session.

Dee Ford was impressive during Tuesday's workouts.

Asked what the scouts told him, Ford said, "They said they loved my energy, they loved my effort and my will to do things right. That is one thing I hang my hat on."

Invited to the NFL Combine, he was forced to scratch from official drills there at the last minute when there was concern by NFL doctors after a physical showed a potential problem from a former back injury. Ford said his back is fine and noted he was caught by surprise by not being able to do the official workout at Indianapolis.

However, he didn't make the trip for nothing. "I actually worked that night when they found out I couldn't work out at the combine and was able to put up some decent numbers." he said. He also met with pro scouts while in Indianapolis.

Ford added that he hasn't heard of any concern about the back surgery from NFL scouts. The defensive end missed the start of his senior season recovering from a knee injury, but pointed out that he is full speed again. "They tugged on the knee all day (at the combine) and I saw 32 NFL doctors and it is fine," he said. "The knee felt great today."

In Indianapolis at the combine Ford weighed in at 252 pounds. Asked about weighing eight pounds less on Tuesday, he said, "My metabolism is so fast my weight fluctuates. I will be 250 one day, 245 the next day."

In other news and notes from Auburn's pro day:

*Nosa Eguae weighed in at 282 pounds, 14 pounds more than he played at as a senior defensive tackle after making the move inside from end. "I thought I did a really solid job on the shuttles showing them my change of direction while weighing in the 280s," he said.

Eguae did 24 reps on the bench press and ran a 5.13 40. He also said from talking to pro scouts he believes that his move to tackle has helped his stock with the NFL.

Chris Davis runs a drills as pro scouts watch the cornerback.

*As expected cornerback Chris Davis showed his speed. He ran times of 4.46 and 4.47 in the 40 and showed his exceptional athletic ability with the best vertical jump of the day at 40 1/2 inches. Davis also stood out in the NFL shuttle drills that gave him a chance to display his quick feet and all-around athletic ability.

The only faster player at Tuesday's pro day was walk-on defensive back Blake Poole, who ran a 4.42 at 5-10 3/8, 183 pounds. Poole also had a 38-inch vertical jump.

*Cody Parkey was very sharp kicking for the NFL scouts. His only missed field goal was a 65-yarder and he made a 60-yarder that would have been good from more than 70 yards. Parkey noted that he was very happy with his workout and that he is getting a lot of attention from pro teams who are interested in signing him as a free agent if he isn't drafted.

*Steven Clark was punting the ball in the 45-50-yard range with good hang time at pro day. He said that he wasn't as consistent as he hoped with his directional punting, but in general felt good about his pro day performance.

*Fullback Jay Prosch said he felt good about his 40-yard dash. He was timed at 4.65 seconds. Considered the strongest player on the Auburn team, Prosch noted that he was hoping to do around 35 reps on the bench press and was disappointed with his total of 27, which was the second best of the day.

Jay Prosch is shown in the Tuesday workouts.

"I did very well in the drills," Prosch said. "I worked with the D-line and I also did linebacker drills. Overall, I was very happy with my performance." Prosch said he has been training on the AU campus and said that he plans to continue to do that until the draft.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, who watched the workouts, said he has no doubts that Prosch can be a success in the NFL because of his blocking skills and ability as a receiver.

*Demetruce McNeal said he was happy to get a chance to return to Auburn and go through pro day with his former teammates. "It's a blessing to be back here," said McNeal, who was dismissed from the team last August and played his senior season at West Alabama where he was a third-team Division II All-American. "I am glad Coach Malzahn gave me an opportunity to come back."

McNeal, a safety who plans to take classes at Auburn this summer to finish his degree, measured 6-0, 1/2 and weighed 190 pounds. He did a 32-inch vertical jump and was clocked at under 4.5 in the 40 by several scouts.

*Defensive lineman Kenneth Carter weighed in at 6-3 7/8, did 22 reps on the bench press and had a 32-inch vertical jump.

*Defensive end Craig Sanders tested well, too. He measured in at 6-3 1/2, 248 pounds. He had a 30 1/2 vertical jump did 24 reps on bench press and ran a 4.74 40.

*Linebacker Jake Holland, who measured 6-0 1/8 inch and 237 pounds, did 30 inches on the vertical jump, 20 reps on the bench press and ran a 4.70 40.

*Defensive backs Ryan Smith and Ryan White both showed good speed, running their 40-yard dashes in the 4.5 range with some stopwatches clocking each player at under 4.5. White had the best standing long jump at 10 feet, five inches, edging Ford and Davis by one inch. White had a 34-inch vertical jump and Smith jumped 32 1/2 inches.

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