Pro Day: NFL Scouts Check Out AU Prospects

A small army of pro football scouts invaded the Auburn campus to test 16 former Tiger football players prior to the NFL draft.

Auburn, Ala.--NFL scouts arrived early on the Auburn campus for AU's annual Pro Day as a dozen 2003 seniors and four former Tigers were put through a battery of physical tests on Monday.

All 32 teams asked for video on an Auburn senior whose stock is rising, wide receiver Jeris McIntyre. The second generation Auburn football player was watched intensely by the scouts and he didn't disappoint with smoking times in the 40-yard dash and strong performances in a variety of other drills.

Many of the pro scouts got there early to study the video of McIntyre and others stayed late after the Pro Day to talk to the senior from Tampa, Fla., who has been working out on campus since Auburn's bowl victory over Wisconsin.

"It went great, just great," said a beaming McIntyre after he finished the workout. "Just having the opportunity to have guys come out and take a look at you and having a chance to play in the NFL is a great experience and great opportunity."

McIntyre got the attention of pro scouts with a good senior season and followed up with an impressive workout at the NFL Combine. On Monday at the Auburn football complex, he came out of the blocks smoking in the first test, the 40-yard dash. With a sea of scouts using stop watches to check his time on the outdoors artificial turf field, a murmur went through the crowd of scouts when they checked their watches on the first of McIntyre's two runs.

Scouts asked other scouts to confirm the times that were showing up as fast a 4.30. When McIntyre lined up for his second 40, he raced through the finish line in a sizzling time of 4.33. The only other players to run a sub 4.5 40 were former AU defensive back Rashaud Walker, who ran a 4.45, and former AU running back Chris Butler, who ran a 4.48.

McIntyre followed his 40-time with strong performances on the indoor practice field in a variety of shuttle drills. He had a 34-inch vertical jump and weighed in 201 pounds on a five foot, 11.4-inch tall frame.

"A lot of the scouts talked to me individually," McIntyre noted. "I think the teams are just trying to get a feel for you about how you are as a person. I can't pinpoint a number, but there were a lot of scouts who came by and talked to me and told me that I did well and to keep working hard."

Jeris McIntyre leaps high for a one-handed grab during the wide receiver workout portion of Pro Day.

When asked if he thought he improved his stock as a pro prospect, McIntyre said, "I think so. I did pretty well at the combine, but I wanted to come out here and do better and I did that. I am happy that I was able to come out and perform the way I did, especially running. At the combine my 40-times were in the 4.4s and out here they were in the 4.3s."

The son of former Auburn running back Secdrick McIntyre said that he will continue to stay in Auburn this spring. "I am going to work out on campus and hope everything works out for the best with the NFL draft," he said. "I came a long way as a football player. Thankfully, I had a good senior year. The Lord has blessed me to give me the opportunity to do what I am doing now."

Karlos Dansby, a potential first round draft pick, got plenty of attention from the scouts. Dansby measured six foot, three 3/10ths inches tall and weighed in at 247 pounds. He ran a 4.6 on his first 40, but slipped out of the blocks on his second and ran a 4.72. The scouts asked for a re-run and he got another poor start and ran 4.70 on the third try.

Dansby excelled in the on-the-field linebacker drills and like McIntyre he got plenty of individual attention from the NFL scouts. The big linebacker had a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump and did 15 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

Karlos Dansby runs a pursuit drill for the NFL scouts.

"It was great," Dansby said of the Pro Day. "It is a great opportunity for me to have a chance to better my life. I am just trying to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I think I did the drills real well," Dansby says. "I think the scouts were impressed by my ability out on the field. I just tried to show them that Coach (Joe) Whitt taught me well and I can play football."

Whitt was one of the Auburn coaches on the field checking out part of the testing. The veteran linebacker coach went out of his way to give a plug to the pro scouts for Dansby and fellow linebacker Dontarrious Thomas as players and people.

"Coach Whitt and the coaches treated me well and it is a good feeling to know they are supportive of me," Dansby said. "I am thankful for the opportunity they gave me."

Dansby noted he plans to continue his training to get ready for the NFL draft and will likely do private workouts for NFL teams prior to draft day. "I am expecting phone calls about that in the next few days," he said.

Thomas showed his athletic ability at linebacker by running a 4.51 40 and doing well in the individual LB drills. He measured 6-2 1/2, 244 pounds and scouts said they liked the way he cut and ran in the linebacker drills. Thomas had the best vertical jump of the day at 38 inches leaping from a standing start.

Although he didn't play linebacker for the Tigers, Reggie Torbor worked out with the linebackers as well as the defensive linemen. The former high school running back showed his quick feet by clocking a 40-time of 4.57 after weighing in at 6-2, 3/10th and 254 pounds. Torbor tweaked a hamstring and had to pass on the vertical jump and several other drills, but likely helped his stock with the pro scouts with good showings in the drills he completed.

One of Auburn's most productive players in recent years, defensive lineman Demarco McNeil said he enjoyed the experience. "It went pretty good for the most part," McNeil said. "There were some good times and some not so good times. It was up and down, just like a football game."

McNeil, who weighed in at 307 pounds at 6-1 4/10ths, ran a 5.3 40, which was not unexpected considering his history of knee trouble. He had the second highest total of reps in the bench press with 21. Fellow defensive lineman Spencer Johnson was the leader with 22 reps of 225 pounds.

"Overall, I did pretty good," McNeil said. "I did pretty much what I was capable of doing."

Fullback Brandon Johnson got attention from the NFL scouts, too, but said he wasn't satisfied with how he tested.

"The pro day was neat even though I didn't think I did as well as I think I could have," he said. "Every day isn't the same and this might have been one of my worst days, but it wasn't too bad. I will just take what the good Lord gives me and go from there."

Brandon Johnson waits his turn to do the bench press test.

The hard-nosed fullback measured in at 5-11 1/10th tall and 233 pounds. He ran a 4.63 40 and was very impressive in the vertical jump going 35 inches. He bench pressed 225 pounds 21 reps and said that was a disappointment. "I felt like I could have done better on the cone drills because I slipped on those," he says. "I felt like I could have done more on the bench. I have practiced it quite a few times and have never done that low. I was expecting to get at least 25. I have run faster in the 40, too, but I have also run worse."

Other members of the 2003 football team who tested for the pros included offensive guard Monreko Crittenden, defensive back Roshard Gilyard, defensive tackle Dexter Murphy, offensive tackle Mark Pera and deep snapper Jeremy Wells. The other two participants were former AU running back Michael Owens and former Tiger wide receiver Marcel Willis.

Wells, who walked on at AU and earned a scholarship, has no delusions that an NFL career is in his future, but noted he enjoyed the experience. "I didn't test all that well, but I did really well for me," said Wells, who ran 40-times of 5.55 and 5.49. "That isn't very fast, but it is an all-time best for me," he said with a grin. Wells added, "My first 40 when I crossed the line I heard stop watches going off everywhere. On my second 40 I think I heard two."

Pro Day Notes: Offensive lineman Monreko Crittenden was the biggest participant at 6-4, 358 pounds. He ran a 5.5 40 and did 14 reps on the bench press...Roshard Gilyard measured 5-9 1/2, 205 and ran identical times of 4.58 in his two 40s. Gilyard had a 35-inch vertical jump and did 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press...Spencer Johnson ran times of 4.95 and 4.99 in the 40 at 6-2 6/10th, 291 pounds. He had a 31 1/8 vertical jump...Dexter Murphy ran 5.25 and 5.27 in the 40, but did better in some of the agility drills. He recorded a 27 1/2-inch vertical jump at 6-1 4/10ths, 288 pounds...Mark Pera ran times of 5.36 and 5.39 in the 40. He went 29 1/2 on the vertical jump and and had 13 reps on the bench press...Chris Butler was 5-11 1/10th 214 pounds and ran times of 4.63 and 4.48 in the 40. He had a 34-inch vertical jump and benched 225 11 times....Michael Owens ran a 4.55 at 5-10 4/10ths, 227. He did 17 reps on the bench press...Marcel Willis was 6-0 1/2, 188 and ran a 4.6 40. He tested well on several shuttle drills and didn't test on the bench press...Nearly 100 scouts attended the workout...Among the former AU standouts who attended the combine were NFL stars Takeo Spikes and Marcus Washington.

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