A host of small-school players from places like Valdosta State and Fort Valley State, among others, ran, but the scouts didn't take them very seriously – as usual. An interesting sidebar is that former Georgia running back and recent Missouri State Bear Michael Cooper was on the sign-up sheet to participate in today's workouts, but that didn't not happen – he did not run, and I did not see him. Cooper finished his college career with 1,489 yards on 382 carries.
Charles Johnson seemed like the player scouts were most interested in. Johnson pulled his hamstring running his second 40-yard dash of the day (4.72), and at that point, when it was clear Johnson was not going to workout any longer, the scout from the Jacksonville Jaguars packed up his belongings and moved to the next field – he was uninterested in the rest of the cast of characters. Johnson, like his position-mate Moses, did not participate during vertical, broad jump or bench press workouts. Johnson was to workout in other drills, but after the tweaking him hamstring it was clear his day was over. He was quite pained by the injury.
If there was a player who did well for himself today it was Danny Ware. Ware has always had a great body and I think he's inching closer and closer to being a 5th Round or later pick. I would be surprised, now, if he was not drafted. Ware executed the bench press 25 times, second behind only Nick Jones on that drill. He also ran a 4.68 40-yard dash along with his 10-0 ½ broad jump, which was the best of the day.
Ware worked out with a New York Giants scout, but I don't know if he was working with that scout because that was the guy whose organization was most interested in ware or if he was simply the guy designated to deal with the running backs, of which Ware was the only one present.
Ware worked on passing drills, where he did not excel, along with Martrez Milner, Mario Raley and Tyson Browning. Browning, it seems, is still interested in getting a spot on a pro team's special teams unit. It's hard to think he would be able to do that in the NFL, but he was there, so his chances of playing something somewhere must be serious. Raley looks bigger than in the season, but that could be because I have not seen him in seemingly forever.
Milner, more than any other player, seems to continue to help himself as time goes on. He looked heavy during parts of last season, but now, although he may well be at the same weight, he looks good. He didn't drop a ball that I saw during the workouts, and folks I spoke with didn't see him miss one either. Martrez is a guy who I think needs to be given some credit for getting it together in time, professionally, to help himself maximize the amount of dollars he can get now – and that's the name of the game for these guys.
It surprised me, considering who was out there, that Danny Verdun Wheeler looked as good as he did. I don't think it will push him ups into being a guaranteed draftee, but I think he realizes that he's got an uphill battle on that one anyway…
Punter Gordon Ely-Kelso said he punted ten balls, and that "about four teams" watched as he did so. He couldn't recall the teams watching him. He punted while the rest of the group got ready to run 40-yard dashes.
Tra Battle was probably the fastest guy clocked, but I didn't get a time on him. The scouts can be unreasonable about their personal space. I am not sure what they are freaked out about, but they are very suspicious of anyone without an NFL logo on their outfit. They, in general, are crabby people. I guess I would be, too, after the never-ending monotony of watching players shuttled through the same drills over and over again like cattle. So they can have their numbers, but here is what I gathered with a little (a lot) of help from my friends.