CHAMPAIGN - After going two seasons without a draft pick, Illinois prospects attracted scouts from all 32 NFL teams to the Illini Pro Day on Thursday, a sign that new Illini football coach Lovie Smith is taking over a program with some players with pro potential.
A former NAIA player and Illinois walk-on shined the most. Clayton Fejedelem helped his borderline draftable stock with a strong performance. The Second Team All-Big Ten safety posted several measurements that would have ranked among the top defensive backs at last month's NFL Scouting Combine.
Fejedelem ran a 4.53-second 40-yard, which would have ranked tied for fourth among safeties at the Combine. His 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press would've ranked third among defensive backs at the combine, and his 40.5-inch vertical jump would have ranked tied for seventh among all Combine performers.
Offensive lineman Ted Karras, also a borderline draftable prospect, also seemed to help his stock. His 32 bench-press reps would have tied for third among offensive lineman at the NFL Combine.
Running back Josh Ferguson, projected as a mid-round pick, only participated in positional drills. He will stand on his numbers from the Combine.
Wide receiver Geronimo Allison trimmed his 40 time from 4.67 at the Combine to 4.61.
Defensive lineman Jihad Ward, projected to go in the first two rounds by most draft prognosticators, received the most attention from scouts. He trimmed his 40 time from 5.11 at the Combine to 5.01.
Illini Pro Day results
|Player||Ht||Wt||40yd dash||Vertical||3 cone||Bench|