LSU Pro Day a big success

With the April 25 NFL draft on the horizon, athletes from across the country are buckling down for their final workouts before resting their fate in the hands of the decision makers. Monday, coaches and personnel from across the league traveled to Baton Rouge to see the talent on hand at LSU's Pro Day.

2009 Pro Day Scorecard

After spending their college years under the lights of Death Valley, 13 Tigers from last year's roster took to the indoor facility Monday morning to showcase their talents in front of a handful of scouts representing nearly every team across the NFL.


Following the opening weigh in, participants were tested on their vertical jump, broad jump and bench press (225 pounds). The events moved from the weight room to the practice field for the 40-yard dash, shuttle run and three cone drills.


After times were set on their scorecards, participants broke down into workouts with personnel from interested teams.


The highlight of the day's events came from Kirston Pittman. The senior defensive lineman measured in at 6'2.5", 250 pounds, keeping him in the conversation for looks at both defensive end and outside linebacker.


The Garyville native's stock saw significant increase by the end of the morning, recording a 4.68 forty, a team-high 28 reps on the bench, an 8-8 broad jump and a 30 inch vertical.


Coaches from the Cleveland Browns, among others, worked Pittman out at linebacker at the close of the day's events, keeping the door open for Pittman to move into a role on the outside in 3-4 defensive packages.


Tyson Jackson, who is projected to be the first Tiger taken come April, only worked out on the bench press, where he recorded 20 reps. Measuring in at 6'4.1", 296-pounds, Jackson elected to pass on the forty after he recorded a 4.91 at the combine in February.


"My reason for getting out here today was to just get some workouts with the coaches that are looking at me," he said. "I wanted to work on my explosion coming out of the stance, striking the bags well and improve my hip flexibility. A lot of the coaches came up to me and told me I had done well today, so I am happy with that."


The Edgard native said that returning for his senior year went a long way in showing coaches the character he possesses on and off the field.


"The coaches talk a lot about not getting into trouble," Jackson said. "Being able to come back for another year and graduating and being a team captain, all of that has a major impact."


After participating in the Senior Bowl in Mobile following the Georgia Tech win, Herman Johnson got the feeling that he had a long way to go before being ready for April's draft. After the feedback he received at the NFL combine, those feelings became his reality.


"I am all about business right now, and I want to try to make a change for myself," Johnsons said. "I dropped about 37 pounds. I had been hearing all about my weight, and the big thing was if I could lose it and maintain it. It is all about business and making a living now."


With talks of being placed at either guard or tackle at the next level, Johnson remains confident with where he stands moving forward.


"I have been hearing a lot of good stuff from scouts and coaches after today," he said. "They are telling me they will be calling me soon, so I feel great right now. I am hearing from San Diego, Tampa Bay, Chicago and Miami, and the talks are for late first or early second round."


Byrd, whose lackluster senior season put the weight of draft day on his combine efforts, said that today was about proving that he still had what it takes.


"Really I had to show off two weeks ago at the [NFL] combine, just to show them I can still play," he said "Last year I didn't have a quarterback to get me the ball in certain situations that I might have been open, so I had to show them what I could make happen.


"I did good today, and I felt that I improved off the combine," added Byrd. "I was still sore with my injury from the bowl game then, so today I bounced back. They had said my routes weren't consistent all year, so I had to come out and show them I can play."


Byrd, who recorded a 4.42 forty time at the combine, ran a 4.43 on Monday.


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