Follow Sam on Twitter
With scouts from more than half of the N.F.L. teams on hand, the former Maryland football players put their skills on display one last time before the draft next month.
It was an opportunity for the ex-Terrapins to speak with potential teams, improve upon a weakness in their games or simply show they are worthy of a roster spot as a late-round flier or undrafted free agent.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith stole most of the spotlight Wednesday. After a junior season in which he set career-highs in receptions (67), receiving yards (1,055) and touchdowns (12), Smith opted to forgo his final year of eligibility for a chance in the pros.
A likely first- or second-round pick, Smith capitalized on a strong combine where finished among the top five in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump. But physical attributes were not a question; Pro Day would allow him to demonstrate his on-field talents as well.
"No one questions my athletic ability," Smith said after his position-specific drills. "I'm not the greater so I just got to work on polishing up as a receiver. Routes, hands, everything – I just got to continue to grow."
Following the combine, Smith traveled back and forth from Miami where he trains to College Park to work alongside wide receivers coach Lee Hull five or six times.
"I definitely got to take him out to eat or something because I definitely think I felt myself getting better."
Smith has already been interviewed by 18 teams during the Combine, with some individual workouts and meeting scheduled in the near future.
The No. 9 receiver by The National Football Post and No. 5 by ESPN Scouts Inc. has been mock drafted everywhere from the Miami Dolphins to the Atlanta Falcons to the Baltimore Ravens. Yet when pressed for which franchise would be his favorite landing spot, Smith had 32 reasons to smile.
"Whichever team calls my name – they'll be my favorite team. I'll just be fortunate to have my name called."
Like Smith, Da'Rel Scott sought to use his Pro Day as a chance to refine his skills for the scouts. The former Terrapins running back took the Combine by storm when he posted the fastest 40-time (4.34) among his position.
The ensuing reports by The National Post suggested Scott's stock skyrocketed, even being mentioned as a late first-round pick. To validate that notion, Scott took to the field to exhibit his pass-catching abilities.
"I showed [scouts] I could catch out of the backfield," Scott said, as he fits the mold of a scatback in the N.F.L. "That's something I had to make sure I could do. That's something running backs have to do at the next level."
Scott spent time with his former teammate Danny O'Brien, over the past few weeks, having his quarterback throw him difficult passes that would force him to make adjustments.
As for teams interested in Scott's talents, he said it was up in the air. Drafting is an improbable science; just ask Adrian Moten.
Coming off a four-interception campaign – second amongst linebackers in the country – Moten is drawing interest from a couple of teams, he says, both in 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes.
"Everybody has got their opinion on where you're going to be at; what they like about you; what they dislike about you," Moten said. "You never know until April 28."
Moten and fellow linebacker Alex Wujciak, are the only two Terrapins defenders likely to have their name called on draft day. But Pro Day was an opportunity for the other seniors and draft-eligible players to make a lasting impression and possibly find a home on special teams next season.
Although an uncertain N.F.L. Collective Bargaining Agreement casts a shadow of doubt over undrafted rookies signing with teams, their professional futures could hang in the balance on their performance today.
"It's kind of stressful," Cannon said, adding he could only manage a few hours of sleep the previous night. "We've been waiting for this day a long time."
It was so nerve-wracking Cannon admitted to dropping a pass or two after just five drops in the past four years.
Alongside with fellow wide receiver Lee-Odai, Cannon worked out every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in hopes of impressing scouts Wednesday. His agent, Josh Stevens, told him teams wanted him to trim his 40-time to the 4.5-, 4.6-second range. Instead, Cannon ran a 4.4 for the first time.
Cannon and the fellow seniors will not wait to the end of April and beyond to see if N.F.L. teams will contact them. There was definite interest, according to Cannon, by some teams, although he is intrigued to play for "any 32 of them."