Notebook: NC State Pro Day

RALEIGH, N.C. -- It was NFL Pro Day at NC State and several Wolfpack players completed drills in front of dozens of NFL scouts.

Other athletes from surrounding smaller colleges were also on hand in hopes of being taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the majority of the players working out were NC State seniors.

The players began workouts in the Murphy Center and after taking measurements they did all of the testing in the facility. Then they headed out to Carter-Finley Stadium around 2:30 pm to do the position workouts in front of the NFL scouts.

Participants included: quarterback Brandon Mitchell, wideout Rashard Smith, wideout Quintin Payton, tight end Asa Watson, offensive lineman Duran Christophe, defensive lineman Darryl Cato-Bishop, defensive tackle Carlos Gray, defensive tackle Deylan Buntyn, linebacker Zack Gentry, linebacker Robert Caldwell, and defensive back Dontae Johnson.

Several players worked out at multiple positions. Smith went through defensive back drills, and Cato-Bishop also worked out with the linebackers. Buntyn participated in offensive line drills, and Mitchell worked out with the wide receivers and tight ends. "Hopefully some of the guys improved themselves," said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren during the event.

The Recruitment Of Smith
Wideout/defensive back Rashard Smith smiled when asked about the process of choosing an agent.

"It was like recruiting all over again," said Smith. "It really wasn't that hard because I had two guys speaking to me.

It was a decision between my agent that I have now, Malik Shareef, and another guy just starting up his business."

What was the deciding factor for Smith?

"I went with the guy that I feel like will help me the most," said Smith. "Who has more to get me in a training camp, get me drafted... anything."

Shareef, who also represents current NFL players Janoris Jenkins and E.J. Manuel, played a role in Smith's decision to work out at defensive back and wide receiver.

"I have stats as a defensive back and as a receiver," said Smith. "Me and my agent, we talked about it and he said to work as a DB because the more I can do the more it will help me."

Watson Impresses
Asa Watson reportedly performed very well, posting, according to, a 4.65 and 4.71 40-yard dash along with a 32-inch vertical, 9-9 broad jump, and 26 reps of 225 pounds.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt on Watson: "the brother of New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson — [Asa] is a very good receiver. He has excellent hands and runs very good routes. He is likely a third-day draft pick."

"Things went pretty well," said Watson. "I had a pretty good day. I thought I ran pretty well in the routes. I was up in some numbers, like my jumps inside. I put a good foot forward.

"I think I've accomplished all my goals and did the best that I could today."

Johnson Didn't Surprise Johnson
A lot of people may have been surprised when Dontae Johnson posted an official 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.

He wasn't one of them.

"I've always had it," said Johnson. "Honestly, I've been fast as a kid. A lot of people didn't anticipate me running that, but I did. I anticipated running a 4.4 or lower, a low 4.4... it didn't shock me at all.

"Going into it they were expecting me to run a low 4.5 or high 4.5... just to run a 4.45 was great and turned a lot of heads."

Johnson says his confidence carried over in Indianapolis.

"I was just ready," he said. "My mind was focused, and I was ready once I got to Indianapolis [for the combine]. I was just really prepared. I wasn't shocked by anything and really confident in what I did."

Johnson only did position drills on Monday because he was pleased with all of his combine numbers.

"The positional drills, I think I did a better job than I did at the combine," he stated. "I got a little gassed at the end but that's expected after talking with the scouts. Other than that, I felt my footwork was pretty good."

Parting Shots
There were no specific numbers to report because the times were recorded in Carter-Finley Stadium and the measurements and drills were conducted inside of the Murphy Center, which was closed to the media.

  • Former Wolfpack tight end Mario Carter also participated in the Pro Day.

  • NC State linebacker D.J. Green didn't work out at Pro Day.

  • A group of current Wolfpack players were watching the workouts, including: Tony Creecy, Juston Burris, Tyson Chandler, Andy Jomantas, Hakim Jones, and Scott Thompson among others.

  • Several of NC State's coaches were also in attendance, including: Dave Doeren, Ryan Nielsen, Frisman Jackson, Des Kitchings, Jason Veltkamp, and Dave Huxtable among others.

  • Former Wolfpack players C.J. Wilson, Tobais Palmer, and Jesse Riley were on hand for the workouts.

  • NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt posted Darryl Cato-Bishop's workout number from the Pro Day. Cato-Bishop ran a 4.94 40-yard dash and had a 29.5-inch vertical jump.

    "Cato-Bishop is likely a late-round (sixth or seventh rounds) draft choice," wrote Brandt.

  • Dontae Johnson named three when asked to pick the toughest player he played against while at NC State.

    "Probably the trio at Clemson, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, and Martavius Bryant," said Johnson. "I actually got to train with Martavius Bryant before the combine."

  • All 32 teams were represented at the event.

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