The number one story line of the day was Justin Blackmon and his 40-yard dash. The projected early first-round NFL draft choice needed a good time to solidify his position. Blackmon did not run indoors in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine. He had to be a little worried with the expected weather conditions, but God showed that he is a fan of Weeden2Blackmon as well with a day of all blue skies, mild temperature and light winds.
"I was checking the weather app on my phone about every couple of hours hoping it (forecast) would change," Weeden said of his concern on Thursday with the nasty weather. "It worked out well because the last few years have been miserable. It has been cold and rainy and that is bad for a quarterback. This was about as good as it can get, and he (God) was with us today."
Blackmon said he was not as concerned and was more confident in the weather. Wearing the NFL Pro Day shirts that Rob Glass had printed up for the event with his number 81 on back, Blackmon looked good running from the 10-yard line in the west end of the stadium to the finish on the 50, and the result was outstanding.
My watch had him with two identical 4.34 clockings. The slowest watch I know of with the scouts had identical 4.51 times and the released time after the scout convened was expected to be 4.46 to 4.48. They are all good.
"I wasn't too concerned. I know what I can run," Blackmon said afterwards. "I know I had it set in my mind and it was just going out and executing it. I'm going to try and relax for probably the rest of the day and tomorrow, but it will be back to work pretty quick."
His college head coach and his college quarterback were not surprised at how well Blackmon ran, and neither was NFL Network expert Mike Mayock.
"I had him at 4.48 and 4.49 and that was consistent with what everybody else had him at," said Mayock, a former NFL player and the analyst that has really become the preemminent NFL Draft expert working for the NFL Network.
"He has now eliminated that concern, a big body wide receiver that runs in the 4.5 and high 4.4 area is good. He needs to not do anything dumb and stay in shape. I was telling Justin this morning, the (draft) process is so much longer than these guys understand. I think Justin is doing a great job of handling this."
"He looked like he was moving," said Weeden. "Obviously, he is a high pick and he is going to make one team and the players in that locker room very happy because he can change the game. He did what he needed to make a lot of money, and I'm very happy for him."
OSU head coach Mike Gundy said, "Blackmon was going to perform very well and there is a reason he is going to be a top-five pick. When they buckle up on game day and they begin playing all of those other teams, they are going to wish he was on their team."
Weeden's 40 time was not nearly as critical, but true to his word the Edmond, Okla., product that started as a pro athlete out of high school as a second-round pick of the New York Yankees in the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft, ran what was likely the last 40 of his career.
"I don't think anybody expected me to run like I did, but I was a one and done. I didn't even run my second one," said Weeden of his forty, which we had at 4.87 and we were told most scouts had him between 4.86 and 4.9.
"I've thrown the ball well and I think once you see all my games in college, the Senior Bowl week, the Combine, and today, people recognize that I can throw the ball pretty well."
Weeden certainly threw well on Friday during a 33-minute session, throwing both on the run and in five- and seven-step drops with routes going to either side and ranging from backs out of the backfield to the flat, to stick routes, short outs, medium outs, post and flag routes and more.
Every throw was on the money with one exception as a pass was just a little short but certainly catchable. Blackmon, Josh Cooper (who ran a 4.56), and Colton Chelf did most of the catching. Jarrod Fields, who ran a 4.5 in the 40 and also had a sensational 39-inch vertical jump, ran the routes out of the backfield.
"I thought Brandon did a great job," said Mayock. "He threw the ball extremely well, both on the move and outside the numbers, and those were the two things that I wanted to see. I thought Justin ran the 40 well. You don't like to see two drops (by Blackmon) in a workout like that but in the scheme of things it really doesn't matter."
"I thought guys ran well and I thought the throwing session went well," added Weeden.
The last pass and maybe the last time Weeden hits Blackmon on the Boone Pickens turf in front of a crowd was a deep 50-yard post in the end zone.
"It was a post for a completion, and that works," said Weeden. "Trust me, I'm going to keep throwing to him because he is fun to throw to. We will come out and sling it around, but as far as that last one, the one that actually mattered, that was a touchdown!"
"That is one of my favorite routes and that was for the crowd," added Blackmon of the pitch and catch. "We'll get back in here and keep throwing over the next few weeks, but other than that we will be done perfroming together."
As menioned, one of the interested spectators was Denver Broncos executive John Elway. Elway is rumored to have interest in Weeden as an alternative quarterback to the athletic and extremely popular Tim Tebow. The Broncos have the 25th pick in the first round. The rumor also included that Weeden was taken to dinner last night by Elway and the Broncos contingent including head coach John Fox.
"You betcha," said Elway, confirming the rumor.
"He bought, so I had dinner with him," said Weeden. "I wasn't supposed to say anything but since he did, I went to dinner with him and Coach Fox and all of the Broncos staff and had a great time. Came up here to the field and did some stuff and then watched (tape) of a little bit of the Stanford game (Fiesta Bowl), got on the board a little bit and then went and had a great dinner. (We) didn't really talk ball, but listened to Coach Fox tell some stories and had a great time."
Other teams expected to have strong interest in Weeden include the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.
Some of those teams may also be in the hunt for new free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. The paths actually crossed today as Manning flew into Stillwater Airport on one plane and got off and boarded the plane carrying Elway and the Broncos group back to Denver.
Blackmon also says the chance to meet coaches and NFL executives is a perk to the "path to the draft."
"They are a lot of fun and you get to do a lot of things that most normal 22-year-olds don't get to do," said Blackmon, who also had a vertical jump of 35 inches. "It's a blessing and a privilege and I am just taking it all in as I go."
Other Cowboys that ran well, tested well, added to their combine results and may have helped themselves include defensive ends Jamie Blatnick (4.72) and Richetti Jones (4.74 in the forty, 34-inch vertical jump, and 30 reps on the bench).
Also, wide receiver Hubert Anyiam (4.44, 36 1/2-inch, 18 reps), and offensive linemen Levy Adcock, Grant Garner, and Nick Martinez. The disappointments were Blatnick not getting to bench press again because of a strained pec muscle and standout safety Markelle Martin not being able to participate as he was walking around on crutches with an undisclosed injury.
All the Cowboys were aided by the attention brough in by Weeden and Blackmon. "There is no doubt that helps us," said Blatnick, "Those guys bring a lot of people in and they don't just watch them, they watch us all."
On a beautiful Friday in Stillwater, Okla., they had to like what they saw.