WRs boost stock

Pro football is all about speed, and two former University of Tennessee receivers boosted their market value with NFL scouts by posting good 40-yard dash clockings during Wednesday's Pro Timing Day at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

Chris Hannon clocked a blistering 4.37 seconds, best of the day among the 19 former Vols hoping to enhance their stock in time for the April 29-30 NFL Draft. That time, combined with his 6-3 height and leaping ability, should get him selected on Day 2 of the Draft, although early projections list him as a probable free agent.

C.J. Fayton didn't sizzle like Hannon but he lowered his 40 time from 4.66 at the first Pro Timing Day to 4.51 on Wednesday afternoon. Fayton remains a long-shot to be drafted but the improved 40 time should earn him a better free-agent deal and a better chance to stick with an NFL club.

"Overall, I would have to say our pro timing days were successful," Condredge Holloway, UT's assistant athletics director for player relations, said in a statement released by the sports information department. "Hopefully, we made some impressions on the scouts that will enhance the futures of some of our players."

Hannon was a real enigma during his college career. He appeared to be a budding superstar as a sophomore in 2003, recording a three-TD game vs. Mississippi State and a five-catch, 95-yard performance against Auburn. As a junior in 2004 he had an eight-catch, 89-yard outing vs. Florida but did little else all season. The 2005 season brought more of the same, as he had one big game (six catches for 55 yards vs. LSU) but was relatively quiet in the other 10 games.

Like Hannon, Fayton was a quarterback in high school. Like Hannon, Fayton caught 24 passes last fall. Amazingly enough, their receiving yardage was nearly identical. Hannon's 24 catches in '05 produced 268 yards, while Fayton's produced 272 yards.

The difference in the two men was that Hannon never quite lived up to expectations, while Fayton exceeded expectations. He emerged as Rick Clausen's favorite target in 2005, catching five balls for 97 yards in the opener vs. UAB and eight balls for 61 yards in Game 3 vs. LSU. He suffered an ankle injury in Game 4 vs. Ole Miss, however, that caused him to miss Game 5 vs. Georgia and catch just eight passes for 82 yards the rest of the year.

According to Holloway, defensive back Jason Allen, linebacker Omar Gaither, defensive end Parys Haralson and defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona – all of whom participated in the NFL Combine back in February – also helped their stock by performing well during the two Knoxville Pro Days.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories