WSU Pro Day: Deone a hot topic

PULLMAN – Washington State hosted its NFL Pro Day today, giving nine outgoing Cougar seniors the opportunity to prove their worth to the multiple NFL scouts in attendance. Of all the Cougars who participating, it was no surprise all eyes primarily were on Deone Bucannon. Indeed, despite only participating in the skill-position drills, Bucannon was the hot topic of discussion among the scouts.

The scouts on hand hailed from Seattle, Green Bay, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh and San Diego.

Bucannon said he chose not to participate in the speed or jumping workouts because he recently performed at the NFL combine and felt he didn't need to prove more.

"It's hard for me because I love to compete," Bucannon said of his decision to sit out the initial drills. "At the same time, it's a process and you have to prepare for those things and what I was preparing for was just the position drills."

The position drills were all the scouts needed to see from the 6-foot-1, 211-pound safety.

"He's tough, aggressive and he's going to be a good player in the NFL for a long time," said one scout who asked not to identified. "Tough to say where he'll be drafted but he's going to have a long career."

Another scout said he's also unsure where Bucannon will be drafted but he was impressed with Bucannon's combine and pro day performances. He also said the lack of depth at the safety position in this year's draft class is in Bucannon's favor.

Besides Bucannon, the other participants Thursday were CB Damante Horton, OL John Fullington, OL Matt Goetz, LB Justin Sagote, NT Ioane Gauta, OL Rico Forbes and P Mike Bowlin.

Kicker Andrew Furney made a brief appearance. He didn't participate in any drills but cleanly knocked through a 58-yard trey.

THE FIRST EVENT OF THE day was the vertical jump.

Horton recorded the best mark, with an unofficial leap of 33-inches followed by Bowlin with an unofficial jump of 30-inches.

Other notable vertical jumps (unofficial): Sagote (29) and Fullington (28.10) and Guata (28.5).

In the standing long jump, Horton was again the high man. He recorded an unofficial jump of 9-0. Other notable standing jumps (unofficial): Bowlin (8-11) Fullington (8-8) Sagote (8-7) and Guata (8-4).

The bench press belonged to the offensive lineman. Forbes led the way with (officially) 31 reps with 225 pounds on the bar and Fullington put up 30 of his own.

Fullington, Horton and Forbes were the only ones to participate.

"I like bench (press)," Fullington said. "I was expecting to get about 30."

Of the scouts in attendance, Fullington said he felt the Kansas City Chiefs appeared to be the most interested after taking him aside and chatting with him privately.

Horton was stopped short at nine reps in the bench press and said no explanation was given to him from the scouts as to why he wasn't permitted to continue.

The official times for the 40-yard dash were unavailable but one scout did say he clocked Forbes twice under 5.0 seconds. He also said Forbes was the surprise of the day after his quality outing in the bench press and the 40-yard dash.

Horton underperformed in the 40 but showed the ball skills and footwork that are evident on his game tapes, the San Diego scout said.

Horton said he felt he could have ran faster but performed best in the position drills, where he was perfect in terms of defending/catching passes.

An NFC scout said he was also impressed at Horton's display of both good hands and footwork in the position drills.

Multiple scouts agreed Bucannon is likely the only Cougar to be drafted but one scout said he does anticipate other players making their way onto NFL teams as undrafted free agents but did not name specific players.

The San Diego scout didn't completely write Bucannon off, but said his team has bigger needs than the safety position.


  • Unofficial shuttle times
    Horton – 4.20
    Sagote – 4.20
    Guata – 4.41
    Fullington – 4.55
    Forbes – 4.55

  • Bucannon said one thing that separates him from the other draft prospects is his work ethic and his football IQ. "I'm a straight forward guy," he said. "I only need to be told something once."

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