Coug linebacker a testing savant at WSU Pro Day

PULLMAN – With big names like Gabe Marks and Shalom Luani participating at Washington State's Pro Day, and 22 NFL and CFL scouts in attendance, a lesser known Cougar linebacker grabbed a share of the spotlight for himself. And his 40 time had the scouts talking.

Paris Taylor was by far the biggest performer on paper, recording a vertical leap of 32 inches, 15 reps on bench press, a broad jump of 9-9 and a 40-yard dash time that definitely sparked some chatter among the scouts.

Unfortunately, the NFL and CFL scouts refused to share their times on cone drills and 40, which were all unofficial and taken by hand. (We're still scouring the interwebs to see if any 40 times made it out into the wild).

However, I did hear whispers of Taylor running his 40 somewhere in the 4.4 to 4.6 range, with rumblings of 4.55 making the rounds.  Here are more photos and videos (in case you missed our earlier piece with pics and video clips, CLICK HERE).

A TOTAL OF NINE Cougs participated on the day.  With Marks and Luani recently returning from the NFL combine, neither of them tested in the 40-yard dash, bench press, high jump, broad jump or cone drills. 

Marks did perform the 60-yard shuttle once.

Aside from that, Marks and Luani instead used their time with the scouts to showcase their footwork, cutting ability, quickness, hands and overall speed by performing in various drills.

Marks was led through a gauntlet of route running and catching exercises by a scout from the Cincinnati Bengals. His routes looked fast and crisp, as they always have, but a few bad ball throws resulted in an occasional dropped pass.

Other than those couple of hiccups, I would say that Marks had a very productive day, especially considering how fluid he looked in the 60-yard shuttle.

Luani worked drills with a scout from the Seattle Seahawks, where he ran through just a few back pedal drills while catching passes out of his break.

Other Cougs who ran field drills were DT Robert Barber, Taylor, and offensive linemen Riley Sorenson and Eduardo Middleton.

Another unofficial 40 time that I overheard was a 5.06 from Barber, who by the way looked extremely quick and explosive in his drills from my chair. Barber also put up 25 reps in the bench press (pictured above).

River Cracraft was limited due to an ACL injury but he did more testing than was expected, running a few striders in front of the scouts to show how far along he is in recovery. He also attacked the bench press, with 15 reps at 22 pounds. Of the 58 wide receivers who attended last week’s NFL combine, Cracraft’s 15 reps would have tied for No. 12 among the wideout participants.

Here’s how each Coug performed at WSU’s pro day, with official height and weight:

Robert Barber (6-2, 300)
Bench: 25
Vertical: 28 inches
Broad Jump: 8-7

River Cracraft (6-0, 193)
Bench: 15
Vertical: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A

Shalom Luani (5-11, 202)

Gabe Marks (5-11, 182)

Eduardo Middleton (6-5, 315)
Bench: 22
Vertical: 24 1/2 inches
Broad Jump: 8-3

Riley Sorenson (6-4, 323)
Bench: (DNP, sprained wrist)
Vertical: 22 1/2 inches
Broad Jump: 7-3

Paris Taylor (6-3, 222)
Bench: 15
Vertical: 32 inches
Broad Jump: 9-9

John Thompson (5-7, 203)
Bench: 12
Vertical: N/A
Broad Jump: 8-6

Jeremiah Mitchell (6-4, 258)
Bench: DNP
Vertical: 25 1/2 inches
Broad Jump: 8-2

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