Wisconsin Pro Day Preview

With Wisconsin football hosting its annual pro day Wednesday, BadgerNation looks at some of the prospects expected to workout for NFL personnel.

The following players are expected to attend Wisconsin’s Pro Day

Also expected to workout: Matt Behrendt (UW-Whitewater), Thurgood Dennis (UW-Eau Claire) and Jake Kumerow (UW-Whitewater).

Player to Watch: The list of participants will make it a small group at this year’s pro day. And considering it’ll be a surprise to see Melvin Gordon do much work at all, the list of scouts might be even smaller. For those that do come, offensive lineman Rob Havenstein has a chance to really draw a crowd.

Joining Gordon as the only other player invited to the NFL combine, Havenstein measured with good size at 6-7 and 321 but had a poor testing day. He bench pressed 225 pounds only 16 times, the lowest of any of the 37 offensive linemen who tested. His 5.46 40-yard dash time ranked 31st, his 8-foot broad jump tied for 29th, 28 ½ inch vertical jump was 23rd and his 4.87 20-yard shuttle was tied for the sixth slowest.

Numbers are not everything, and the one thing Havenstein has got going for him is durability. A first-team All-American as a senior, Havenstein matched the school record with 54 career games played and started 41 straight at right tackle over his final three seasons. He also was productive, giving up few sacks and anchored an offensive line that led way for two of the three best single-season rushing performances in school history: 283.8 yards per game in 2013 and a school-record 320.1 yards per game in 2014.

Most important than the testing was Havenstein impressed scouts and reporters at the Senior Bowl practice for his "above-average power," "takes quick steps and good angles for proper positioning to wall off defenders on gap plays," and "aggressive, play-finishing demeanor on the field," per NFL.com's scouting report.

Havenstein has size, toughness and intelligence, but a better testing day will likely improve his stock from its current fourth/fifth-round grade.

Most to Gain: Not only did Warren Herring missed five games his senior year due to an injury, prime opportunities to impress NFL executives, he wasn’t invited to the combine. Needless to say, Wednesday will be important for Herring to show he’s healthy.

Originally coming to Wisconsin as a tight end, Herring’s versatility is his biggest strength, as he was able to line up at both an inside and outside position on the defensive line. It was an assignment that allowed Herring to show quickness off the edge and in pursuit, while also showing his strength by being able to stay low, play with leverage and take on multiple blockers. Throw in the fact that his parents were athletes, Herring has a lot of upside.

His best bet at the next level is as an end, so being able to showcase those abilities and test well in the agility and speed drills will be important. Considering he’s been shuffled around a lot in his college career, a good day on the McClain Center turf could convince some team to take a shot on him in the later rounds.

Feel Good Story: It’s expected to be a quiet draft in terms of Wisconsin players getting their names called, but a good pro day could give Dallas Lewallen a shot as a NFL free agent. At 6-6 and 321 pounds, Lewallen has the look and the feel of a NFL linemen. His development was derailed over his middle three seasons with multiple knee injuries, but was able to stay healthy to start every game as a senior. An in-state player from Berlin, Lewallen can certainly give himself a chance with a good day testing in drills and individual work, showing that his injuries are behind him.


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