The Pro Day circuit for NFL prospects officially kicked off yesterday with high-profile workouts in Minnesota and Pittsburgh. Bear Report can confirm the Chicago Bears were one of 30 teams on hand for Pitt's pro day, which showcased first-round defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Donald had a standout senior season, leading the nation in average sacks per game (1.6) and tackles for loss (2.4). He totaled 59 total tackles, 28.5 for loss, 11.0 sacks, 16 QB hurries, four forced fumbles and a blocked extra point. For his effort, he was named First-Team Big-East and First-Team All-American, and won the Nagurski and Outland Trophies, awarded to the nation's top defensive lineman.
Donald was a standout during Senior Bowl practices, during which he was dominant in 1-on-1 drills, showing a dangerous blend of power and quickness. He was just as impressive at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, posting a 4.68 40-yard dash, 35 bench-pres reps and 7.11 3-cone drill.
At Pittsburgh's Pro Day, Donald stood on his combine numbers and only participated in field drills, where he reportedly looked very good, showing fluid movement. His work the past year has propelled Donald into the conversation of the Top 15 overall players in this year's draft. Detractors question his size (6-1, 185), while his supporters will point to two-time All-Pro DT Geno Atkins, who has very similar dimensions.
The Bears, residing at 14th overall, don't appear concerned with his less-than-ideal size and are very interested in Donald, who could fill the club's need at 3-technique. If he's available to the team in the first, there's a good chance he'll be wearing the navy and orange next season.
Savage (6-4, 228) stood on his numbers from the combine (4.97 40, 27-inch vertical jump, 8-8 broad jump). He threw for scouts and reportedly showed good velocity. If he impressed the Bears, he could get an invite to rookie minicamp.
Street (6-3, 198) was a four-year starter for the Panthers and holds the school's all-time record for career receptions (202). He didn't have a strong combine but he improved his 40 time (4.50 and 4.48) at the Pro Day. Street is a big-bodied wideout with large strides. He's a potential fourth- or fifth-round prospect. It would be surprising if he ended up in Chicago, where the Bears already have two tall, Pro Bowl wideouts.
Hagemen in Minnesota
"Correct me if I'm wrong but if I kill all the golfers, they're going to lock me up and throw away the key."
"GOPHERS! Not golfers. The little brown furry rodents."
"We can do that. We don't even need a reason."
Minnesota also held its pro day yesterday, where another potential first-round defensive tackle, Ra'Shede Hagemen, worked out. Representatives from 20 NFL teams were on hand, including the entire Minnesota Vikings coaching staff, but Bear Report could not confirm if the Bears were present.
Hageman (6-6, 311) stood on his numbers from the combine (5.02 40-yard dash, 32 bench-press reps, 35.0 vertical, 114.0-inch broad, 7.87 3-cone) and only went through workouts.
Hageman is a former tight end who transitioned to defensive tackle his freshman season. He's raw but extremely talented with a high ceiling. He's a finesse defensive tackle who can play 3-technique at the next level. He's a boom-or-bust prospect who will likely land in the bottom half of the first round. The Bears could give Hageman consideration at 14 if Donald, FSU's Timmy Jernigan and Minnesota's Kony Ealy are all off the board.
Vereen (6-0, 199), the brother of Patriots RB Shane Vereen, is a seventh-round, priority free agent prospect. He was a First-Team All Big-Ten selection last year and he stood on his combine numbers (4.47 40, 25 bench, 34.0 vertical, 9-8 broad, 4.07 20-yard shuttle, 6.90 3-cone).
Hill will go undrafted, while Moore is an intriguing prospect. He has good size (6-5, 269) and he set a Concordia record with 33 career sacks. His 14 sacks in 2012 were the fourth highest in Division II football. Moore ran a 4.84 at the combine. His blend of size and speed could land him in the late rounds.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is entering his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.