Iowa Pro Day

NFL player personnel converged on Iowa City Monday to get an up close and personal look at what the Hawkeyes had to offer. also was in the bubble looking on as players like Robert Gallery, Bob Sanders and Fred Russell hoped to show the scouts what they wanted to see. Here is a full report from the event attended by as many as 25 teams, including the San Diego Chargers.

The Iowa Football Program allowed us to attend this workout provided we did not ask questions of the players or coaches - NFL or Hawkeye. These are very intense drills. It is a very slim window for these players to impress the scouts, about 2 hours. They do not need us breaking things up with interviews. That said, here are some observations:

*Erik Jensen, Fred Russell, Mo Brown and Nathan Chandler were Iowa's skill position players that worked out at least a little. Fred and Mo did not take part in any of the 40s, cone drills and the like. They also did not lift. Chandler looked a little slow footed in one of the cone drills. Ramon Ochoa did not work out do to injury. Edgar Cervantes didn't do any of the running and agility drills. He might have caught passes. I missed that part of the workout because I had to attend Steve Alford's presser at Carver. They also caused me to miss Chandler throw, and Russell, Mo and Jensen catch. Former Hawkeyes Kyle McCann and Bashir Yamini also worked out for scouts.

*I did get to see the offensive linemen run through drills by coaches from the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans. Robert Gallery, Eric Rothwell and Sam Aiello joined former Hawkeyes Pete Traynor and Jerry Montgomery, who played O-line in the arena league last season, in the testing. It did not take long to see why Gallery is a top prospect. The difference in foot speed, strength and agility between he and the other guys is amazing. He also lifted. When he returned to the bubble somebody asked him how bench reps he did, he said 30 with conviction in obvious reference to being slighted at the combine. Gallery did not run the 40 again.

*We also got to see the majority of the defensive back/linebacker drills. Bob Sanders definitely won the sight test. He is huge and looked extremely fast. He needs some work on going back on deep passes, but everything else looked sharp. Chris Smith looked really good in his reaction and movements, and showed the best going for deep balls and closing. Don't be surprised to see this kid stick in somebody's camp. Jermire Roberts displayed pretty good hands but lacked a bit in speed and change of direction drills. A couple ofArena League reps were looking pretty hard at him. Grant Steen had a tough day. He looked like he had the wrong shoes on because he slipped a few times. He also had trouble hanging onto the ball. Kevin Worthy worked out at Lb as did Howard Hodges. Howard showed good speed and agility, but his hands are suspect. He was catching everything into his body. In his defense, he wasn't asked to do that here. I could see him as a Terrell Suggs type. I'm not saying he's Terrell Suggs. I'm saying that type.

Nate Kaeding attended the event, but did not work out like he told us would happen in his diary last week. He met with San Diego, who had their whole front office and head coach Marty Schottenheimer in town. They arrived Sunday night. Marty was the only head coach in attendance. Kaedo is expected to meet with the Giants Friday, a day after Head coach Tom Coughlin and the New York brass is in Iowa City to meet with Gallery. Jacksonville and special teams coaches from two other franchises will be in town next Monday to work out Kaeding.

*We were told that 25 NFL teams were represented here on Monday. As best we could tell, Chicago (go figure) and the Giants were the obvious absentees.

*Schottenheimer made it a point to go over and introduce himself to Sanders. They chatted for about 5 minutes before shaking hands and saying goodbye.

*Many of the returning Iowa players attended the workout, most likely to get a look at what their futures held. Among those that showed up were Jermelle Lewis (who I think will be a first-round pick next year), Tom Busch, Drew Tate, Calvin Davis, Jovon Johnson, Chad Greenway, Ben Cronin, C.J. Barkema, Pete McMahon, Antwan Allen and Jason Manson. Lewis appeared to get into his workout gear in preparation for letting the reps get a look at him. But like I said, I did not see the offensive backs and receivers do drills. Many times, scouts will ask to get a look at some of the juniors to help with their draft boards for the following year.

* Colin Cole and Fred Barr also attended the event. Barr did not work out with the linebackers, and Cole didn't appear ready to show himself off either. I also missed the defensive linemen working out. Jared Clauss actually was the on D-lineman there with Hodges working out at linebacker. Howard might also have done line drills later as I was at Carver listening to the basketball coach.

*That's all I wrote down. It's kind of a crazy event with a lot of things going on at once. Most of the Iowa coaches also were in attendance. Coach Ferentz hob-knobbed for a bit before hitting the bricks. If anything else pops into my head, I will post the info. Thanks for reading.

*Iowa will play host to another Pro Day later this month, but many of the guys that participated today will sit that one out.

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