Scouts from about 20 NFL teams—including the Vikings, Browns, Texans, Panthers, Jaguars, Titans, 49ers, Saints, Buccaneers, Colts and Patriots—watched several NFL prospects from the Minnesota Gophers perform Monday, there was one key person missing—Gophers running back Laurence Maroney.
Maroney, the only Gopher considered a first-round prospect, was not in attendance due to a pulled hamstring that he said was 75 percent at the NFL Combine in late February. At the Combine, Maroney checked in at 5-foot-11, 217 pounds.
Maroney, who is the 21st ranked player and fourth-ranked running back in the draft, according to scout.com, has been working out at Athlete's Performance and said at the Combine that he'd work out for NFL scouts on his March 23 Pro Day. He has put on more than five pounds since the end of the season to dissuade speculation that he might not be heavy enough to be a featured back on the pro level.
Greg Eslinger, the second-ranked center in the draft, according to scout.com, and guard Mark Setterstrom did not run the 40, preferring to let their Combine times stand. Eslinger, who measured 6-3, 292 pounds in Indianapolis, ran a pair of 5.19 40-yard dashes, and Setterstrom, who measured almost 6-4 and 314 pounds in Indy, ran 5.41 and 5.47 at the Combine. The teammates did perform offensive line drills Monday, some of which were led by former Vikings head coach Mike Tice.
There was talk among some NFL teams about trying defensive lineman Anthony Montgomery at offensive tackle. Montgomery measured 6-5, 311 and did 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press Monday. He ran the 40 in 5.21 and 5.23 seconds.
Wide receiver Jared Ellerson ran 4.65 and 4.70 in the 40 and did 13 reps at 225 pounds. Linebacker Kyle McKenzie ran 4.68 and 4.65 in the 40, safety John Pawielski did a 4.7 and wide receiver Jakari Wallace had a 4.62 and 4.56 in the 40-yard dash.