Campbell Impressive For NFL Scouts At Pro Day

Quarterback Jason Campbell put on a good show for the National Football League talent scouts who visited Auburn on Monday.

Auburn, Ala. -- Jason Campbell entertained a small army of scouts on Monday at Auburn's annual pro day, an opportunity for National Football League representatives to test AU's graduating seniors and watch them work out prior to the April 23-24 NFL draft.

The 2004 SEC Offensive Player of the Year put on a good show. As one NFL scout told Campbell, "You only missed one pass the entire workout. We couldn't ask for more."

Campbell declined to do his workout at the NFL Combine earlier this year in Indianapolis, preferring to do it on his home practice field throwing to teammates Silas Daniels, Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams. He also did several of the combine tests such as the standing broad jump, 40-yard dash and vertical jump.

When he was at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Campbell did interviews and met pro coaches. He said he preferred to do his workout on the AU campus.

"I just feel comfortable coming back here and throwing to guys who I am comfortable with," he said. "I know how they run routes. This just gives me a better opportunity to prepare myself. Right after the (Sugar) bowl game, I went straight to the Senior Bowl and I was just preparing myself for the Senior Bowl. After the Senior Bowl, I really only had like two weeks to get ready for the combine."

Campbell was nearly flawless in the passing drills on Monday. Time after time, he was on the money with short, medium and long range passes to tailbacks Brown and Williams plus wide receiver Daniels.

Campbell overthrew one pass on a sideline route and Brown dropped a pass over the middle that the tailback normally catches 99 out of 100 times. Other than those two plays, the execution between the QB and his receivers was flawless.

"I think I did a lot of things they were looking for," Campbell said. "I just feel good about the whole day. I feel like I put myself in a good situation."

While some analysts of the NFL draft have questioned the quarterback's arm strength, Campbell got a chance to show what he could on Monday. In addition to throwing with plenty of zip and accuracy in the passing drills, he came through in the long toss, throwing the football just under 60 yards while flat-footed. As soon as the first pass landed, the scouts went for their notebooks to record what they had just seen. Then he repeated his first toss two more times, throwing the same distance with all three tosses into a strong headwind.

Campbell said he had never tried that particular drill before being asked to do it on Monday. "If anybody had any question about my arm strength, I think I answered it today," he said with a grin. The Auburn star said he was "amazed" when he first heard there was a question about his arm strength. "I feel I have the strongest arm of anybody in the draft," he said.

The quarterback also noted that he appreciated Daniels doing such a good job of catching passes in the drills. The wideout had plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills to the scouts because there were no other receivers working out.

"Silas did a great job," Campbell said. "He has great endurance to stay out there and catch that many balls and go through that many drills by himself at receiver. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he really helped himself today."

Times for Campbell were right around 4.7 in the 40-yard dash. He did nine feet, eight inches in the standing broad jump and 38 inches in the vertical jump. With a blister on his foot, he decided not to do the NFL 60-yard cone drill.

"I was happy about how it went," he said. "There were just a couple of things I was mad about. I think I could have run a 4.5 40 if I had gotten a good start. They made us change up the way we start, and that kind of messed up my start."

Jason Campbell, who checked in a better than 6-4 and 227 pounds, prepares to pass in a drill on Monday afternoon. Ronnie Brown is in the background.

Echoing the comments of an NFL scout who was watching the the workout, Campbell said, "I feel like the (passing) drill is the key thing for me and I feel like I did a lot of great things."

Campbell's college coach this past season, Al Borges, stayed on the field for hours watching the quarterback perform. Borges also talked to a large number of NFL scouts and gave the QB a strong endorsement.

The quarterback said he appreciates the support. "Everybody knows Coach Borges," Campbell said. "He is a great coach. I am glad for him to be out here. I owe him so much for giving me the opportunity to show what I can do last season."

Just because he showed up well at pro day in Auburn doesn't mean he has time to relax before the NFL draft, which is set for April 23-24. "I have a lot of individual workouts coming up," Campbell noted. "I have to get myself ready for those."

All things considered, Campbell certainly helped his cause in his quest to be a first-round NFL draft pick. "It went well and I had a lot of fun out there today," he said.

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