Late-round talent shines at Iowa Hawkeyes Pro Day

Several players were able to impress NFL scouts at the Iowa Pro Day, even some that did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Minnesota Vikings were one of the 31 NFL teams represented at the Iowa Pro Day on Monday – the only team not represented was the Philadelphia Eagles –and there were a couple players participating in the pro day that did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine but had strong performances.

One of those players that the Vikings likely had some interest in was wide receiver Tevaun Smith. Even though he was not invited to participate in the combine, the performance he put on during his pro day likely secured him a place in this year’s draft.

Smith measured in at 6 feet, 205 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash with times of 4.41 and 4.38 seconds. He also recorded a 38-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-2 broad jump. He then got the chance to show off his agility and ability to change direction by recording a short shuttle time of 4.26 seconds and a three-cone drill time of 6.72 seconds. The senior receiver also recorded 13 reps of the 225-pound bench press. 

The Vikings are in need of wide receivers in this year’s draft, and while Smith likely will not become the No. 1 receiver they are looking for he could help provide competition and depth at the position. He will likely play as a slot receiver at the next level, a position the team does not have a lot of depth at behind Jarius Wright.

Another player that was participating in the Iowa Pro Day that the Vikings could end up drafting was safety Jordan Lomax. Unlike Smith, Lomax did receive an invite to the combine, but he still decided to redo most of his workouts. The only workouts that he sat on were his eight reps in the bench press and his 4.15-second time in the 20-yard shuttle.

Lomax showed improvements in all the drills he redid during his pro day workout. He recorded times of 4.65 and 4.62 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 6.82 in the three-cone drill. He also had a 38½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-1 broad jump. 

The senior safety proved once again that he lacks the top-end speed desired for a player covering the backend of the field but did display quickness in close quarters. At 5-10, 202 pounds, he is also lacking the desired height of a safety, but has enough build where that shouldn’t hurt him too much.

Lomax is a physical hitter and can step up into the box and deliver a hit when he needs to. The problem with his tackling comes when he gets into one-on-one situations in the open field. He needs to work on his consistency in those moments and learn to bring his opponents to the ground when he gets his hands on them.

He is not going to come into an organization and be a Day 1 starter; he is a player who would benefit sitting for a couple seasons to hone his skills.

Another player who could end up being available for a team to pick up is Iowa defensive end Drew Ott. He is currently appealing for a sixth year of eligibility due to injury. He has been approved by the Big Ten, but not yet the NCAA. If his eligibility is denied he could be another player the Vikings could end up targeting later this offseason.  

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