EUGENE, Ore-. On Thursday outgoing seniors had their last opportunity to compete in the Mashofsky center, this time as part of Oregon’s Pro Day. It also provided the opportunity for several to participate in front of NFL scouts for the first time, as they were not part of the select invitees for the NFL combine in Indianapolis last month.
Oregon did not release official (or even unofficial) results, but a number of marks have been reported by various new outlets. Linebacker Kiko Alonso reportedly ran 4.68 and 4.71 in two 40 yard dashes and running back Kenjon Barner told reporters he ran 4.38 and 4.48 in two attempts. Ryan Clanton threw up 42 reps in the 225-pount bench press.
The pro day also featured two athletes recovering from injuries, defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan and safety John Boyett, neither of which participated in drills but both were present to speak with teams and media.
Line backer Michael Clay appeared to have put on upper body weight, some speculating that he weighed more than 230 pounds. Clay also took part in long snapping drills, a service he provided the Ducks during his freshman campaign.
Jordan blew away NFL scouts at February’s, exhibiting tremendous athleticism on his tall frame. Many mock drafts have moved Jordan into the top-5 due to his measurables. A week following the combine, Jordan had his right labrum scoped to heal an injury that plagued him for much of his senior season. Jordan will begin rehab in two weeks when his sling comes off and anticipates being ready prior to fall mini camp. No teams were concerned by his timeline, he said.
Jordan told reporters that he has scheduled seven visits with NFL teams to this point.
On his injury:
“I’m two weeks out, so I’m still fresh off the surgery. I’m taking my time. It’s baby steps. Things are on track. I’m looking forward to getting back to my rehab to take that next step as far as getting ready for camp.”
On his combine performance:
“That was everything that I wanted to do. I wanted to show coaches and GMs what I can do with my athleticism. As far as competing, I went to Indy, I feel like I did well. I performed well… A lot of them were surprised that I decided to wait for my surgery. Then again, a lot of them were happy that I did wait, because they were able to see what I can do…”
On rising draft stock:
“It’s a blessing to me to even be mentioned in the category that they’ve been mentioning me in. It’s a blessing.
On what position he’ll play:
“I feel like at the combine during my drills I showed I could play with my hand on the ground. In meetings I feel like I did a great job as far as explaining defenses and showing my knowledge of the game.
Draft Projection: Top 10 pick.
Unlike Jordan, Boyett was unable to participate in any drills at the combine, although he did show off excellent upper body strength, throwing up 27 reps. Boyett missed the last 11 games of his senior season with surgeries on each of his knees. A little over four months out of his second surgery, the safety has another six-weeks before he’ll be 100 percent, but began cutting and doing defensive back drills two weeks ago.
Boyett will work out for teams in April. The location for the workouts are unknown, but they won’t be in Eugene.
On not working out at the combine or Pro Day:
“I tried to do the best at what I can control. The things that I was able to do at the combine I feel like I did very well at. When I get to work for teams the main concern is am I healthy or not. I think I’m going to open some eyes and show them that I’m doing pretty well.”
On his recovery:
“I feel like I can go out right now and do some DB drills as good as anybody did at the combine. Right now I’m at the stage of trying to get some muscle back in my legs and get back my cardio. It was crazy I went out the first day and I felt like I hadn’t lost a step. My tendons are healed up, it’s just about getting strength back in my legs.”
On NFL scouts concerns and his future in football:
“They like the way I play the game and they want to see me run. They want to see me healthy. I’m very anxious to get out there, even to workout out for teams, because I feel like I’m going to surprise some people. I’m really looking forward to next season. I think next season will be the best year of football I’ve ever played. I’ll finally be healthy and I’ll be able to put together my mental side of my game.”
Draft Projection: Round six-to-Undrafted.
After a great combine, Long determined he wouldn’t take part in many of the measurable drills but did take part in offensive line drills with Clanton and Nick Cody. Long’s stock has been rising ever since the end of his one year at Oregon.
On his goals Thursday:
“My goal today was just to be here and support my teammates and try to keep the energy up in the weight room and on the field. For me, one personal goal was to do well in positional drills, which I just got done with.”
On rising draft stock:
“I’m a pretty simple dude. I’m really not much for the fame part of it. I play for the glory of the game. I love the game of football.”
On finishing the combine/pro day experience:
“It’s good to get this over so we can focus on football-specific drills. The combine is kind of an Olympic event. They put you through a litany of things to find out how your athleticism is. But it all comes down to playing football.”
On teammate Michael Clay:
“Michael Clay is a shining example of that. He’s not 6-5 265. But if you ask me who the best overall football players are on a team, I’d point straight to No. 46. He may not have the vertical jump of somebody has at Alabama or Florida, but when you go back and play football you have success when you’re a football player.”
On the opportunity to play with brother Chris in St. Louis:
“I want an opportunity in somebody’s locker room. I know that’s a cliché answer and now the real answer is, I’d love to play with my brother. I’d love to play against my brother. He’s one of my best friends.”
Draft Projection:Mid-second round.
Alonso was also invited to Indianapolis, but baffled many when he decided not to participate in any of the testing. While he did work out in position drills, Alonso explained Thursday that his goal had been to wait to put up better numbers at Pro Day. Alonso also acknowledged that he was still recovering from a broken wrist that he suffered against Arizona State in October. Alonso classified himself as 80 percent, but believed he’d be full-go in a couple of weeks.
He had hoped to run in the 4.6 or below, but as reported above, ran 4.68 and 4.71. Alonso reportedly weighed in at 238 at the combine, but looked very lean Thursday.
On scouts’ response to his decision not to run at the Combine:
“They gave me a hard time, but it’s fine, I had to stick with the plan. They want you to go compete. I understand it. It’s just I had to stick with the plan.
On what he thinks scouts will see from him:
“They’re just seeing if I know football and I’m pretty confident that I know football. So, I think I did pretty good.”
On troubles with alcohol:
“I just told them what I told you guys, I put it in the past. I’m a football player. I’m here to play football. That’s my full 100 percent focus. That’s my life.
Draft Projection: Third to fourth round.
The senior running back ran a 4.52 in Indianapolis, which was not exactly blazing fast considering his 5-foot-9 196 pound frame. Head coach Mark Helfrich said Thursday that some teams simply wouldn’t draft Barner due to his size. How Barner will be used at the next level is something he is unsure of, but he did say Thursday that he had no problems starting out on special teams.
On his 40-time:
“I feel like I improved my time. That’s what I set out to do. That’s (4.3s) what I hit a few times when training down in LA. I knew what I could run, so I was very disappointed in myself at the combine.”
On how teams will use him:
“I have no clue. That’s kind of the biggest question besides where I’ll go in the draft. I guess all of that will be addressed. I just want an opportunity. You give me an opportunity I’ll take it and run with it.
On how he stacks up with other running backs:
“For me, I feel like I’m one of the best, if not the best running back in the draft.”
Draft Projection: Fourth to fifth round.