KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee safety Eric Berry, the consensus top defensive back in the draft -- arguably the top player period -- didn't plan to do much at the school's pro day on Wednesday, opting to stand, for the most part, on his impressive body of work at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Turns out, for not-so-ideal reasons, he ended up doing less than he figured he'd do.
On just his second repetition in a back-pedaling drill, Berry pulled up with what was initially diagnosed as a minor big toe injury on his left foot. Berry wasn't happy that his day was done, but he shouldn't worry that his inability to go through a series of drills will affect his draft status. The highly cerebral player, who will hit and who can cover as well as a cornerback, figures to be the top defensive back off the board.
Berry said he has visits scheduled with a handful of teams with top eight picks and that more teams are lining up interviews with him. Any potential workouts are likely off the table. That's fine with teams who've already seen plenty of Berry, a notoriously hard worker and determined player.
Berry said one of the reasons he even tried to go through pro day drills was to bring attention to some of his teammates, but that wasn't necessary.
Williams is viewed as a nose tackle in a 3-4 front or a one-technique nose tackle in a 4-3. He said he's even been told he's athletic enough to play defensive end in certain schemes, somewhat like current Green Bay Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji. Williams said he had dinner Tuesday night with Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
Although there hasn't been much public attention brought to running back Montario Hardesty, plenty of teams are interested in, what one scout told me at the combine, could be the third or fourth running back selected. Like most of the top Volunteers prospects, the 6-foot, 225-pound Hardesty didn't run the 40-yard dash, opting to stand on the 4.49 he posted at the combine.
Hardesty went through receiving drills hoping to show coaches and scouts that he had decent hands. He caught most of the passes thrown his way -- he did drop a deep ball on a wheel route -- but did nothing to harm his stock.
What might have been the most surprising thing about Tennessee's pro day was the interest in quarterback Jonathan Crompton, a highly regarded prospect when he came to Tennessee who never played up to the initial hype. The mobile, strong-armed Crompton, who threw 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a senior (224 of 384, 2,800 yards) was so inconsistent at Tennessee that he wasn't even invited to the combine. However, there were several teams that were taking notes on him. Crompton also said he spent significant time Tuesday with Jaguars quarterback coach Mike Shula.