With the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine operating under a different format this year, pro day workouts are taking on a heightened importance this spring. Auburn and Stanford were among the schools that held their pro days on Thursday, giving some top 2021 NFL Draft prospects a chance to make an impression on scouts and NFL executives.
Representatives from 30 NFL teams attended the Auburn pro day, per NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala, who was on assignment at the event. The Texans and Vikings were the teams that did not attend. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin were among those spotted at Auburn, as was Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland.
49ers GM John Lynch was among the evaluators in attendance for Stanford's pro day.
How did the top prospects perform? Check out the quick rundowns below.
NOTE: Times listed below are unofficial.
NFL scouts got an eyeful of one of the nation's fastest draft prospects on Thursday in Schwartz (6-0, 186 pounds), who posted a blazing 4.26-second clocking in the 40-yard dash, per the school. Schwartz established himself as a world-class sprinter in high school with eye-popping 100-meter dash times in track, including a world youth record 10.15 seconds in 2017. If NFL clubs are looking for a vertical threat in Schwartz, however, he's more of a projection. As a receiver at Auburn, he was productive if not consistently explosive, making 117 career receptions, but with per-catch averages (10.7 in 2019, 11.8 in 2020) that were modest, given his speed. Struggles in Auburn's passing attack as a whole played a role in those results.
Auburn's most productive receiver, Williams ran a 4.50 40, according to Kinkhabwala. Williams is a marvel at pulling in contested catches, beating cornerbacks in traffic with a 6-foot-3 frame and proven ball skills. It should come as no surprise, then, that Williams' hand and arm measurements were highly impressive -- 9 7/8 and 33 1/2 inches, respectively, per Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during Thursday's Path to the Draft Pro Day Special that both Schwartz and Williams have a chance to go early on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) of the draft.
Back in January at the Reese's Senior Bowl, NFL clubs got a chance to evaluate whether the stout middle linebacker (6-0, 235) is athletic enough to play in space and in coverage at the next level. On Thursday, he posted a 4.75 40-yard dash and repped 225 pounds on the bench press an impressive 24 times.
Adebo posted unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.42 and 4.51 seconds, excellent times for the 6-foot-1 cover man who amassed 30 pass breakups over two seasons from 2018 to 2019. He posted 18 reps on the bench press and a vertical jump of 36.5 inches, according to the school. NFL scouts will be leaning on older tape of Adebo for his evaluation, as he opted out of the Cardinal's 2020 season. Jeremiah projects him to go on Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) of the draft.
Fehoko flashed speed that 6-foot-4, 227-pounders simply aren't supposed to have. Fehoko delivered the fastest 40 times of the Stanford pro day (4.37, 4.39).
"You saw what he was capable of in that last game of the year against UCLA (16-230-3)," Stanford coach David Shaw told NFL Network. "(His speed) is a game-changer in the NFL because of the 5-yard contact rule."
NFL scouts got their first look at Little in a while. The massive tackle prospect (6-7, 313 pounds) missed all but Stanford's first game in 2019 with a knee injury, then opted out of 2020. He was clocked at 5.28 and 5.26 unofficially in the 40-yard dash, but for offensive linemen, position drills are the more relevant aspect of a pro-day workout.
"He's not going to wow you with the testing. That was just kind of borderline. But what we did see was just a big, massive guy who moved around pretty well when they got out to the field workout portion of the day," Jeremiah said. "In a league where we are starved to find offensive linemen, you've got a big, smart, tough guy in Walker Little that's got a chance to be a solid player."
Mills showed more athleticism than expected on Thursday, posting unofficial 40-yard dashes of 4.66 and 4.58 seconds. Jeremiah said mobility is among the questions scouts have on Mills, but believes he has the makings of an NFL starter. He had to endure poor weather conditions during his throwing session as a steady rain fell on the field work portion of Stanford's pro day, but he was up to the challenge, completing 50 of 54 throws.
"He answered the bell. A lot of pressure on Davis Mills with a limited number of starts (11), no combine, no all-star game opportunities, this was his one shot, and I thought he crushed it," Jeremiah said. "He crushed it from the testing numbers that we got, and I thought it was a clean, really pure throwing session that he put on in the rain. The day could not have gone any better for Davis Mills."
The Bulldogs' top prospect, Williams followed up a pro-day performance put on by his training facility (EXOS) with another on-campus workout on Thursday, and he did not disappoint. His unofficial 40 times of 4.62 and 4.65 seconds are lightning fast for a 6-foot-3, 284-pound lineman. Williams also turned in big numbers in the vertical jump (38.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 1 inch) and bench press (34 reps), per NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein.
Rochell showed NFL scouts some impressive skill in the vertical jump (43 inches) and broad jump (11 feet, 1 inch) on Thursday, both exceptional numbers for the standout from Shreveport, Louisiana. Rochell notched five interceptions and 18 passes defensed in his last complete college season (2019). He also brings the kind of size (6-0, 195 pounds) that NFL clubs covet at cornerback. Twenty-two NFL teams were in attendance, per Nagy.