With the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine operating under a different format this year, pro day workouts are taking on a heightened importance this spring. BYU, Michigan and Virginia Tech were among the schools that held their pro days on Friday, giving some top 2021 NFL Draft prospects a chance to make an impression on scouts and NFL executives.
How did the top talents perform? Check out the quick rundowns below.
NOTE: Times listed below are unofficial.
Representatives from 31 NFL teams attended the BYU pro day, per the school. The Rams were the only team that did not send a representative. Attendees included GMs Joe Douglas (Jets), Brad Holmes (Lions), John Lynch (49ers), Mike Mayock (Raiders), George Paton (Broncos), Rick Spielman (Vikings). Head coaches Dan Campbell (Lions), Robert Saleh (Jets) and Arthur Smith (Falcons) were also spotted at the event, along with Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady and Broncos QB coach Mike Shula.
Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: No. 4
Plenty of eyes were on Wilson, the top prospect performing on Friday, even as two blockbuster trades were shaking up the outlook for the 2021 NFL Draft. He didn't participate in any physical testing after tweaking his hamstring a few weeks ago, choosing instead to stick with a throwing session and measurements. He dazzled with his ability to throw accurately on the run.
"(He) made some incredible off-platform throws. To the right, to the left," said NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah during Friday's Path to the Draft Pro Day Special. "... You saw him drive the football with pace, velocity and accuracy. There were some misses down the field; I wouldn't read too much into that. ... It was more movement from a quarterback than I think we've ever seen for a pro day."
Wilson measured 6-foot-2 1/8 and 214 pounds with a hand size at 9 1/2 inches, which is big enough not to ring the QB-hand size alarms.
"There were a couple throws I missed, couple things I overshot,” Wilson told NFL Network after the workout. "Just want to make it a little easier on the receivers, but they did a great job of making me look good."
Even Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence -- the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of this year's draft -- was impressed with Wilson's performance, taking to Twitter to share his amazement:
Christensen (6-5 1/4, 302 pounds) manned the left tackle position at BYU for three years and was a masterful pass protector for Wilson in 2020. He showed excellent athleticism on Friday with a sub-5.0-second 40-yard dash (4.89) and jumps of 34 inches (vertical) and 10 feet, 4 inches (broad). He repped 225 pounds 30 times in bench-press testing. Christensen’s arm length, however, measured shorter than NFL clubs prefer for the tackle position at 32 1/4 inches.
A total of 31 teams attended the Wolverines' pro day (the Rams did not make the trip). Titans GM Jon Robinson and Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin were in Ann Arbor for the event.
Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: No. 19
Between two missed games due to injury and three more due to cancellation, Paye wasn't able to put much football on tape for NFL clubs in 2020. He certainly gave them a show on Friday, however, with a highly impressive 4.52 40-yard dash at a weight of 261 pounds. It's a bit lighter than his playing weight at UM, but that's a positive, per NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter. Athleticism has never been a question with the former high school state champion long jumper, who posted a vertical jump of 35.5 inches and broad jump of 9 feet, 10 inches. Paye bench-pressed 225 pounds a Michigan pro day-best 36 times. At 6-2 1/2, he measured an inch and a half shorter than his school listing.
He didn't participate in position drills due to a strained quadriceps, per NFL Network reporter Jeffri Chadiha, who was on assignment in Ann Arbor.
Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: No. 25
Other than skipping the bench press due to a tweaked shoulder, per Chadiha, the Wolverines' massive right tackle gave scouts a complete workout Friday. He weighed in at 326 pounds and ran a 5.31 40-yard dash with a 28.5-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot broad jump and agility times of 4.91 (short shuttle) and 7.86 (3-cone drill) seconds. Jeremiah said Mayfield is a borderline candidate to be a first-round selection and believes he can start as a right tackle, but noted some NFL clubs regard him as a future guard.
Michigan's pro day couldn't have carried more importance for Collins after opting out of the 2020 season. He flashed an ability to make tough, contested catches with his 6-foot-4 frame at the Reese's Senior Bowl in January, and on Friday, he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at 215 pounds. He posted a vertical of 37.5 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet, 5 3/4 inches, and clocked times of 4.32 in the short shuttle and 6.71 in the 3-cone drill. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 14 times.
Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: No. 26
Darrisaw participated in position drills only Friday, with New England Patriots offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo overseeing his performance, per NFL Network reporter Mike Giardi, who was on assignment in Blacksburg, Virginia. Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable watched closely as well, although the Patriots and Raiders select significantly higher in the first round (Nos. 15 and 17, respectively) than Jeremiah’s No. 26 overall ranking for Darrisaw. Following the workout, Darrisaw confirmed a number of Zoom interviews he's had with clubs, including the Buccaneers, Eagles and Bears, who reportedly dispatched offensive line coach Juan Castillo to VT's pro day. He said he’ll meet via Zoom with the Steelers on Saturday.