Sweed feels draft status solid after pro day performance

AUSTIN, Texas -- It didn't take a stopwatch to know how Limas Sweed felt about his performance. His smile told the story.

Sweed was among 18 players who took part in the University of Texas' annual pro workout day on Wednesday at the school's football complex and indoor practice facility. The 6-4, 210-pound receiver performed well in testing and position drills in front of NFL coaches and scouts, highlighting the group of Longhorns potential draft picks.

Widely considered a player who will be taken in the second half of the first round in April's NFL Draft, Sweed felt he solidified his status as a first-round selection.

"I definitively think so, especially after today," said a happy and confident Sweed. "I solidified a lot of stuff and answered a lot of questions. So I definitely think I'm a first-round pick."

Sweed's draft status has been surrounded by lingering questions regarding his speed and concerns over a wrist injury that ended his final season after six games. His biggest answer came in his 40-yard dash times, which he ran in the 4.5 range on an indoor track with an AstroTurf surface.

"I felt great," Sweed said. "I answered a lot of questions that people wanted to know about my wrist and about my speed. A lot of coaches came up afterwards and said they didn't know I was that fast for being such a big guy."

A two-time All-Big 12 selection who ranks near the top of several categories on Texas' all-time receiving lists, Sweed spent three months in a cast following his season-ending surgery. He took off his receiving gloves in the middle of his group interview with reporters, displaying a three-inch scar on the top of his left hand to bear witness.

When asked if he was indeed 100 percent, he simply replied, "I'm back."

And the questions have been answered.

"You have to give him some credit, because let's take a step back to a year ago after his junior season -- 46 catches, 12 touchdowns -- (there was) a lot of pressure to go pro at that point," said NFL.com's Mike Mayock. "He comes back for his senior year and doesn't work out the way he'd like to. He fought through the wrist injury, tried to play at the Senior Bowl and it didn't work for him. So today was critical. ... He's going to be in the mix for the number one wide receiver in the draft."

The next step for Sweed will be conducting official interviews with teams leading up to the draft. Deprived of the option to end his collegiate career on his terms because of the injury, his intent was to prove his health status and show his competitive nature by participating in the full workouts, even if many felt it was an unnecessary endeavor.

"I came in with the mindset like they didn't know who I was," said Sweed, who talked to former Texas receiver Roy Williams for workout advice. "I'm going to get everything. I'm running through everything ... because I want to show them. I knew I was going to run a great 40 time. But it's not about me running a great 40. It's about coming out here and showing these guys that I'm going to do everything.

"I think I showed those guys everything I needed to show them."

Representatives from 31 NFL teams attended the pro day workout. Only San Diego was absent, due to travel cancellations in airports throughout the South on Tuesday.

While Sweed is likely the only high draft pick among the Longhorns' pro prospects, several others had solid performances that may have helped their draft status. Defensive tackle Derek Lokey, who also worked out in drills as a fullback, had an impressive 38 reps in the bench press. Cornerback Brandon Foster, who officially measured-in at 5-7, reached 38 inches on his vertical jump and posted 40 times in the high 4.2's and low 4.3's. Safety Marcus Griffin posted improved 40 times from the combine.

Running back Jamaal Charles, an early entry candidate who declared after his junior season and took part in last month's scouting combine, only participated in the bench press and position drills.

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