Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pro Day at UConn

Danny Lansanah, Dan Davis, Larry Taylor, Donald Thomas and Tyvon Branch all got to showcase their skills at the Shenkman Center this afternoon in front of scouts from 13 different NFL teams (as well as the Albany Conquest and Mahoning Valley Thunder of arenafootball2). Greenwich's Erik Woodring of Middlebury College and Ryne Nutt of CCSU also got invites to work out.

A few notes and observations:

  • Larry Taylor did 17 reps of 225 pounds and ran a 4.51 in the 40, and looked much smoother running the drills than Lansanah and Davis, who both struggled with their footing on the turf. Lansanah ran a 4.68. Davis looks bigger, and though I'm not sure what Davis ran, he seemed pretty fast for his size. Lansanah and Davis probably didn't help their chances today, but both seem likely to get invited to someones camp. Taylor was impressive, and while his size is his biggest downfall, you have to think he'll get an opportunity to showcase his punt return ability in somebodys camp as well.

  • Branch and Thomas didn't run any timed drills, both content to let their outstanding NFL Combines results stand on their own merit. Branch had his vertical leap tested again, and he was a little disappointed with his 38", about an inch or so less than he says he's capable of. Thomas, now weighing in at 307 and looking like a block of granite, had a 29-and-a-half inch vertical -- over 5 inches better than what he did in Indianapolis. The two, who are both looking like they'll be drafted, spent most of Wednesday running various ball and agility drills.

  • Branch says he's been out to interview at quite a few NFL cities, but wouldn't specify. Thomas has been flown out to Cleveland and been in to see the Jets, and expects to hear from a few more teams after today.

  • Most of the 17 NFL reps in attendance were regional scouts. But a few NFL coaches showed up, too: Dave Campo, new secondary coach of the Cowboys, Dave DeGuglielmo, assistant offensive line coach of the Giants; Tim Lewis, secondary coach of the Panthers; and Mark Carrier, secondary coach of the Ravens. The 49ers, Bills, Eagles and Packers (UConn alum John Dorsey) all sent their directors of college scouting. The Panthers, Colts, Giants, Patriots, Saints, Lions and Browns all sent regional scouts. The Ravens also sent Mark Azevedo, the player personnel assistant.

  • I haven't dealt much with NFL scouts before, and discovered they aren't exactly the most personable fellows. Some politely declined to speak, which is fine (though a bit paranoid, if you ask me), and a few were just pompous jerks. Why cop an attitude when asked if you have a minute to chat? Whatever. Just know this: Major League Baseball scouts on the whole are far more approachable and accomodating.

Read more on Donald Thomas and Tyvon Branch in tomorrow's New Haven Register.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also heard Lansanah had a 39" vert jump and 10 foot broad jump. Those, plus a 4.68 in the 40, would put him right up there with the top inside linebackers in the country. He has also visted an AFC team.

March 26, 2008 5:49 PM 

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