There is no in-person NFL Combine this year, which makes this year’s pro days even more important for college athletes.
Oklahoma State held its pro day Thursday morning, and head coach Mike Gundy said the pro day setting allows for NFL scouts to get a closer look at the players. All 32 NFL teams were represented to watch OSU athletes work out.
“With all of the NFL teams in attendance today, we had approximately 12 young men that were working out,” Gundy said. “And I would agree that they’re going to get a much better look than if it was in a combine setting.”
Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins is the highest-rated NFL prospect for OSU. Several mock drafts have the 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman going in the first round of the 2021 draft.
Jenkins bench-pressed 36 reps of 225 pounds, which would have ranked third overall in the 2020 NFL Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.96 seconds and completed the L-drill in 7.72 seconds. Those marks were personal bests for Jenkins. He also posted a 4.66 in the 20-yard shuttle and a 32.5 inch vertical.
Jenkins had talks with his coaching staff coming into the 2020 season about getting more mean and aggressive on the field. He said he took that personally.
“Coming into this year, it’s definitely paid off for myself because of what I’ve done on the field and through my film,” Jenkins said. “It’s a big part of where I am in this draft because I do believe I’m the best finisher in this draft and that does set me apart from any other O-lineman.”
Other key performers included receiver Tylan Wallace, who ran a 4.45 in the 40, a 4.25 in the shuttle and a 6.94 in the L-drill. Running back Chuba Hubbard also ran a 4.45 in the 40 along with a 4.26 in the shuttle and had 20 bench reps of 225 pounds.
Hubbard said he felt good Thursday. He led the nation with 2,094 rushing yards in 2019 but battled through injuries in the 2020 season and didn’t play much in the second half of the year. Hubbard said his main focus on pro day was showing that he was healthy again.
“I was coming off two surgeries,” Hubbard said. “After that 2019 season coming into the 2020 season I kind of had some lingering issues there. And then also I had a high ankle sprain, so just to show that I’m back healthy.”
“I think I’m one of the top running backs, if not the top. Obviously this last year, people could say I had a down year. A lot of people don’t know I was coming off a lot of surgeries. There were a lot of things going on with my body and my health, but the biggest thing for me at the end of the day was just helping my team win. I know when it’s all said and done I have faith in God that it’ll work out. Wherever I get drafted, first round, seventh round, undrafted free agent, whatever happens, I just need a shot. I’ll be ready for it.”
Pro day is a chance for players to impress NFL scouts in certain areas. Linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga felt he did that.
Ogbongbemiga clocked a 4.26 in the shuttle and benched 24 reps of 225 pounds. Defensive tackle Cameron Murray had a solid day, bench-pressing 27 reps, which was a top-10 performance for defensive linemen in the 2020 combine. He also posted a 31.5 inch vertical and ran a 4.89 time in the 40-yard dash.
Ogbongbemiga said one of his main focuses was to perform well in the drills.
“The drills were my other main focus to show my athleticism and my versatility, and I think I excelled in that,” he said. “I joined the (defensive backs) and did some DB drills and worked with the linebackers as well. Just trying to show my hips and my fluidity in my game and I think I excelled in that.”
Cornerback Rodarius Williams, who finished his OSU career with a strong performance last season, posted the best L-drill at 6.91 seconds and the best shuttle time of 4.12 seconds. He also notched a 36.5 inch vertical.
Williams was one of multiple OSU players who were invited to the combine, but said having to show it all in the pro day instead is all about adapting.
“In the beginning of the season when COVID hit, you had to learn how to adapt real fast,” Williams said. “You never know what’s going to be thrown at you. So it’s our job to adapt real fast and perform the best as we can.”
The NFL draft is set to start April 29 in Cleveland.