NFL Teams Turn Focus to OU Pro Day
NORMAN – Nineteen former Oklahoma football players took part in the team’s annual Pro Day in front of NFL coaches, scouts and front office personnel inside the Siegfried Strength and Conditioning Center and the Everest Training Center on Wednesday morning. Scouting representatives from all 32 NFL organizations, plus a handful of general managers and head coaches, totaling 61 in all, were on hand along with national and local media to watch the Sooners showcase their skills for a shot at playing professionally. The Denver Broncos sent a league-high seven representatives, including head coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway.
Heisman Winner With an NFL Arm
Passing with the timing and precision Sooner fans have grown accustom to seeing, Baker Mayfield impressed in throwing drills to round out that day’s events. Working with a deep crop of former OU teammates, he spread the ball around, nailing his receiver route after route. The 6-foot-1 right-hander did not participate in the combine-style testing, but made good on all deep throws to complete his workout. Mayfield and his receivers worked at a fast tempo with the quarterback hustling downfield after his last throw in each segment to send the ball back the other direction.
“I thought it went well," said Mayfield, who headed to a meeting with an NFL team after answering questions from media. "Guys caught it, ran good routes. I think I put myself in a good position today. We did a little something that nobody else will probably do – having me running back and forth. It’s a true workout. It tests you for a game climate to see what you can do when you’re tired, playing in the fourth quarter, playing when you need it. It’s a lot, but it’s fun. I felt at the Combine, there were a couple deep balls that I left short and I think I’ve made that correction.”
Badet Shines in NFL Audition
Jeff Badet, who arrived at OU for the 2017 season as a graduate transfer from Kentucky, caught 26 passes for 400 yards and three scores in his only season as a Sooner. He clocked in at 4.27 seconds in the 40-yard dash Wednesday, seven one-hundredths of a second faster than LSU receiver D.J. Clark posted as the fasted wideout at the NFL Combine. By comparison, former OU receiver Dede Westbrook clocked in at 4.34 in the 40 a year ago. Badet also posted a team-best 39 ½” vertical and 10’-11” broad jump, both of which would have ranked second at the Combine two weekends ago.
“This is a day I’ve been waiting on for a long time,” said Badet. “I got a chance to sit down and watch the Combine and see what type of numbers the receivers were putting up, and I knew I had to come out and beat every single last one of them because I knew I should have had an invite. But it’s cool. It gave me more time to put up better numbers.
“To be honest, that isn’t the fastest I’ve put up since I’ve been training,” Badet said in regard to his 40 time. “I was just trying to get anything in the four-twos.”
Brown Improves on Combine Scores
Orlando Brown elected to take part in four testing drills Wednesday and improved in all four areas from his Combine scores. A 6-foot-8 offensive tackle, he immediately bested his 5.85 40-yard time from the Combine with a 5.63 on the turf at the brand new Siegfried Strength and Conditioning Center. Brown, regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2018 draft class during his final season at OU, registered 7’-5” in the broad jump Wednesday (up from 6’-10” at the Combine), and 25 ½” in the vertical (up from 19 ½”).
“Like I’ve said before, those were numbers that were lows for me,” Brown said of his NFL Combine performance. “During my preparation, during my training, I was running five-six (in the 40) and benching 18 to 20 (reps) consistently. My numbers that I did today are numbers that I’ve been hitting. Over the last week, there wasn’t much that I had to work on, it was just telling myself that it’s over with, it’s time to go to the Pro Day and execute.”
“It was awesome to see him do what he is capable of,” added Mayfield. “Combine testing and stuff like that, none of it really matters when you give up zero sacks in a season. He did well and put himself in a better spot.”
Obgo Is All Business
After putting up quality numbers at the NFL Combine, Ogbo Okoronkwo returned to campus in an effort improve on his already strong-showing in front of NFL scouts in Indianapolis. Choosing to participate in four of six drills, the defensive end/outside linebacker registered a better time in the 40-yard dash (4.74), plus a 6.84 in the three-cone — a drill in which he did not participate at the Combine.
“This is the nature of the business,” Okoronwko said of having a public job interview. “You’ve got to love it because it’s not going anywhere. This is the process. It was cool being out here, being in my backyard, getting to perform in front of a lot of my young guys and older guys, who are already in the NFL. I’ve learned how much of a business the NFL is, how to approach it and how to handle yourself.”
Former OU teammates now in the NFL who were at Pro Day Wednesday were Dominique Alexander, Jordan Evans, Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine and Dede Westbrook.