Every NFL team had at least one representative in New Jersey for the Rutgers Pro Day on Wednesday. They were on hand to scout a variety of talent in different positions from last year’s Scarlet Knight roster.
Two players generating the most buzz include linebacker Khaseem Greene and cornerback Logan Ryan.
Greene, a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, only participated in two of the seven drills due to a solid showing at the NFL Combine. Although Greene added 10 pounds since his playing time at Rutgers, the 6-1, 240-pounder unofficially clocked in at 4.61-seconds. That improved on his time at the Combine by a full tenth of a second. Greene also improved on his vertical leap by 4 1/2 inches from the Combine measuring in at 34 1/2 inches.
As a former safety in his first year at Rutgers, scouts had a few questions following the Pro Day.
“Can he put on weight? Can he be fast? Can he carry weight?” Greene said of the concerns NFL scouts have expressed. “So that was my whole reason for putting on weight going into the Combine.”
While watching Greene, it doesn’t seem as if the added weight will be anything but a benefit to him. He plays much faster on tape than he does during drills or running a 40-yard dash. His time at safety helped improved his playmaking skills on the field and he will be a contributor to a team, likely in the early-to-mid second round.
Ryan on the other hand didn’t show the scouts anything because he sat out of the Pro Day. He failed to improve on his 4.56 40-yard dash during his second attempt at the Combine. Ryan is projected to go anywhere from the middle of the second round to the beginning of the third round.
Since he didn’t impress many scouts, it allowed for two other Scarlet Knight corners to showcase their talents in front of the scouts.
No one helped their draft stock more than former cornerback Marcus Cooper. Cooper, measuring in at 6-2, 192-pounds finished with the second fastest 40-yard dash of all the participants, clocking an unofficial 4.43 and 4.47. In addition, he registered the highest vertical leap at 39″ along with the highest broad jump at 10’9″.
Cooper is currently ranked as an undrafted player mainly because he was only a part-time starter last year. His Pro Day numbers should help him get drafted at the end of day three of the NFL Draft.
Brandon Jones was another cornerback that split time with Cooper last season and he also saw a rise in his draft stock due to a solid Pro Day. Jones, measuring in at 6-2, 191-pounds clocked in with a 4.47 and 4.48 in his two unofficial times running the 40. Additionally, Jones had the fastest times in the three-cone drill, the 20-yard shuttle and the 60-yard shuttle.
Like Cooper, Jones is currently ranked as a undrafted player, but his impressive numbers at the Pro Day may allow him to be selected somewhere in the mid-to-late seventh round.
Linebacker Steve Beauharnais showed scouts his skills as well by posting a 4.6 and 4.66 40 time, compared to the 4.84 he ran at the Combine. Additonally, the 6-1, 234-pound, three year-starter improved his vertical from 33″ to 36″ from the Combine.
Beauharnais is a player projected to be drafted in the mid-to-late sixth round. His improvement in the 40 along with the vertical could sway teams to move him up their draft boards.
Lastly, runningback Jawan Jamison improved his 4.68 40 time by running in the mid 4.6′s for the scouts. Unfortunately, for a guy who is only 5-8, 203 pounds, it isn’t impressive enough.
Jamison, like Ray Rice, elected to forgo the final two years of his college eligibility because he feels now is the time to make the jump to the NFL. The NFL Advisory Committee told him he is receiving a third round grade from many teams.
Ten former Rutgers players currently in the NFL that were in attendance include: Ray Rice, Mohamed Sanu, Alex Silvestro, Tiquan Underwood, Jamaal Westerman, Jeremy Zuttah, Kevin Brock, Anthony Davis, Courtney Greene and Kevin Haslam,
Brandon Bing (cornerback) and Tim Brown (wide receiver), both looking to latch on again with NFL teams, also took part in drills.