U.C.L.A. will hold its annual Pro Day today at Spaulding Field to give NFL scouts an up close look at all the Bruin pro football prospects. While 9 Bruins attended the NFL Combine last month, every Bruin prospect will be in action today, so that gives some talented players like WR Devin Fuller and LB Aaron Wallace who didn't get invites to the Combine a chance to show off in front of the NFL scouts and executives.
Spaulding should be plenty full of scouts today and the Bruins can thank Myles Jack and his knee for that. Jack's cartilage injury which ended his Bruin career back in September held him out of much of the action at the NFL combine where he went through the usual interviews and medical examinations but participated only in the bench press. He was medically cleared earlier this week and will be a full go for the physical skills today.
The former Bruins star linebacker flew from Phoenix, where he's training, to Los Angeles on Monday and received medical clearance by the UCLA surgeon, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The anticpation surrounding Jack's performance will be way high as he is seen by nearly every draft analyst as a top 10 pick with some pegging him even higher - as long as the knee is healthy.
NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein believes scouting buzz of a potential top-three pick could follow.
"What I think is going to happen, because I've seen some of his workouts from over a month ago, I think he's going to kill it," Zierlein said. "I think everyone's going to be talking about whether he's a top-three pick. I think he's going to be the most buzzed-about prospect after his pro day, that's my prediction. There will be discussions about whether he should be the first pick of the draft."
And yes, he is planning on running a 40. Not that a 40 yd time portends much for his prospects as an NFL linebacker, but it's going to be fun to watch regardless.
With Jack bringing the attention to Westwood today, there will be great opportunities for the other Bruins who will be participating today. Combine participants RB Paul Perkins, WR Jordan Payton, TE Thomas Duarte, C Jake Brendel, OT/OG Caleb Benenoch, OG Alex Redmond, DT Kenny Clark, and PK Ka'imi Fairbairn will get another opportunity to work out for the scouts (you can see breakdowns of their Combine performances in our Football Hub) along with several other Bruins who will get their first chance to impress the NFL folks in person. That includes Devin Fuller who many felt should have gotten a Combine invite and Aaron Wallace who led the Bruins in sacks in 2015. Long Snapper Christopher Longo and redshirt senior WR Tyler Scott and Logan Sweet may also be involved today. Today could be an especially important day for Perkins who was limited at the Combine when he pulled a muscle in one of the early drills. This year's RB draft class is not loaded with big names, and Perkins is already regarded as one of the shiftiest and better all around backs, so a good performance today, if he is fully healthy, could really help him separate himself from the pack.
Each the Bruins will have the opportunity to participate in various physical tests including the 40 yard dash, shuttle runs, long jump and high jump, as well as position specific drills - which makes me curious to see who will be throwing to the receivers. This could be an unofficial Pro Day for Josh Rosen and Jerry Neuheisel, too.
Though the event is not open to the public, I believe our friends in the press including Edward Lewis from Bruin Sports Report, Jack Wang from the LA Daily News, and Tracy Pierson and his team from Bruin Report Online should be in attendance and will hopefully be tweeting away, so please post any tweets in the comment thread below. Head Coach Jim Mora typically meets with the press after the day's events and we should get a good recap then, as well.
It's a big day for our Bruin draft prospects so let's hope they all have a great performance.