Yesterday, UCLA Football hosted its annual Pro Day. Pro Day is the day when the student-athletes who are eligible for the NFL Draft work out for scouts from NFL teams. It’s especially helpful to those guys who weren’t invited to participate in the NFL Combine a few weeks ago because it gives those guys one more chance to try to impress the scouts and convince teams to either draft them or sign them after the draft as an undrafted free agent.
In an article on the LA Daily News website, Thuc Nhi Nguyen called it “the biggest job interview they’ll face in the process to next month’s NFL draft.” And it’s true. That’s essentially what the workout are.
While Pro Day is not open to the public, credentialed media are invited to observe the workouts as well. One of the former Bruins who worked out for scouts yesterday was Jayon Brown. In this video, courtesy of Edward Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report, you can observe some of Brown’s drills.
Of course, afterwards, there were media interviews. In this video from the UCLA Athletic Department, Jayon Brown, Takkarist McKinley and Eddie Vanderdoes all answer questions from reporters.
McKinley did not participate in drills due to his recent shoulder surgery the day after the NFL Combine, but he mentioned that he was there to support the other guys who were participating.
Meanwhile, Vanderdoes spoke about the fact that he’s lost about 40 pounds since the end of the UCLA Football season last year. He also was asked about the knee he injured back in 2015 that prematurely ended the season for him. Vanderdoes said, “I’m as athletic as ever....My knee never hurt once this past season.”
UCLA Football Coach Jim Mora also met with the media as well. Mora discussed the process of Pro Day, but also talked about an event like that not necessarily having the most weight. Mora said:
The best drafters go off the tape. They don’t necessarily go off a 40[-yard dash]. A 40 might confirm something one-way or another. A vertical [jump] might confirm something one-way or another. But, if you ask a general manager in a moment of weakness to be honest with you, they will tell you it’s the tape. They’ll look at the tape at see what kind of player a guy is.
The video of Coach Mora is also courtesy of Edward Lewis.
Of course, the ultimate measure comes at the end of April when the NFL Draft is held.