NFL DRAFT NEWS

Pro Day Recaps: Watson center stage at Clemson

Sports Xchange

March 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm.

Dec 5, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (40 scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC football championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 5, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (40 scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC football championship game at Bank of America Stadium in 2015. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

All 32 NFL teams were represented at Clemson’s pro day to watch 14 prospects work out at the Tigers indoor facility. The main attractions were quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Mike Williams.

Watson, ranked 16th by NFLDraftScout.com, is the No. 2 quarterback in the draft. Williams is the third-ranked wide receiver and 21st-ranked player overall.

Watson stood on his numbers from the Combine and focused on his scripted passing session, receiving coaching from former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer. He threw close to 60 passes with eight incompletions, taking snaps from under center and showing off his mobility and footwork from different landmarks. Similar to his tape, Watson’s ball placement was erratic; it’s an area in which he needs to improve. According to many in attendance, it was an average workout and shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion coming in to the day.

The Chicago Bears, who own the No. 3 overall pick, were well represented with head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace on hand for the workout. The Cleveland Browns own the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks in the first round and are expected to heavily consider Watson with the second of those draft choices, but neither head coach Hue Jackson or chief decision-maker Sashi Brown were in attendance on Thursday.

Possibly the most anticipated 40-yard dash on the pro day schedule, Williams elected not to run at the Combine, taking the extra time to train for the drill. He ran his 40-yard dashes on Thursday in the 4.55-4.58 range, depending on the stopwatch.

Those numbers don’t sound great, but they aren’t bad considering what was expected. Williams’ tape doesn’t show a 4.4 athlete and his routes lack polish, which was evident during the workout. But he wins with his power, frame and catch radius. Overall, Williams, who opted not to participate in any cone or shuttle drills, solidified his status as a mid-first round pick and player expected to come off the board in the 10-20 range.

Other notable player results from Clemson’s pro day include:

–Running back Wayne Gallman: 4.56 40-yard dash (ran 4.57 at the Combine)

–Tight end Jordan Leggett: 4.76 40-yard dash (didn’t run at the Combine), 9-feet-11 broad jump (9-feet-6 at the Combine)

–Center Jay Guillermo: 33 reps on the bench press (not invited to the Combine), which would have been the most among centers at the Combine

–Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins: Didn’t work out at the Combine due to a hamstring. He ran a 5.09 40-yard dash with a 28.5-inch vertical and 9-feet-6 broad jump at the pro day

–Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley: 30.5-inch vertical (29.5-inch vertical at the Combine)

–Safety Jadar Johnson: 4.63 40-yard dash (4.60 at the Combine) and 10-feet-4 broad jump (9-feet-11 at the Combine)

Penn State

Penn State’s pro day on Thursday was a showcase for wide receiver Chris Godwin, who met with the Steelers and Eagles after the workout. He impressed at the Combine with his testing numbers and didn’t run again on campus, but he did run routes and catch the ball, looking good during positional drills.

In Indianapolis, Godwin ranked among the top performers in the 40-yard dash (4.42), 10-yard split (1.54), vertical (36-inches), broad jump (10-feet-6) and short shuttle (4.00).

Pass rusher Garrett Sickels improved his numbers in several areas at the pro day, including the 40-yard dash (4.81; 4.90 at the Combine) and vertical (33-inches; 28-inches at the Combine).

Linebacker Brandon Bell, who wasn’t invited to the Combine, ran his 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds at 6-1 and 229 pounds. He also recorded a 32-inch vertical, 9-feet-6 broad jump, 4.32 short shuttle, 7.16 3-cone drill and 15 reps on the bench.

 

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