Wrapping Up Oklahoma's 2013 Pro Day In Norman
NORMAN, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Sooners held their annual Pro Day Wednesday morning for at least 20 NFL scouts inside the Everest Training Center in Norman.
25 Sooners participated, including four former OU players who had graduated in years past.
While most of the attention was on quarterback Landry Jones and his throwing exhibition, it was two defensive backs that stole the show: former walk-on Jesse Paulsen, and Reggie Smith, who was drafted by San Francisco in the third round of the 2008 draft, but is currently a free agent.
Smith or Paulsen took top marks in five of the six timed individual drills, with Smith running a Pro Day-best 4.31 in the 40-yard dash. Paulsen wasn't too shabby himself, checking in at 4.45 and jumping 11-feet-2-inches in the broad jump and posting a 4.13 in the 20-yard shuttle.
Safety Tony Jefferson participated sparingly after injuring his hamstring at the NFL Combine in February. Jefferson didn't start sprinting again until Monday of this week because of the injury.
"We've got a bunch of teams here," Jefferson said. "It's a good time to showcase your ability and have fun just being with my teammates again. It will probably be the last time I'll be with a lot of them."
Jefferson's draft projections have fluctuated greatly and Jefferson said it's up to NFL teams to determine whether or not he's worthy of a first-round pick.
Offensive tackle Lane Johnson didn't participate in any of the drills after a sterling performance in Indianapolis last month. Wide receiver Kenny Stills caught balls for Jones during the throwing session and then performed individual drills for scouts later, citing a need to make sure a hamstring was fully warmed up before running hard on it. Stills said the hamstring has bothered him throughout most of his career.
"Just wanted to show that I was consistent catching the ball," Stills said. "I feel like a lot of people, including myself, have seen me drop balls here and there. Just to show I can catch everything and that my routes were crisp and I was fast and explosive off the ball."
The highlight of the day was Jones' 71-pass performance. After his first deep pass was a complete duck, Jones settled down and performed well, throwing a wide variety of passes and showing off solid footwork while quarterback coach George Whitfield chased him around with a broom.
"You're nervous about it; I was nervous," Jones admitted. "You're coming out here and this is a job interview. You're going to be pretty nervous for a job interview. I thought I competed well. I had a great time out here and I'm appreciative of all these coaches coming out here for us."
Whitfield was very pleased with Jones' workout, and is also confident about where Jones will go in next month's NFL Draft.
"They may not have had the type of season they wanted in Oklahoma and Landry may not be the household name some of his other counterparts are," Whitfield said. "When they boil it all down of what's most important, he'll figure a way into the first round."
The NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27, with round one on April 25, rounds two and three on April 26, and the remaining rounds on April 27.