Oregon Pro Day: The Jakes
Thursday was 2018 Pro Day for Oregon football’s NFL aspirants and 19 former Ducks convened in the Moshofsky and Casanova Centers in Eugene for testing in front of dozens of professional scouts. Family members watched from the sideline and Duck Sports Authority joined them to bring you these observations, along with a few coveted Jake Awards from the event.
I am going to go in sort of a reverse order for this and will start off with the non-2018 graduates. That includes Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Dakota Prukop, Dwayne Stanford and Matt Wogan. When you look at the results for Prukop, it reads “DNP”, did not participate, all the way across. That is because he was in the building for two purposes. Number one was to give the other players the quarterback they need to run through individual drills. Sure, he would love to play in the National Football League, and if a scout noticed him, great. But he was very much there to help his teammates, as the NCAA will not let current players do those tasks at a Pro Day event. Which leads us to our first Award.
True Teammate Award: Dakota Prukop
Seeing Ifo and Dwayne “Too Tall” Stanford out there making a run at it was cool. Ifo was a 2015 graduate drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round. Unfortunately, he dislocated his knee during a December 2014 practice, tearing his ACL among other damage. Many had him easily a first round draft pick pre-injury. In February 2017, he was released by his second team, the Miami Dolphins. A year later, here was Ifo showing that he still had the footspeed.
Dwayne Stanford was a 2017 grad and is one of those unique 6-foot-4 athletes who can move in space. His raw numbers were in the NFL tight end range at this event so tough for an NFL WR even with his length. But Too Tall is tough and very smart plus a very solid young man. How about making him a TE, somebody?
In the big fella department, a few guys looked particularly good. Doug Brenner proved that he had upper body strength with 30 reps at 225-pounds in the bench. Maybe more impressive was Elijah George with 29, who backed that up with a 4.93 40 and a 4.62 pro shuttle, both respectable numbers for the defensive line. George also has very low body fat content for a big. Henry Mondeaux put up good number for a DL with 25-bench, 32-inch vertical and 4.45 pro shuttle. That was a good combination of power and quickness numbers.
All-in-all though, we give the performance nod yesterday to Elijah George who ran through all of the big guy drills and helped his stock, earning him the Award nod.
Bull Market Award: Elijah George
Of the non-linemen some performances also stood out, starting with Ty Griffin. With all the positions he has played in his football career, we knew he was athletic. But to see him display it in testing was impressive. His vertical jump of 39 inches was fun to watch and the small crowd of parents erupted in applause after he finally came back down to the ground. The 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump, 4.34 pro shuttle, 7.14 L-drill were all very good, and his 4.55 40 and 11.69 60-yard shuttle all combine for a package that should interest an NFL team or two to bring him into camp.
Several Ducks proved they could scoot right along in the 40, with Arrion Springs winning the day with a time of 4.47. That was an impressive run to watch; he looked very fast. However, a few of his teammates clocked right there near him. Kani Benoit and Charles Nelson tied for second-best time at 4.52, with Ty Griffin third at 4.55 and Tyree Robinson a respectable for his length 4.58.
In the end we are giving out the skills guy Award to the prospect who probably helped his cause the most on Thursday.
Got Game Award: Ty Griffin
That is not to say others did not help their case, or that Griffin is suddenly a better pro prospect than them. Kani Benoit stood out as well and was a close second to Griffin for the Award. His numbers across the board were very good, testing well in both power, quickness and speed drills. Royce Freeman did not test as he had done so just a week ago at the NFL combine. But along with Benoit, he did run through a variety of running back situations with Dakota Prukop as their quarterback. Both backs displayed the feet and acceleration expected of an NFL running back.
Yesterday was an overall good showing for Duck NFL hopefuls. It is much easier to help your stock than hurt it at these things, and many Oregon graduates were able to take advantage of the opportunity. Tyrell Crosby and Royce Freeman will have spots on NFL rosters next season.
It will be interesting to find out which other guys will join them.