Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Notes From UNC's Pro Day

(AP Photo)
The University of North Carolina hosted NFL scouts, NFL coaches and many members of the media on Tuesday at their annual Pro Day. Two players, Dwight Jones and Ebele Okakpu, were not allowed to participate by the University. Quinton Coples and Zach Brown were the headliners but scouts were able to watch other players that could be taken in late rounds of the draft or signed as undrafted free agents.  Here are a some notes that I was able to gather from several members of the media that was attendance:

  • Quinton Coples skipped the bench and 40 as his performance at the combine was good enough.
  • Former UFL player Bobby Rome and  former Miami Dolphin Brooks Foster worked out at UNC's pro day.
  • Rex Ryan, Warren Belin (Panthers LB coach), Richard Smith (Broncos LB coach) were in attendence.
  • Former players Robert Quinn and Shaun Draughn were there to watch their former teammates perform. 
  • Rex Ryan had Coples to work in LB drills in which he caught a lot of passes but looked stiff in the LB drills.  Could Ryan be wanting to convert Coples to an OLB in a 3-4 defense?
  • Ryan also wanted Powell to work through specific DL drills.
  • Ryan Houston and Donte Paige-Moss were in attendance but did not participate in any drills.
  • Zach Brown participated in all workouts except the broad jump and improved 1.5 inches in the vertical jump and ran an improved 4.47 in the 40.
  • Safety Matt Merletti, who is recovering from knee surgery in November performed really well with 31 reps on the bench press and a 4.60 in the 40.
  • Cornerback Charles Brown was happy with his numbers at the combine but did participate in the 40 yard dash in which he improved his combine time of 4.63 to a 4.51.
  • Dwight Jones did not participate due to the "birthday bash" that made him inelegible in December before UNC petitioned NCAA for him to participate in the Independence Bowl.  After the bowl game Jones rescheduled and attended the party.
  • Ebele Okakpu was also not allowed to particpate due to be being dismissed from team in the fall for conduct detrimental to team.
  • Last year players that were ruled ineligible were still able to particpate in UNC's pro day but that was not the case this year.  Great move by the current regime of Larry Fedora and Bubba Cunningham.
  • Dwight Jones had reps there that handed out directions to a local high school where he would be working out.
  • There was only 5 members of the media and one scout (Denver) at East Chapel Hill High School to watch Dwight Jones workout.
  • Dwight Jones ran a 4.57 in the 40 and was less than stellar at other workouts.  I think I hear draft stock falling

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