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Observations From Florida State's Pro Day


Florida State's annual Pro Day workout came and went on Tuesday afternoon and with it over 30 players, new and old, attempted to help their stock in the upcoming NFL Draft.

For the print-coverage of Florida State's Pro Day, click here

But there was also plenty of other news coming out of Florida State's Pro Day that didn't make it into the recap, so here's a little late night bonus coverage...

-Four Seminoles were invited to New York for the draft. They are EJ Manuel, Xavier Rhodes, Menelik Watson and Bjoern Werner. Werner and Rhodes are undecied, Manuel will likely attend.

-A number of high profile assistant coaches were on hand for the Pro Day, Josh McDaniel, Todd Haley and Rob Ryan to name a few. More locally, the Dolphins sent OL Coach Jim Turner and QB Coach Zac Taylor to scout for them.

-This group of Seminoles players are as tight-knit as they come. As the focus turned to the bench, every single player crowded around to watch and shout encouragement to their teammates. As guys like Anthony McCloud and Tank Carradine started to strain at the end of their sets you could hear dozens of players chiming in with their support. Jimbo Fisher spoke often about how this was a special class of players and that was on display on Tuesday morning.

-Tank Carradine really helped himself, even in limited action. He put up 32 reps on the bench and managed to avoid doing any work that could present him in a less than favorable light to coaches and scouts. Rob Ryan even joked after Carradine finished lifting that he could have probably thrown Ryan himself up about 20 times he looked so jacked. All kind aside though, a number of coaches and scouts seemed to be taking an interest in Tank. He could be looking at a second day selection.

-The secret is getting out about Menelik Watson. While Dolphins OL coach Jim Turner did little to hide his interest in the prospect, several other teams also managed to get a little bit of one-on-one time with Watson too. He spent a good ten minutes talking with Bears staff as well as scouts from several other teams.

-One of the funnier moments of the day came when Bjoern Werner told us that one team wouldn't let him start his interview until he said, "Get on the Choppa" a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold however is Austrian, Bjoern is German and according to Werner his impersonation did not impress.

-Werner showed surprising agility in linebacker drills, he showed flexibility in his hips, a decent backpedal and above average ball skills. 

-Brandon Jenkins looks physically impressive, he's in solid shape is carrying around no extra weight. But he's not back from that Lisfranc injury and may have hurt himself by trying to complete a full workout. Jenkins told us after the Pro Day that he believes his film speaks for itself, but with the stigma around the Lisfranc and after his showing at the Combine and his Pro Day, he may have damaged his draft stock.

-Daniel Glauser may be in the best shape of his life. The offensive tackle looked almost unrecognizable slimmed down on Tuesday. He's attempting to generate some interest at tight end. He would be a project but showed some decent agility during drills.

-A number of former players looking for new contracts also worked out, including Alex Barron, Darren McFadden and Travis Johnson. Barron seemed to be generating interest from the Raiders.

-Jajuan Harley, a former FSU corner who transferred to Middle Tennessee State was back on campus to work out. He had a very good outing, including a very fast 40-time. He could sneak in to the back of the draft.

-Greg Reid was also back on campus after being booted from the team, transferring to Valdosta State and then tearing his ACL. He showed some lingering effects from the injury. 

-Xavier Rhodes, who many see as a solid round one guy, had a good day but several scouts did note that his footwork needs coaching. Rhodes is extremely athletically gifted, but could still refine his technique. 

-EJ Manuel had an excellent workout. The Bills seemed to take a keen interest in the fifth year senior signal caller. He looked sharp during drills, demonstrating good accuracy and excellent velocity on his throws. With the NFL's shift towards the read option and Manuel's mobility, he could find his way into the first round come April. Manuel's success actually running a read-option is another conversation, but he's seeing his stock continue to climb as the draft approaches.

-Vince Williams is starting to get the "hungry" label. He was a late addition to the Senior Bowl and made an excellent showing. He showed up in Indianapolis and did good work at the Combine. On Tuesday, he quietly impressed with a very good 40 while also looking fluid in coverage drills. Williams has slimmed down about 20 pounds since the season ended and looked very sharp at FSU's Pro Day. He should see his stock climb.

-Wouldn't be surprised to see the St. Louis Rams take a shot on Chris Thompson. He spent some time with Rams personnel on Tuesday. Thompson didn't participate in much, but was on hand to talk with coaches and scouts as well as to support his teammates. The senior tailback had a breakout season cut short by a blown knee, but could be an intriguing late round prospect for a number of teams.

-Finally, Dustin Hopkins demonstrated some of his ingenuity when he basically forced coaches and scouts to take notice of his kicking late in the workout. Without much fanfare Hopkins started hitting kicks from the 20, and slowly backed into the large group standing out near the 35. When a kicker asks you to move out of the way so he can pound 50+ yard field goals through the uprights, you tend to take notice. Hopkins is the latest in a line of great Seminoles kickers dating back to Graham Gano and Sebastian Janikowski. He leaves school as the all time leading scorer amongst kickers in NCAA history and hopes to be drafted in the late rounds in April.


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