WVU Football Pro Day Notebook

WVU Football Pro Day Notebook


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Although it doesn’t have the buzz or electricity of a game, Pro Days and private workouts, along with the NFL Combine, have become almost as important in determining potential draft positions for college players looking to make their move into the pro game. While the hype over the workouts has been blown up to ridiculous levels by ESPN, the NFL Network and the like, at the core it’s still very important to those taking part. Players can move up or down by significant increments based on how they do at these two- to three-hour sessions (more on that in a moment), and the end result can be a significant amount of money.

West Virginia
West Virginia (and one Fairmont State) players huddle around a Rams scout as he explains the 60-yard cone drill

Fifteen West Virginia players were scheduled for Pro Day activity, but participation in the measurements and drills ranged from none to all. Those Mountaineers who participated in the NFL Combine didn’t go through the measurement of agility drills. Gary Jennings was forced to sit out everything after experiencing what was described as “tightness” in his hamstring. A quick summary:

Those who ran the 40 and the cone drills included Dravon Askew-Henry, Toyous Avery, Joe Brown, Kenny Bigelow, Isaiah Hardy, Dominique Maiden, Jabril Robinson and Ezekiel Rose. Will Grier, Trevon Wesco, Dominique Maiden and David Sills went through passing and catching scripts, which Grier and his receivers had laid out prior to the day.

“We had to make some adjustments when Gary couldn’t go,” Grier said.

That led to three tired passcatchers, who probably ran 40 or so individual routes during the throwing and catching session.

Jennings and Yodny Cajuste did not participate in any of the workouts in the Indoor Practice Facility.

* * * * * *

Individual measurements, bench press and vertical jumps were performed in the weight room in the Puskar Center, with no visibility to media. Askew-Henry, Avery, Bigelow, Hardy, Long, Maiden and Rose were scheduled to participate in that sector of the day.

* * * * * *

According to one scout on hand (all 32 teams were represented) Trevon Wesco “made himself some money today.” Wesco ran a number of routes – particularly deep one – that he didn’t have the chance to at the NFL Combine, and his catching and tracking of balls, especially on those deep routes, was impressive.

* * * * * *

Punter Billy Kinney went through his paces with some punts and kickoffs outside. He did not participate in any of the measurements or speed drills, mostly because NFL scouts aren’t interested in those for punters.

“Unless,” he joked afterward, “I could throw up around 30 bench press reps.”

Specialists are typically the last spots addressed by scouts, so it’s something of a waiting game for Kinney and those that boot and snap the ball.

* * * * * *

Ezekiel Rose was almost unrecognizable after cutting off his signature dreadlocks for Pro Day.

“Had to get that extra speed,” the jovial defensive lineman said.

* * * * * *

WVU head coach Neal Brown came up to watch the events, which were orchestrated by WVU Director of Strength and Conditioning Mike Joseph. Several of the NFL scouts chipped in with explanations on how to best run the drills, and allowed a couple of extra chances for those who had missteps or slips.

* * * * * *

Grier looked good throwing the ball, and had only a couple of overthrows on deep passes to mar an otherwise impressive performance. He went through a number of routes and rollouts that weren’t part of the NFL Combine, and thus was able to showcase different parts of his game that hadn’t been previously highlighted.

The same action helped the trio of receivers, who got all the work they wanted. One scout noted that having five or six receivers is a minimum for such workouts, otherwise the receivers can get tired, which can lead to drops or overthrows as their speed drops. To their credit, Sills, Maiden and Wesco kept pushing, taking a couple of strategic breaks to help keep them at their top output. There was only one pass that could have been considered a drop, and probably no more than five the entire session that hit the ground.

Even with attention to hydration, late in the session Sills cramped up while trying to extend to run under a deep pass, causing a few intakes of breath among those watching. After walking back down the field, though, he appeared to be OK, and confirmed that during his interview.

* * * * * *

Wesco doubled up on his workload, going through some blocking footwork drills after the throwing session was complete. While there are several very good tight end prospects in the draft, Wesco’s versatility compares favorably with any of them. After noting that some NFL team was going to get a steal, another scout said, “No, he’s going to get paid.”

WVU 2019 Pro Day Results

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