Pro day news and notes

Written by Sam Werner on .

Pitt held its annual pro day today, and 12 former Panthers worked out for NFL scouts at the school’s indoor practice facility on the South Side. It was an informal interview process afterwards, so we don’t have numbers on all the guys that worked out. But here’s a run down of what I was able to get from talking to the guys there. Obviously the big number is Ray Graham's 40-yard dash time. He didn't have that available right away, but I'm working on tracking down his number. Also, keep in mind that all these times are unofficial and self-reported.

RB Ray Graham: 5'9", 197 lbs...40-yard dash: N/A...Bench press: DNP...Vertical jump: 32"...Broad jump: N/A
Notes: Graham said he wasn't sure what caused his slow 4.8-second 40-yard dash time in Indianapolis, just noting that "those lasers have good eyes." Graham spoke afterwards about how he wanted to show scouts today that he was "more quick than fast," in addition to improving on the 40-yard dash time.

WR Cam Saddler: 5'6", 167.5 lbs...40-yard dash: 4.52 sec...Bench press: 7 reps...Vertical jump: N/A...Broad jump: N/A
Notes: Saddler said his main goal coming into pro day was to impress people with his shuttle times, which he felt like he did (though he didn't have exact numbers). "
Especially my three-cone," he said. "Because I felt fast as hell doing that." He was a bit disappointed to check in at 5-6, which was an inch or two shorter than what he was usually listed as, but that's not really surprising. His best bet to make the NFL is as a return guy, and the easiest way to do that is with impressive times.

OL Ryan Turnley: 6'5½", 304 lbs...40-yard dash: 5.2 sec...Bench press: 15 reps...Vertical jump: 30"...Broad jump: 9'1"
Notes: Turnley wanted to show off his athleticism Wednesday. Scouts aren't going to be blown away by his bench press numbers and brute strength, but he's hoping the film speaks for itself. "
I just wanted to show my athletic ability because I’m not one of the big, burly offensive linemen," he said "When they see the film, they’ll show me getting after guys." Turnley was one of five Pitt players who went and trained with former Pitt strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris in Buffalo (along with Chris Jacobson, Mike Shanahan, Hubie Graham and Tino Sunseri).

OL Chris Jacobson: 6'1½", 302 lbs...40-yard dash: 5.1 sec...Bench press: 26 reps...Vertical jump: 27"...Broad jump: 8'
Notes: Jacobson said he got to Morris' facility weighing in around 311 pounds, but Morris insisted that he get down closer to 300 before pro day. He said he even beat some of his running goals Wednesday. The biggest thing Jacobson was hoping to show today was that the knee injury that cut short his 2011 season was completely healed. He said it nagged him a little bit at the beginning of the year this season, but got better as the year went on. Jacobson said he was disappointed in his bench press, and that he hoped to get into the 30s. He played in the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game in Tuscon, Ariz., and played mostly center while he was down there. He though that, plus his guard film from Pitt might improve his chances on draft day or catching on as a free agent. When asked what his plan was from now until draft day, Jacobson said, "
Right now, I’ve been on a strict diet for the past eight weeks, so now I’m going to go get something to eat."

TE Mike Shanahan: 6'4", 241 lbs...40-yard dash: 4.69 sec...Bench press: 18 reps...Vertical jump: 30.5"...Broad jump: 9'6"
Notes: As you can see by his position, Shanahan said that he plans to try and make the NFL as a tight end. While other guys were losing weight with Morris, he gained about 10 pounds from the end of the season. This seems like a good move given his frame and body type. "I think that gives me my best shot," Shanahan said. "I kind of knew it was going to happen. I think I can be effective." 

K Kevin Harper: 5'9¾", 179 lbs...40-yard dash: 4.67 sec...Bench press: 12 reps...Vertical jump: DNP...Broad jump: DNP
Notes: Pretty impressive measurables for a kicker from Harper. After the drills were over, he did kickoffs for six scouts that chose to stay and watch. He said most of his kicks went through the end zone. Harper did not do field goals since he didn't have a snapper or holder. Harper has been invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine April 6 in Dallas. To get there, he went to the NFL Regional Combine in New York and connected on five consecutive field goal attempts from 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 yards. Last year, only six kickers were invited to the Super Regional Combine, including Rams sixth-round draft pick Greg Zeurlein.

DE Shayne Hale: 6'4", 261 lbs...40-yard dash: N/A...Bench press: N/A...Vertical jump: N/A...Broad jump: N/A
Notes: Hale's most impressive attribute is probably his wingspan, which he said checked in at 81" today. He also said the increased playing time he got towards the end of this season helped him get some tape to show NFL scouts. "
I was a guy that went in on certain downs, but it gave me actual tape to be there for a season and show what I can do."

Those are all the players I was able to track down as they left the facility. The other guys who participated were DB Jarred Holley, QB Tino Sunseri, TE Hubie Graham and DB Andrew Taglianetti.

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