Gators shine in Pro Day
Kyle Pitts 40-yard dash time impresses scouts
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Pro Day in Gainesville brought back some familiar faces to campus as 16 Florida Gators football players put their bodies through a battery of tests to raise their draft stock, and the eyebrows of NFL scouts.
Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, and Kadarius Toney headlined the the group of standout players, who were all participating to showcase their skills up close and personal for coaches and scouts of the National Football League. Former Gators and current Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer was in attendance, along with Miami Dolphins Brian Flores, Cincinnati Bengals Zac Taylor, Carolina Panthers Matt Rhule, and New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Naturally, the “Ole Ball Coach” Steve Spurrier was at the Gators Pro Day, too. He gave an interview to former Gators Receiver and current ESPN Analyst Chris Doering, and was seen chatting with Meyer and current Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen.
Marco Wilson headlined the early part of the workout by jumping 43.5 inches on his vertical jump. The damage from Wilson’s infamous shoe throw in the loss to LSU last season still lingers and stings, but when Wilson posted that impressive number it certainly caught the attention of everyone in watching in attendance and abroad. And to add fuel to his rocket hot draft status, Wilson also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds.
The shoe incident will always be apart of Wilson’s tenure at Florida, but by posting these eye-popping numbers he certainly did himself a favor heading toward April’s NFL Draft.
Offensively, Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney were the stories of the day.
Toney’s broad jump was 14 inches longer than the average distance at the NFL combine. And to cement his reputation as a certified weapon, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds. Between his ability to create space from defenders, with or without the ball, along with his vision and home run like capability every time he touches the ball, Toney is almost a sure lock as a first round draft pick.
The hype around Kyle Pitts only intensified after today’s standout performance.
Pitts ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds. And to be 6′5, 245 lbs and move that fast, not to mention his ability to get open, run crisp routes, and catch the ball no matter who is covering him, had critics starting to make comparisons to one of the most dominant receivers in the history of the NFL, Calvin Johnson.
While Johnson and Pitts are the same height, Pitts has almost 10 pounds on Johnson, but the former Detroit Lion ran the 40-yard dash in nine-tenths of a second faster at the NFL combine. So let’s just pump the breaks on the extremely high praise for just a second. Pitts’ ceiling at the moment is sky-high, but he hasn’t played a down in the pro game yet.
Kyle Trask didn’t really shine anywhere in the workout besides the throwing drills. He made a lot of great throws that were very similar to what we saw over the course of last season. He did miss one or two passes here or there, but overall he said afterward the workout was about showing scouts he was more than a statue in the pocket. His motivation today was to demonstrate his explosion and ability to throw accurately if things broke down. Safe to say, mission accomplished.
Trevon Grimes nearly ran a 4.5 second 40-yard dash, which isn’t great for his draft stock, but on tape he demonstrated sheer will to go get the football in a number of games last season.
Shawn Davis pulled his hamstring attempting to run the 40-yard dash so that was it for his day, but did receive positive feedback about his workout.
The NFL Draft will take place in Cleveland, Oh April 29 - May 1.
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