In a job interview like no other, former USF football players did everything they could to impress NFL (and two CFL) scouts and coaches at their Pro Day held at the Frank Morsani Football Complex.
While some had better days than others, two players stood out above everyone else. Running back Darius Tice and cornerback/safety/nickel Deatrick Nichols did nothing but improve their stock in the eyes of the teams on hand.
CB Deatrick Nichols with a 37-inch vertical to start things off. #USFProDay #NFL #NFLDraft— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
.@USFFootball CB Deatrick Nichols on his second run. Hearing 4.32 unofficial #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay pic.twitter.com/Zfd0Ds8eiz— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
The three time all-conference selection showed speed that many didn’t think he possessed. Standing on the sidelines you could hear audible gasps from the bystanders and many current Bulls were clapping it up for the Miami native.
“I heard I had some good times, but I’m just happy I did what I had to do,’ Nichols said. “[The scouts] loved what I did and said that I did everything well.”
RB Darius Tice: 27(!!!) reps at 225 #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
Darius Tice: 33-inch vertical #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
RB Darius Tice: 9’11” Broad Jump #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
RB Darius Tice with an unofficial 4.68. He’s helped himself out today #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
Tice had a huge day in front of scouts and the 27 reps of 225 would’ve put him third in the 2018 NFL Combine behind Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (29) and Georiga RB Nick Chubb (29). While he’ll never have top-end speed he should get a look in the preseason from someone and be able to contribute on special teams.
DE Mike Love also impressed NFL scouts today, he had a 10’1” broad jump and put up 24 reps on the bench press. He worked out as an end and at linebacker and scouts told him he could play both going forward. Love mentioned that scouts were impressed by his athleticism at 6’4”, 255 lbs and how well he was able to drop into coverage with fluidity.
“These past seven weeks I’ve been training [to do both] and gave it all I got,” Love said. “I’m pretty confident leaving here, it was just a great day.”
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION B.J. DANIELS and GOAT Quinton Flowers did multiple drills.
Former QB SUPER BOWL CHAMPION B.J. DANIELS was at Pro Day as he prepares to get back into the NFL after an injury cut his 2017 season short.
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION BJ DANIELS warming up at #USFProDay #NFL pic.twitter.com/dDr9y1IbaJ— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
LARGE. ADULT. PUNTER. working out and SUPER BOWL CHAMPION BJ DANIELS returning punts. #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay pic.twitter.com/80eUcV3Ty1— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
Quinton Flowers to SUPER BOWL CHAMPION BJ DANIELS #NFL #NFLDraft #USFProDay pic.twitter.com/Bj9HxtNZoF— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION BJ DANIELS THROWING AT #USFProDay https://t.co/i0W0pocLWu— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
“It was really, really fun to see everyone I played with...I got Theo Wilson out here (fast foward to 1:12),” SBCBJD said. “And Watching Quinton and all them on TV and now I get a chance to be a part of pro day and throw with him and catch from him. That was pretty cool.”
SBCBJD says he “definitely expecting” to be with a team in 2018 and says that he is completely healthy.
.@USFFootball’s Quinton Flowers throwing at #USFProDay https://t.co/DdwxtVkpqs #NFL #NFLDraft— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) March 26, 2018
Flowers got off to shaky start throwing the football, leaving some low and and even skipping one to the receiver on a five yard out route. But, he settled in and threw admirably. I overheard multiple scouts say that “we saw today that he won’t make money playing QB”. This comment came after Flowers was taking his time getting his gloves for the running back drills, which from all accounts he looked good doing.
I tend to agree with them that Flowers is better suited to play RB or in the slot in NFL but he’s the one guy I’m not betting against to make everyone look like an idiot.
- East-West Shrine Game star Deadrin Senat had another great showing in drills, which was run by New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rogers. Senat showed power and great burst working through all the drills. He will be the highest drafted Bull in this class.
- WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught nearly everything throw in his direction today. He brought in former Gaither High School and FIU quarterback Alex McGough to throw to him. They’ve known each other since high school.
- We did not get “official” times from the scouts on hand this year. They kept the numbers private unlike last year. So blame the NFL for not knowing how fast anyone really ran.
- RB D’Ernest Johnson looked great catching balls out of the backfield (weird, right?)
- Apparently Flowers grew nearly two inches (sure he did) from the NFL Combine and measured at 5’11” 1⁄2.
- LB Auggie Sanchez ran an unofficial 5.02 40-yard dash, which is good for last among Combine participants.
Who gets drafted?
Senat will be the first one off the board. Then, after today, it could be a toss up between MVS and Nichols but I lean toward MVS, followed by Nichols. I think someone takes Flowers in the sixth or seventh round as a project.