A handful of Southern Miss players took to field at The Rock yesterday to try to make an impression on NFL and CFL scouts.
The star of the day was DT Khyri Thornton, the Golden Eagles' lone NFL combine invite, and it showed. All of the scouts kept a close eye on Thornton throughout the day.
Other participants included LB Dylan Reda, WR Kelvin Bolden, RB Kendrick Hardy, DT Khalid Wilson and CB Alex Walters.
Here are a few news, notes, and quotes from the day:
-NFL scouts included the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Jakcsonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Houston Texans. There were also a couple of CFL teams there, including the Edmonton Eskimos.
-Khyri Thornton put on a solid showing for the scouts, running a 4.9 40 yard dash and doing 28 reps on the bench. This was an improvement on his 5.03 40 at the combine, and the same number of bench reps.
Thornton offered an explanation on his improvements. "At the combine my heart was beating out of my chest," Thornton said. "I felt very comfortable and relaxed out here today."
-Dylan did a very impressive 32 reps on the bench, the most for any linebacker in the country so far. The most reps done by an linebacker at the NFL Combine was 30, so Reda was 2 reps better than any linebacker in attendance.
Reda said his goal was 35 reps, but was very pleased with putting up 32. "I did the most reps of any linebacker in the country," Reda said. "So I felt like I really shined in the bench press."
-As you all know, I'm a huge Patriots fan, and I couldn't help but notice that the Patriots scout was keeping a very close eye on Thornton. It was very obvious he was there to watch Thornton closely. I find this very interesting considering they just drafted Jamie Collins in the 2nd round last year, and worked out Cordarro Law recently. It seems they really like Southern Miss defenders, probably because of their versatility. With Duggan's defensive style, every player has to be ready to shift their position with any call. The Patriots defense is very similar, so keep a close eye on the Patriots in the later rounds as a possible spot for Thornton.
-Outside of these two players, the day was relatively quiet. The Eskimos scout had an extended conversation with Kendrick Hardy and kept a close eye on him.
-Bolden and Walters had some trouble catching the ball, although Walters was very impressive in agility drills. Bolden flashed some pretty impressive straight line speed with scouts throwing to him.
Overall it was a solid day for those in attendance at the pro-day. Khyri Thornton was able to improve on his combine numbers, and was able to make a solid impression on the scouts in attendance.
Reda was able to turn some heads with his bench press results. Surely his setting the bar for linebackers on the bench press will get his name out there for teams.
Former Southern Miss players took part in USM's pro day on campus in Hattiesburg Friday. Here are news, notes, and quotes from the day.