In the world of College Pro Day news, having scouts at a workout is really the status quo. It might be more noteworthy if a team DOESN’T have a scout there, compared to the opposite. Nonetheless, if a team takes the time to invite specific prospects out to dinner before or after their pro day it shows specific interest in the player(s).
Last year, while attending the Wisconsin Pro Day, Tomlin and Kevin Colbert took T.J. Watt out to dinner, and the team obviously had clear interest with their eventual top draft pick. Not every dinner means the team will draft said player, those who follow the draft know you truly never know how the chips pay fall on draft night, but the level of interest is greater.
With that said, it doesn’t always work out this systematically. Look at last year when the team selected JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC in the second round. He never came in for a visit, nor did he dine with the team after the USC Pro Day. The team’s intel on him came directly from USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann.
While the Steelers’ brass was at the Oklahoma State Pro Day, they not only spent an extended period of time talking to quarterback Mason Rudolph, but dined with two other players at the event.
I’m told Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had dinner with receiver James Washington and safety Tre Flowers last night. The Los Angeles Chargers also met with Flowers.
More from the Oklahoma State Pro Day:
“Those on hand tell me James Washington struggled. He dropped a number of passes including a few which bounced off his hands on go routes. Washington did make one sensational grab over the middle of the field when he got vertical and snatched the ball from the air, drawing a rise from scouts on hand. While there are no true official numbers from pro day most who I spoke with tell me Washington did not get under 4.5s in the forty. His combine time was 4.54s.”
“It was also a good day for quarterback Mason Rudolph. The foot injury which kept him out of the Senior Bowl is ahead of progress and Rudolph touched 28.5 inches in the vertical jump, 2.5 inches better than his combine mark. He looked good throwing from a simulated pocket and unlike the combine, his downfield tosses were accurate. I’m also told Rudolph came across very well in interviews. His hand measurement, which was 9 1/8 inches at the combine, is troublesome for a few and the comment was passed to me that, “Rudolph will struggle in a bad weather environment.” It’s not something I necessarily agree with but it is worth noting.”
“Safety Tre Flowers timed 7.10s in the 3 cone and reached 10-feet-6-inches in the broad jump, the latter an improvement from his combine number. Several people told me Flowers looked really good; very smooth and fluid for a taller defensive back.”
Take that information for what it’s worth, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on the team’s travels at Pro Days and the progression to the 2018 NFL Draft.