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With the oddness of the COVID-19 pandemic slowly subsiding in the U.S., Pro Days have returned to action in this year’s football offseason. The UCF Pro Day did it’s part for it’s graduating NFL prospects, providing them an opportunity to show out for scouts from all 32 teams.
Those in attendance included the following:
– Otis Anderson, Running Back
– Tay Gowan, Defensive Back
– Richie Grant, Defensive Back
– Jacob Harris, Wide Receiver
– Greg McCrae, Running Back
– Tre Nixon, Wide Receiver
– Aaron Robinson, Defensive Back
– Marlon Williams, Wide Receiver
– Dylan Barnas, Kicker
– Nevelle Clarke, Defensive Back
Here’s who did the most to help their draft stock:
While Anderson and Nixon made their presence felt, posting 4.63 and 4.43 40-yard dash times respectively, it was Harris who crushed his workout.
Over and above his 40.5” vertical jump and 11’, 1” long jump, the 6’5” 211-pound receiver amazed those in attendance with a 4.39 40 yard dash time. While Harris struggled at times during the season with drops, it’s hard to think that some NFL scout out there isn’t going to see this and remember the old adage that you can’t coach size or speed. This is enough to make Harris a serious contender for a late-round pick at the very least after spending his time as the third wide receiver on the depth chart.
McCrae also did well, posting a 4.51 as his 40 time and a 36″ vertical jump, but it was in the shuttle run that he was most impressive. Not so much for the speed of his performance, but for his tenacity. During his three-cone drill, McCrae slipped but pushed through for a solid rep. That’s the kind of stuff that scouts like to see in a running back or a returner. While the former Knight is sure to be listed as under-sized, this shows a heart that could land him in an NFL camp similar to Adrian Killins last year.
While Grant performed strong with a 4.53 40 time, he went into this event as one of the best safety prospects in the country and left the building with that very same consideration. But for me, the guy who had the most to prove was Gowan.
UCF’s shutdown corner from the 2019 season opted out of the season for 2020 due to COVID-19. He went into the event to show scouts that he is not only unaffected long term from his bout with the disease but was still a physical force after the time off. Putting up a 4.44 and looking impressive in ball drills was exactly how he managed to achieve both these goals.
Clearly, Gowan’s lack of field time in 2020 is impacting the buzz around his selection, but much like many analysts say about North Dakota State quarterback prospect Trey Lance, Gowan has the skill set to be a contributor at the next level at his position.