Former players on the Arkansas football team participated in this year’s pro day on Wednesday inside Walker Pavilion here on campus at Fayetteville. While some players have already been tested at the combine, this is a great chance for other players to get noticed by NFL scouts and teams in hopes of making a roster in the future.
Travis Swanson, Chris Smith, Zach Hocker, and Robert Thomas were invited and tested in all of the events at the NFL combing last week. All of them kept the same times and results that they recorded at the combine except Smith, who improved his 3-cone drill to 7.32 seconds and Thomas who continued to impress with his bench press at 37 reps.
Swanson has been rated as one of the best center prospects and his ability to play guard in the NFL will make him more attractive showing of his good mobility. He should be projected as a third to fifth round pick.
Smith had a very good combine and in his pro day showed that he may be more than just a defensive lineman, but an outside linebacker. He went through a good amount of linebacker drills showing off his athleticism and speed along with good ball skills as well. Smith’s stock has definitely grown and he may become a good pickup for a team in the later rounds.
Pro day is mainly about the guys that don’t make the combine and this is sometimes their one and only chance to catch the eye of an NFL organization.
I think that the guy that did that yesterday was Kiero Small.
While he is a common name in the households of Arkansas, the fullback position in the draft is almost like a kicker where you’re more than likely going to sign as a free-agent.
Small was recorded at 5’8″ and 244 pounds yesterday and ran a 4.91 in the forty, which isn’t impressive, but he’s not going to be wanted for a speed back in the league. After watching drills and meeting with Small, I find it hard to believe that at least one team won’t give this guy a chance to make their roster.
Two Arkansas wide receivers participated in the pro day, Julian Horton and Javonte Herndon. Herndon had a very nice 4.47 forty time, but reportedly dropped multiple passes during drills. Horton ran a 4.69 which doesn’t translate to the NFL very well, but overall had a good workout.
Other recognizable players like Eric Bennett, Jarrett Lake, and Austin Tate participated in the pro day as well, but more than likely won’t be drafted.
The familiar face of Ryan Mallett was tossing passes to the players in position drills as all 32 NFL teams were represented. Mallett has been stuck behind the great Tom Brady in New England ever since he was drafted back in 2011.
Many of these guys played a huge role in the development of the Arkansas football team and went through the best and worst times of the program. All of them represented the team and University tremendously well and the entire state wishes them well for whatever future they have, NFL or not.