NFL Draft

2015 Villanova Pro Day Recap

If you heard me on yesterday’s The Terrible Podcast, I mentioned my trip to Villanova’s Pro Day. And now, my full notes from Monday’s workout.

– The event was held at the YSC Sports Facility, about 20 minutes from the Villanova campus, and also where the Philadelphia Union practice. That was information that would have been useful to me before walking around campus for 15 minutes and then realizing it was at a different location. Rookie mistake…

– Went with two friends of mine. Practice started bright and early at 7 AM with 33 players in attendance. Villanova allows players from small schools to work there and they composed at least half, if not more, of the group. Many players from the top Division Two conference in Pennsylvania, the PSAC, attended with representatives from Clarion, Indiana (PA), Mercyhurst, Bloomsburg, West Chester, and Seton Hill.

As I said on the podcast, we were there to cover Clarion’s own Julian Howsare, projected to be a 3-4 OLB at the next level and a priority free agent.

There were some first year players returning to workout. Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh, D2’s leading rusher in 2013, worked out. A shoulder injury took him off many team’s boards last year. Kyle Harbridge was a record-setter at St. Francis and received Danny Woodhead comparisons from draftniks. He also attended.

– According to an agent, scouts from 17 teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, came to watch. The Steelers sent one scout, Steven Meyer, listed as an intern on the team’s website. As you’d expect given the proximity, the Philadelphia Eagles had the most personnel there with at least three scouts by my count. One report noted the New York Jets were there, but if they were, I certainly didn’t see them.

– There wasn’t a list of names of who would be attending and given the fact there were players from all over the state, impossible to project who would be there. I only knew a couple names prior. Made things difficult to track.

– Some notable weigh-ins.

Julian Howsare/OLB Clarion: 6’2/2 254 pounds, 31 1/2 inch arms, 9 1/4 hands.
Rasheed Bailey/WR Delaware Valley: 6’0/4, 31 arms, 9 1/2 hands. Don’t have a weight but he is listed at 205.
Franklyn Quiteh/RB Bloomsburg: 5’9 212, 31 1/8 arms 9 1/2 hands
Justin Shirk/ILB Bloomsburg: 6’0 243, 30 7/8 arms, 9 1/8 hands
Tyler Zimmer/ILB Seton Hill: 6’1/3 227, 31 5/8

– The field was torn up and soft. Lot of players remarked the poor shape it was in. Made footing difficult and players slipped throughout the day. I’d honestly throw out any short shuttle times. No one was able to keep their footing.

Seattle Seahawks scout Todd Brunner conducted the defensive drills.

– Shirk had a strong day, participating at linebacker and like most of his teammates, receiving some work at fullback. His numbers: ran in the 4.6’s, repped 225 30 times, jumped 33.5 inches in the vertical, and recorded a 9’7” in the broad.

The Eagles pulled him aside after the workout, chatting with him for roughly ten minutes and snapping some pictures to see his flexibility and bend.

The Bloomsburg product racked up 120 tackles and 11 sacks in 2014.

– Philadelphia also showed significant interest in Bailey, who had a solid performance. He got the added comfort of playing with his college QB, Aaron Wilmer, also in attendance. Looked explosive out of his breaks and overall, caught the ball cleanly. He had a prolific 2014 season, catching 19 touchdowns and over 1700 yards receiving en route to conference player of the year awards. Unofficially, I timed him at a 4.63 in the 40 and a 7.02 in the three cone.

– Howsare had some decent numbers. 32 inch vertical, 9’5” in the broad, ran in the 4.7’s, and posted a 7.4 in the three cone. Bench press was a little disappointing at just 19 reps. He dropped three passes in linebacker drills but looked fluid in his turn and explosive in his pedal. As he and I briefly talked about, his turn was more important than his hands.

The Steelers’ scout briefly talked to Howsare following the workout. The former Golden Eagle has 37 career sacks and is a two-time conference defensive player of the year recipient.

– Zimmer looked the cleanest at fullback and according to him, he seems the most likely to make the switch. His agent was very happy with the workout, and I heard him tell someone that Zimmer accomplished everything they worked on.

– I didn’t watch much of him but was initially impressed by West Chester cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz. Getting some buzz in media circles. Extremely explosive out of his pedal and looks the part. Came in at 6’1 and an even 200 pounds, according to his agent. Did have two drops but it’s a minor quibble.

– Tend not to focus on guys that didn’t do well but couldn’t help but notice IUP WR Drew Carswell’s struggles. A transfer from Pittsburgh, he repeated the three cone drill three times.

– The biggest man there had to be Lincoln NT Hosea Crooms. I missed his weigh-in but he’s been reported at 6’2, 368 pounds. On my watch, I had him at 5.6 flat but he reported he turned in a 5.49. Jumped 28.5 inches in the vertical and 8’3” in the broad jump.

– To conclude, we’ll embed the four interviews we conducted post-practice. They were with Howsare, Zimmer, Shirk, and Bailey. There’s also a couple of highlights for the first three sprinkled without. All very gracious and accommodating after a long, four hour day.

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