March 5, 2013
AUBURN -- Scouts representing 23 NFL teams were on The Plains Tuesday for the Tigers' annual Pro Day, as 14 former Auburn football players participated in a number of drills and tests hoping to earn a spot in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Running back/return specialist Onterio McCalebb, who had one of the fastest 40-yard dash times at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, said of Tuesday's workout. "It's always a blessing to go out and compete and show everybody what you can do. I feel like I did well. I really feel blessed to have been able to compete at Auburn one more time. This is home to me."
McCalebb had a vertical jump of 37", a broad jump of 10'1", and 10 reps on the bench press in addition to his unofficial times in the three-cone drill (6.92), long (11.17) and short (4.23) shuttles and the 40-yard dash (4.29) at Tuesday's Pro Day.
"I think I showed the scouts that I can play linebacker too," said Corey Lemonier, who participated in only defensive position drills and the vertical jump (34") after competing at the NFL Combine in February. "I have the hips to do it. I think I have to get better out there with my technique. The linebacker drills were different than the combine, but I believe I proved I could do them too."
Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, who is still recovering from surgery last fall, improved upon his marks from the NFL Combine. "I think it went well today," Lutzenkirchen said. "It felt good to get out there and run around. I'd say it was about the same as the combine. I'm about two weeks to a month away from 100 percent. I'm right at four months post-op, and they say it's six months to 100 percent, so I'm close. I'm glad our Pro Day was early, so now I can get back to focusing on rehab." Lutzenkirchen's unofficial marks Tuesday included: vertical jump (32"); 40-yard dash (4.96); broad jump (9'4"); three-cone shuttle (7.12) and long shuttle (12.02).
Wide receiver Emory Blake had a special advantage in the passing drills, as his father, NFL All-Pro quarterback Jeff Blake, threw to him. "It was just playing pitch and catch with my dad. I just had fun out there. Honestly, my dad throws the most perfect ball I've ever caught." Blake, whose marks included an unofficial 6.96 three-cone drill, 4.62 in the 40, 10'0" in the broad jump and 36.5' in the vertical jump, feels his family's experience with pro football will help him as well. "I've seen a lot of the business side, and I know it's a grind in the league. Hopefully I can land on a team that can use my skills."
Receiver Travante Stallworth said, "I'm happy with the times I know. I'm just happy I still have my speed after I tore my ACL, so I just want to let (the scouts) know I'm still here." Stallworth had an unofficial 40 time of 4.48, a 9'9" broad jump, a 35.5" vertical jump, a 6.90 three-cone time and 13 reps in the bench press.
Safety T'Sharvan Bell said, "I think I did a really good job. I talked to my agent afterwards, and he said he got a lot of good reports. I think I did better than I thought I was going to do." Bell's bests unofficially were a 6.93 three-cone drill, a 4.10 short shuttle, a 9'8" broad jump and a 4.64 40 time.
"It's a lot different," said linebacker Jonathan Evans of the preparation process. "I put in a lot of work over Christmas break. It's been a long process, just day-in and day-out grinding and working hard. I feel like I did pretty well. I did a lot of things pretty well." Evans ran his 40 in an unofficial 4.71, and posted 14 reps in the bench press, a 30" vertical jump, a 9'1" broad jump, a three-cone time of 7.29 and a long shuttle time of 11.96.
Linebacker Daren Bates, who had unofficial results of 4.53 seconds on the 40-yard dash, 15 reps in the bench press, 33.5" in the vertical jump, 7.12 seconds in the three-cone drill, 9'9" in the broad jump and 11.83 seconds in the long shuttle, talked about his performance, including his work in the defensive back position drills. "I just came and brought my all today. Every day leading up to this was a grind. The best thing I showed them today was that I can play safety. I did all right, but I could have done better."
Offensive lineman A.J. Greene, who last played at Auburn during the 2011 season, had 25 repetitions in the bench press, a 29" vertical jump, an 8'7" broad jump, 5.35 40-yard dash and a 7.82 three-cone shuttle (unofficial times). He was in preseason camp last summer with the Chicago Bears, and wants to give a professional career another chance.
"I'm just trying to finish up my degree. I was in Chicago before the season, and I've been working hard ever since then. I think I showed the scouts I can play. I re-enrolled before this semester and have one more class to go until I graduate."
The 2013 NFL Draft takes place April 25-27 in New York City.
Mae Davis, Anthony Alfano, Evan Roberts and Scott Scroggins contributed to this report.