WVU’s Pro Day is an important step for Mountaineer seniors in the NFL Draft process. For those not invited to the NFL Combine or have attended other regional combines, Pro Day is their best opportunity to get recognized by NFL scouts, coaches and general managers.
The list of participants isn’t usually known until just before the event starts at 9:30 am on Friday morning, but among those expected to take part are Charles Sims, Will Clarke, Doug Rigg, Ivan McCartney, Curtis Feigt, Darwin Cook, Dozie Ezemma, Pat Eger, and Shaq Rowell.
In year’s past, the Pro Day has been a springboard for players who had received little attention to that point in the draft process to gain some momentum. Take Terence Garvin from last year. Prior to the Pro Day, little had been written about him. During the event, his workout drew a crowd, including Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Although Garvin eventually went undrafted, the Steelers signed him as a free-agent, and he could be in line to have a prominent role for the team next season.
Last year’s event was perhaps had the most viewers from the NFL than any other, with Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey working out.
Sims and Clarke participated in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month. Their involvement with tomorrow’s event may only consist of running through the drills they felt they needed to improve upon after the combine. Doug Rigg was a participant in a recent regional combine. That let him get a baseline on what he needs to do on Friday.
“One thing I really wanted to work on was my forty,” Rigg told WVSports.com’s Greg Madia. “Running it, I was pretty good with it, but my start was poor. The start is difference in running in the 4.6s or 4.7s and a worse time.”
Everyone else will have a clean slate to work from.
Sometimes, after the seniors wrap up their session, Mountaineers from season’s past will come back to audition for scouts. Pat White and Will Johnson have used the platform to earn invites to training camps in recent years. This year, another fan favorite is rumored to attend and take a second crack at breaking into the NFL.
The rumor is that Noel Devine will show his stuff in front of any of the NFL types who remain after the main event. He is now a CFL free-agent. While he has received interest from other CFL teams, he has not signed. The reason he remains a free-agent is that he wants to take one more shot at making it into the NFL.
We’ll watch how all of these stories begin to play out and continue to cover Sims, Clarke and the rest of the Mountaineers as we march towards the NFL Draft, now 49 days away.