EWU Hosts Annual Pro Day
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On a chilly and breezy afternoon with temperatures hovering in the high 30s, a handful of former EWU football players worked out in front of a number of NFL teams at EWU’s annual Pro Day.
Wide receivers Cooper Kupp, Kendrick Bourne and Shaq Hill, linebacker Miquiyah Zamora, defensive end Samson Ebukam and quarterback Jordan West comprised the group of players.
Headlining that group of players was Kupp. The 23-year-old made a name for himself at EWU where he set numerous NCAA records and has received a hefty amount of attention since graduating school and preparing for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Among those teams in attendance were the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders. Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson appeared to be the lone NFL executive who attended.
The inside segment of the Pro Day was closed to the public and media, where players participated in weightlifting drills and had their measurables taken. The outside segment began at around noon and took place on Roos Field.
The 40-yard dash was the first workout and all eyes were on Kupp. Prior to the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Kupp’s draft stock had been rising due to an impressive Senior Bowl performance. At the Combine, Kupp ran a 4.62 40-yard dash, a time that was bested by a number of much heavier players (Kupp weighs in at 205 pounds). Concerns about Kupp’s speed began to surface, which subsequently cooled the buzz that was building around him. This made the Pro Day all that more meaningful.
Those concerns were put partly to rest, with Kupp running a 4.56 40-yard dash. It’s still not the ideal time Kupp strives for –he’s previously mentioned wanting to run in the 4.40’s– but it’s nonetheless an improvement and indicator that he’s close to that time range.
Kupp declined to do the broad jump and bench press, but participated in everything else. He ran 1.57 for 10-yard split, 2.70 for 20-yard dash, 4.10 for 20-yard shuttle, 11.28 for 60-yard shuttle and 6.53 for 3-cone drill, and leapt 29 and 1/2 inches for the vertical jump.
Route running was next for the wide receivers. Kupp’s route-running ability and hands, which scouts note as his stronger attributes, were put on display with zero dropped passes during the session:
The other wide receiver grabbing the attention was Bourne. The 21-year-old was the only other EWU player not named Kupp to be invited to the Combine. Bourne, 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, ran 4.53 for the 40-yard dash and 11.12 for the 60-yard shuttle and jumped 36 inches for the vertical. In all, Bourne was pleased with his performance.
“[I’m] definitely happy right now, definitely in a good place” said Bourne. “Especially after that Combine, better my numbers. Definitely glad with how it went. I felt like I ran fast, jumped well and benched pretty well.”
Bourne also mentioned he’s been gaining interest from a couple teams. He met with Titans general manager Jon Robinson on March 30 and also visited with the Carolina Panthers on April 4-5.
Even with the attention focused on Kupp and Bourne, defensive end Samson Ebukam managed to steal some of that attention when it was his turn to run the 40-yard dash. At 240 pounds, Ebukam posted a 4.45. That time would have been the fastest time among defensive ends at the NFL Scouting Combine. Ebukam also jumped 39 inches for the vertical, 10-feet-10-inches for the board jump and benched pressed 225 pounds 24 times.
Click HERE to see a full gallery of the event.