Big Day For Kentucky
On Wednesday scouts and player personnel from nearly every NFL team converged on the Nutter Field House in Lexington. The reason, to watch Mark Stoops’ Cats go through a variety of skill tests, position-specific drills, and the vertical jump. Nineteen of 32 NFL teams were officially identified as being present. However, the actual number of teams present was closer to the maximum. They came to see a number of former Cats looking to improve their draft stock. Who had the best showing? Let’s take a look at our Kentucky Pro Day Recap.
Moving Up The Mock Drafts
Heading into pro day Jamin Davis was anywhere from a middle second round to a late first-round pick. However, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has him at 14th in his updated draft rankings. Following Wednesday’s performance expect Davis to move up on everyone’s mock drafts.
Stop sleeping on Kentucky LB Jamin Davis 🔥 pic.twitter.com/CnmP5dOewT
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2021
According to PFF’s Austin Gayle Davis’ 40-yard time puts him in the 99th percentile for the linebacker position. Furthermore, his vertical jump puts him at the 100th percentile. Right now either he or Penn State’s Micah Parsons look like the first two linebackers off the board. Pretty good for a player who only started in his final year at Kentucky. Much like Josh Allen, he’s a guy that Stoops and his staff developed and it’s going to pay off on draft day. The bottom line is if your team is looking for a linebacker then Davis is that player.
Continuing on with our Kentucky Pro Day recap we look at a few other players who had big days.
Big Blue Wall
Offensive tackle and Lexington native Landon Young is another Cat who helped his draft stock. After missing the 2019 season due to a knee injury scouts wanted to see how he fared. The answer was quite well. Measuring in at 6 foot 6 and 310 pounds Young did 34 reps on the bench press. That would have matched the third-highest total in the 2020 combine. In addition, he clocked a 4.91 40 yard dash. How does that stack up against the competition?
— Anna Maria Tarullo (@tarullotweets) March 31, 2021
As it stands now Young is projected as a late-round pick though his stock is improving after today’s showing.
We finish up our Kentucky Pro Day Recap with a look at two secondary players who helped their cause greatly.
Strong Secondary Presence
Few players had a more interesting 2020 than Kelvin Joseph. The former LSU transfer struggled in his first two games of the season. However, he really turned it on eventually finishing second in the SEC with four interceptions including one for a touchdown against Tennessee. He then opted out of the remaining two games of the season to concentrate on the draft.
Currently, Kiper ranks him as the 7th best cornerback in the draft. On Wednesday he showed the blazing speed he’s known for with a 4.34 40 yard dash. That time would have been third-best at the 2020 combine. Scouts also said he performed much better than expected and was very smooth in drills. He could sneak into a late first-round pick but most likely a second-round player.
Joseph’s secondary mate Brandin Echols also had a big showing on Wednesday. Officially clocked with a 4.34 40 yard dash some scouts had him as fast as 4.28. Echols had a 42.5-inch vertical leap and an 11.4 broad jump which would have been fifth-highest a season ago. Look for him as a late-round steal for one lucky NFL club.
A Big Day For Kentucky Football
Over the last few years, NBA Draft has become an annual showcase event for Wildcat head basketball coach John Calipari. Each summer his newest group of “one and done” are drafted with many becoming all-stars. The Kentucky football program wants much the same as the NFL Draft. Two years ago five Cats were selected marking the most since seven went in 1979. A season ago two Cats heard their names called. There’s a great chance when the draft starts in Cleveland on April 29th this year’s group at least equals the 2019 class. It further proves how Stoops and his staff have changed the culture of Kentucky Football.
Thanks for checking out our Kentucky Pro Day Recap here at Last Word On College Football. Next time it’s back to the current Cats with a spring preview of the running backs.