STILLWATER — NFL scouts were in abundance on the strip of Hall of Fame Avenue between Washington and Knoblock streets for Oklahoma State’s Pro Day.
It’ll be the last Pro Day in Stillwater for a while, as the Big 12 is doing a combined Pro Day in Frisco, Texas moving forward. Here is a look at how the Cowboys performed and a few takeaways from the day.
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Braydon Johnson has always been known as a speed guy, and he showed why Wednesday.
Myself and most of the other media members I talked with clocked his 40-yard dash at 4.38, which would’ve tied for 13th among all NFL Combine participants and tied for fourth among wide receivers.
Johnson’s time in Stillwater has been tumultuous, dealing with injuries (like missing most of 2021) and bouncing between an outside receiver and the slot. But speed is the name of the modern game in many aspects. If Johnson can run like the wind, he has a real shot at not only getting an NFL opportunity, but maybe getting drafted.
Johnson’s hands have been a question in the past, but in the on-field work Wednesday, he looked as smooth as ever catching passes from walk-on QB Peyton Thompson. Johnson finished his college career with 79 catches for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns.
It was a good, good day for Johnson to not only prove his speed but also show scouts his hands.
“I’ve been training for 12 weeks, so there’s not any pressure,” Johnson said. “I don’t believe in luck. I put in all the work just for this day, so there wasn’t much pressure. Take a deep breath and get it done.”
Taylor, Lacy Pick Their Spots
After already participating in the NFL Combine, Jason Taylor II and Tyler Lacy got to pick their spots Wednesday.
Taylor was good with his 43-inch vertical in Indianapolis, which ranked second among Combine safeties. He also didn’t do the broad jump, the bench or run a 40 Wednesday after broad jumping 10-9 (third among safeties), getting 14 reps on the bench and running a 4.50 (sixth among safeties) at the combine.
“[The Combine] is a little weird,” Taylor said. “I won’t lie. It’s a little weird. Everybody quiet and looking at you, but it’s a great experience. I’ve been dreaming about the Combine since I was a little kid, so to be one of those guys that I was looking at on the TV, it’s amazing.”
Lacy had a vertical jump of 28.5 inches at the Combine, which tied for last among defensive ends, but he improved that to 31 inches in Boone Pickens Stadium despite weighing in heavier Wednesday (283 pounds) than he did in Indianapolis (279 pounds).
“That shocked me today,” Lacy said. “I guess I was motivated today. I was ready to jump, so I guess that’s what happened. I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning.”
After being listed at 295 pounds on OSU’s 2022 roster, Brendon Evers weighed in at a trimmed 277 on Wednesday morning and took to the skies with that weight off.
Evers had a 32-inch vertical, which would have ranked third among defensive tackles at the Combine. His 4.97 (unofficial) 40-yard dash would’ve also ranked seventh among Combine DTs.
So, it was a good day for Evers, who missed the last portion of the 2022 season with an injury.
Long Snappers Are Athletes, Too
There was one long snapper invited to the NFL Combine — UCF’s Alex Ward. There should’ve been two.
Matt Hembrough was one of the biggest surprises of the day to the uninitiated. Here is a look at his drills compared to where Ward stacked up in Indy:
Advantage = Hembrough.