Tuesday marked head coach Charlie Strong’s first NFL Pro Day with Texas, where he saw 14 Longhorns perform for scouts and coaches from 25 different teams in the league.
The five players who participated in last month’s NFL Combine — defensive tackle Malcom Brown, running back Malcolm Brown, linebacker Jordan Hicks, defensive end Cedric Reed and cornerback Quandre Diggs — mostly focused on position drills as they tried to establish a spot in the NFL Draft.
Diggs participated in the vertical jump and the broad jump, reaching 36 inches and 9 feet 11 inches, respectively. Malcolm Brown ran in the 40-yard dash, aiming to beat his time of 4.62 from the Combine. He clocked in around 4.5 seconds.
“I definitely believe I am one of the best cornerbacks in this class,” Diggs said. “A lot of people have made a big to do about my size. It is one thing if you’re 6 foot 1 inch but are soft. I know the kind of player I am, and I let my play speak for itself.”
Reed, after only taking part in the bench press at the combine, did not participate in the Pro Day. He is still recovering from meniscus surgery he had during the offseason.
Tuesday was crucial for wide receivers Jaxon Shipley and John Harris and safety Mykkele Thompson, who weren’t invited to the Combine.
Shipley ran between a 4.43 and a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and jumped a 39-inch vertical. During wide receiver drills, his routes were clean, and he showed scouts the strong hands Texas fans were familiar with.
“Coming out here today, I really want to surprise some people with my speed,” Shipley said. “I also wanted people understand that, even with injuries in college, I can still play at a high level.”
Shipley said he felt good about his performance and was glad to talk with a couple of scouts following his workouts.
Thompson also looked strong in all of his drills, especially the broad jump, which was around 10 feet 9 inches. His broad jump would have been better than many guys at the combine, including Alabama safety Landon Collins and LSU cornerback Jalen Collins.
Harris, one of the Longhorns few offensive weapons last season, gave a good performance. He completed 19 reps on the bench press and ran a 40-yard time of about 4.5. On the his last attempt for the 40, Harris pulled his hamstring, but it didn’t bother him the rest of the day.
“At this time last year, I was not really paying attention to Pro Day,” Harris said. “I remember coming to watch for a little while but quickly leaving. Now, a year later, a lot has changed.”
The Longhorn prospects still have a long process ahead of them, with individual team workouts and meetings before the NFL Draft on April 30 through May 2.