Little excitement expected at UF pro day
March, 12, 2012
By Jeff Barlis | ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's pro day should be a low-key affair Tuesday morning at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, at least compared to the hoopla surrounding this same event two years ago.
Cliff Welch/Icon SMIChris Rainey's versatility, as a runner, receiver and returner, is one of his most attractive qualities.
This year the NFL Network won't be on hand for a live broadcast, nor are hoards of NFL head coaches and general managers expected to make the trip, as they did to watch Tim Tebow in 2010. The event is open at 10:30 a.m. ET to the public, but it's doubtful there will be a large number of fans with homemade signs directing their favorite team to draft a certain popular Gator.
No, Tuesday's pro day will feature just two prospects who were invited to the recent NFL draft scouting combine and a host of other former Gators, some who ran out of college eligibility with Tebow in 2009.
It's safe to predict Florida's streak of five straight years with at least one first-round selection will come to an end this April. Former Gator cornerback Janoris Jenkins, however, could be picked on the first night.
The highest rated ex-Gator slated to work out in front of NFL scouts at Tuesday's UF pro day is running back Chris Rainey, whose speed could make him a mid-round selection. Rainey has a Scouts grade of 69 and is rated the No. 9 running back available. He led the entire combine field in the three-cone drill (6.50 seconds) and led all running back prospects in the 60-yard shuttle (11.06 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (3.93 seconds). His 4.45 in the 40-yard dash tied for second among all running backs, but Rainey will look to improve upon that and perhaps give himself a shot at being picked in the third round.
Florida's other prospect with a good chance of being drafted is defensive tackle Jaye Howard, whom Scouts have given a grade of 32. Howard has good size at 6-foot-3 and 301 pounds. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times at the combine and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds, which was 12th best among all defensive linemen.
Others expected to participate on Tuesday include: QB John Brantley, DE William Green, DB Moses Jenkins, WR Deonte Thompson, OL Dan Wenger, DT Lawrence Marsh ('06-10), WR Justin Williams ('06-10), DT Troy Epps ('08-09), DB Dorian Munroe ('05-09) and DB Wondy Pierre-Louis ('06-09).