<
>
Insider

Former U-M players do well at Pro Day

3/15/2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called Ryan Van Bergen and Mike Martin over, pulled his defensive line coach in, too, and told them to all work out.

The Steelers coach wanted to see the two former Michigan defensive linemen go through their position drills at the Wolverines’ Pro Day on Thursday at Schembechler Hall.

Van Bergen got the feeling he did well.

“Afterward, Mike Tomlin came up to me and told me he was impressed with how hard I worked,” Van Bergen told WolverineNation by phone Thursday. “He patted me on the [butt] like I was his player.”

Overall, it was a good day for Van Bergen -- one of the former Michigan players who wasn’t invited to the national scouting combine and was using the Pro Day to try and impress scouts.

Cleared to run two weeks ago by his trainer, Mike Barwis, Van Bergen said he put up a 4.9 second 40-yard dash -- a hair off the 4.8 seconds he had toped to run. He also weighed in at 291 pounds, had a vertical jump of 30 inches and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times.

Other than the Steelers, Van Bergen said the Raiders, Chargers and Colts were particularly interested -- following him around during drills almost the entire day. The Colts staff, he said, kept giving him fist bumps after drills.

“I think everybody knows I’m a good football player but I think my athleticism might have been in question,” Van Bergen said. “Today I kind of showed I’m just as athletic as every other guy that is supposedly ranked higher than me at defensive end.

“I realize I’m not a 4-3 defensive end that’s going to run a 4.5 at 260 pounds. I’m a 3-4 defensive end, strong side, that can hold an edge and that kind of thing.”

Van Bergen wasn’t the only former Michigan player to have a good day in front of the estimated 25-26 teams that showed up in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Thursday.

Former receiver Martavious Odoms said he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash time -- which he said was one of the biggest things he needed to show at Pro Day.

“I felt like I needed to be fast because of my height,” Odoms said by phone Thursday. “I’m pretty happy with what I ran.”

Odoms said he had a 34-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump. The only thing he wasn’t pleased with was his 3-cone drill, which he said he did not have a time for.

Others among the Michigan players in attendance did not work out. Martin texted WolverineNation to say he only did position drills Thursday after putting up good numbers at last month’s NFL combine.

But now every former Michigan player is in essentially the same position. They sit. And they wait.

“This just opens doors,” Van Bergen said. “That’s all I did. I still have a lot of work to do. I don’t want to get complacent.

“This was the first interview. Now, I wait to get a callback.”

The official Michigan website had other times for players, including a 4.41-second 40-yard dash time for receiver Kelvin Grady. In all, 16 former Michigan players worked out at Pro Day, which was not open to the media or the public.