Longhorns wait and see after pro day
March, 20, 2012
By Carter Strickland | ESPN.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- Blake Gideon is well aware of the trappings that usually come with being a starting defensive back at Texas.
“A lot of guys have come out of that room and made a lot of money,” Gideon said.
Gideon is trying to be the next one. But his name doesn’t carry the cache of an Aaron Ross, who just signed a new $15 million deal, or Quentin Jammer, a top-10 pick. Nope, he is Blake Gideon, the guy who started 52 games at Texas, the second-most all-time. And, if not for Tuesday’s pro day on campus, he might not have even received a look from the NFL.
AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallBlake Gideon is not projected as an NFL draft pick despite his 52 career starts at Texas.
“I just wanted a chance,” the former Texas safety said.
Gideon, along with 13 other former Longhorns, got their chance to impress more than 50 scouts and coaches Tuesday. The goal was to move the needle and show the NFL that they belonged.
The reality is that aside from three or maybe four players -- Keenan Robinson, Kheeston Randall, Emmanuel Acho and Fozzy Whittaker -- it is a long shot to even turn the pro scouts’ heads.
“It is what it is,” offensive lineman David Snow said.
What it was for Snow was a disappointing day when it came to doing the 225-pound bench press. He is an offensive lineman and needs to display a tremendous amount of upper body strength. He only had 23 reps at 225, the same amount as Whittaker, a 194-pound running back.
“I wish I could do the 225 over again,” Snow said.
A lot of the players probably want do-overs. That is not the way it works.
“You have to come out give it your all and leave it all on the field and on the track,” offensive lineman Tray Allen said.
Allen said he posted a 5.1 time in the 40-yard dash. For a 300-pound player, he did leave plenty out there, but undoubtedly in the coming months he will question whether he could have done better.
Gideon was accepting of his 4.56 in the 40 but said he could post a lower number, as he had in training. Randall chose to participate only in individual drills in the practice bubble, under the watchful eye of scouts. He did not lift or run.
Whittaker only benched, upping his combine total of 20 by three.
Likewise, Robinson was reserved in what he did. But the 6-foot-3, 242-pound prospect might have done just enough to secure a pick in the top three rounds.
“I’ve heard anywhere from end of the first to the fourth,” he said. “I just hope I get in a good situation with a good team.
“I wanted to show them I am a big guy who moves well in space.”
Robinson posted the same time on his 40 as he did at the NFL combine, 4.78. He improved his vertical jump to 36.5 inches and his broad jump to 10 feet, 5 inches.
“All I can do now is sit back and wait and see what happens,” he said.
While many of the players will have individual meetings with teams and additional workouts, that is essentially the same situation everyone is in now. The waiting game has started. So has the worrying game.
But one NFL veteran had some wisdom for his brother.
“Sam told me not to worry about where you get picked, just worry about getting through the door,” said Emmanuel Acho, who opted out of many drills because of a quadriceps injury.
And it appears that the younger Acho has taken that advice to heart.
“Now I can exhale,” he said at the end of the workouts.