Despite Germain Ifedi being the only player considered draftable in the first round by many pundits, 30 NFL teams had scouts on hand for Texas A&M’s Pro Day Wednesday morning.
Fourteen Aggies made their case for playing at the next level, including offensive guard and tackle Germain Ifedi, punter Drew Kaser, special teams member and defensive back Sam Moeller, running back Tra Carson, kicker Taylor Bertolet, offensive guard Joe Cheek, cornerback De’Vante Harris, center Mike Matthews, defensive end and tackle Julien Obioha, defensive tackle Alonzo Williams, defensive back Devonta Burns, runningback Brice Dolezal, running back Blaine Townsend and cornerback Brandon Williams.
The players were tested in the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 40-yard dash and the 5-10-5, three-cone and long shuttles along with personal drills.
Mike Matthews finished first in the bench press. The center was able to do 30 reps of 225 pounds. Julien Obioha and Taylor Bertolet finished behind Matthews with 27 reps apiece.
Cornerback De’Vante Harris ran the fastest 40 time at the A&M Pro Day. Harris, 5-foot-10, ran a 4.44 which was faster than his time of 4.56 at the NFL Combine. Harris was also able to log the fastest time in the shuttle with a time of 11.38 seconds.
“I improved my 40 time, [and] I feel like I did real good in my drills,” Harris said. “They looked real smooth and [also] in my transitions. I caught the ball real well and I just came out here with some confidence and really enjoyed it. I had fun and the other guys did as well.”
In the broad jump, the former 12th Man Sam Moeller came out on top along with Devonta Burns. Both players posted jumps of 9 feet, 8 inches. Running back Tra Carson was an inch behind the two with a jump of 9 feet, 7 inches.
Carson was able to clock a 4.54, despite having surgery just after the Music City Bowl on his big toe. The Pro Day was actually moved back to April 6, so Carson could take part. The Texarkana native weighed in at 226 pounds, 14 pounds lighter than his initial 240 at start of the 2015 season.
If taken in the first round, Germain Ifedi, who didn’t perform in any stat-measurable drills, would make it six years in a row for the Aggies having a first-round draft choice.
“I’m excited to see where I land,” Ifedi said. “First round or wherever I land. I’d be more than happy if I was able to extend the streak. I think I’ve put in the work and put a product out there that could warrant a first-round pick.”
The 6-foot-6 lineman has started the past three years for Texas A&M. Ifedi has played both defensive tackle and guard for the Aggies.
“I don’t have a preference,” Ifedi said when asked which position he’d rather play. “I’ve played both and I think I’ve played both at a relatively high level so whatever team takes me and wherever they want me to play, I’ll play that position and I’ll adjust to it. I’ll enjoy it.”
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin discussed the importance of Pro Day and how past players have used it to create opportunities in the National Football League.
“Some of them have Super Bowl rings to show for it right now,” Sumlin said. “Steven Terrell and some of the other guys come to mind. It’s very important based on the evaluation of people at the next level. And today it’s not just the physical part of it, the running and jumping, the drills become important but also their number of interviews and the mental side of it.”
The NFL Draft will begin Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. The second and third rounds are April 29, with rounds 4-7 scheduled for April 30. The draft will be broadcast on ESPN.