16 Baylor Bears were weighed, measured, and found either wanting or deserving by NFL scouts and front office personnel today in arguably the biggest Pro Day in program history, certainly the biggest in terms of NFL participation in the Art Briles Era. Before reading on here, you should check out the official recap on BaylorBears.com, which has quotes, stats, and other things worthy of your attention.
Baylor hasn't published complete lists of the measurements from today, which included LaQuan McGowan weighing in at a relatively svelte 405 pounds and Shawn Oakman showing off newfound bulk at 289 pounds himself, while Corey Coleman measured in at 5-10.4 and 193 pounds, and Spencer Drango came in at 6-6 and 313. If you want more information about that stuff, I put a TON of tweets from the day over in the Open Thread from today that you can peruse at your leisure.
Before I get to this, I want to point out that according to reports, several Baylor players had really good days today. Apparently, Blake Muir and Jarell Broxton both improved their stock in workouts and measurements, particularly since neither played in the Senior Bowl or were invited to the Combine. Shawn Oakman also came in heavier than expected, which is something scouts from the Combine were apparently looking to see, and threw down a 4.84 in the 40. Corey Coleman performed as expected in the 40-yard-dash (he was hand-timed in the 4.3s and low 4.4s) after not running last month. But the two guys I'm labeling as winners did more than just impress; they may have fundamentally changed their outlooks for the Draft next month.
LB Grant Campbell
I'm including Campbell here on the strength of his overall performance, which we actually do have numbers for courtesy of @BUFootball:
To be honest, that's an overall athletic profile that I didn't know Campbell had, and it turned a few heads, if Twitter is any indication.
DT Andrew Billings
The big news for Billings came in the 40-yard-dash, where he threw down a personal record 4.92 unofficial time. That's really moving for a guy that is 6-0, 311 and plays inside on the line. Check it out here:
More than one observer said that his performance today solidified his first round status, which had been a question over the last couple of weeks. That fact that Billings had the day he had after apparently attending his 8 AM class this morning further shows how incredible of a student athlete he really is.
CB Xavien Howard
But even Billings' day paled in comparison to today's MVP: CB Xavien Howard. Measuring in at 6-0, 205 pounds with a 76.3-inch wingspan, Howard blazed his way to a personal record unofficial 4.38 in the 40-yard-dash. Coming right after Corey Coleman, Howard opened a ton of eyes with his speed, considering most probably didn't expect him to be that fast (I didn't). By the end of the day, scouts on Twitter were starting to grade Howard firmly in the second round, with a couple even saying he could go late first. Howard definitely answered the biggest question he had remaining, and since he didn't fall short anywhere that I know of, he's a clear-cut winner.
Former QB Nick Florence
DUSTED OFF THE GUN AND SHOWED OUT in throwing to Jay Lee, Corey Coleman, and LaQuan McGowan during the passing drills. After three years out of the game, "Tricky Nick," as Briles called him today, came out guns a-blazin', and it was great to see. Watch this toss and catch to McGowan:
OKAY, BIG Q. pic.twitter.com/CNsNXz5OcJ— Amy Pagitt (@APBaylor247) March 16, 2016
You know what? We're all winners for that.
Apparently, both of Baylor's possible first round picks, Billings and Coleman, have been invited to attend the NFL Draft this year. That's a really good sign for both of them, and great news for Baylor in terms of visibility.
Off the field itself, the biggest news of the day came from reports about Corey Coleman's injury last season. In case you missed it, Coleman revealed to gathered reporters that he injured himself practicing defense before Baylor's game against OU, with the plan being to use him on third down against Sterling Shepard. Before you get angry about that, try to remember that a hernia is a pretty freak injury, and there's no guarantee it wouldn't have happened on some other play. The only thing I'm angry about is that we didn't get to see him in action.
It's always great to see former Bears come back when they have the chance, and today was no different. Baylor welcomed a number of #WRU graduates at Pro Day today, including David Gettis, Terrance Williams, Levi Norwood, Kendall Wright, and Antwan Goodley. Here they are with our current coaches:
Also, and as I noted above, today has to be considered an overall success in terms of the NFL exposure of the program. All 32 teams had representatives at the Pro Day led by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who sent a somewhat astounding 7 front office and other personnel, including their head coach, general manager, both coordinators, and Mean Joe Green himself. Mean Joe actually took Andrew Billings to dinner last night, even!
All in all, today was an outstanding day for both the future and the present of Baylor Football, whose NFL star has arguably never been brighter. Now we turn to the Friday Night Lights scrimmage in two days, where Seth Russell will make his triumphant return to the field!