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WMU Football Pro Day Recap

by Colin Windecker

Kalamazoo, MI (WKZO) – Today at the Seelye Center, the Western Michigan football team held its annual Pro Day for their former players. Six 2013 seniors and one 2012 senior took part in the workouts, in which NFL scouts weighed, measured, and recorded 40-yard dash, 225lb bench press reps plus shuttle times.

Here are my thoughts on how the former Broncos performed during the two hour plus workout. Please note that any times on the 40-yard dash, shuttle, etc. are completely unofficial and may not represent what their actual time was. The stopwatch on my phone is not as accurate as the stopwatch the scouts were using. 

Travonte Boles, DT – Boles, a four-year starter, had in my opinion, the best overall workout. Boles bench pressed 225lb 28 times, which would have been tied for 12th with other college defensive tackles who were invited to the NFL Combine last month. Boles admitted to me afterwards that he was hoping to hit 30 reps, but 28 is still really good. Boles 40-yard dash speed was rather slow, 5.5 seconds, but when does a defensive tackle every really have to run 40 yards on any given play? Boles has an excellent shot at signing on with an NFL team but is unlikely to get drafted. If Boles were 6’2 and not 5’11, there is no doubt in my mind that someone would draft him in either the sixth or seventh round.  

Brian Fields, RB – Fields was another Bronco that had a solid Pro Day. The 5’8 running back ran the 40 in 4.57 seconds, which would have placed him in the middle of the pack at the NFL Combine for running backs. Fields put up 18 reps on the bench press and had a vertical leap of 34”. Fields also excelled during the position tryouts. Fields style of play reminds me a lot of the Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell. And just like Bell after his college career was over, Fields wont’ get drafted but will most likely get offered a tryout by someone.  

Darrin Duncan, WR – Duncan was less than impressive during Pro Day. He did have a couple of notable catches during the individual position drills but other than that, Duncan did nothing to really special to warranty any type of NFL tryout. He’ll have to find a CFL team or an arena league team willing to give him a shot at continuing his football career.

Mike Jones, LB – Jones is still recovering from a shoulder injury and was unable to partake in most of the drills. He did however shine during position drills, the only part of Pro Day he did partake in. Jones was also a vocal leader, cheering on his former teammates while they had their shot on the bench press and so on. Jones transferred to WMU after four years at Michigan and started 11 of 12 games in 2013, recording 92 tackles with five tackles for loss and a half sack. I overheard one of the scouts saying that Jones would be a better fit as a defensive end than a linebacker in the NFL. Jones is another Bronco who won’t get drafted but should get a tryout with someone.

Antoin Scriven, RB – Scriven spent the majority of his career at WMU as a hybrid running back/full back and was used mostly in short yardage situations and unfortunately for him, players like that a dime a dozen. A 4.95 second 40 yard dash time, again my times are EXTREMELY unofficial and I really hope I was off on this one, didn’t help his cause.

Demetrius Pettway, S – Pettway was only able to put up eight reps on the bench press but did show some good footwork and ball hawking skills during individual drills. Pettway’s football career is most likely over as well.

Johnnie Simon, LB – Simon is an interesting prospect. Simon was a tackling machine during his time as a Bronco, recording 283 tackles from 2011 to 2013, despite only registering 66 tackles his senior year, but that had more to do with a position change from a hybrid linebacker/safety in Coach Cubit’s system to strictly just a linebacker in one season under PJ Fleck.  However, Simon recently had surgery on his shoulder and according to him, he will be in a sling for about another week or so. This prevented him from partaking in any of the drills on Pro Day. Simon also told me that prior to his surgery he ran a 40 yard dash of 4.63 seconds, but assured me that he could do better. I project Simon to play safety in the NFL and a 4.6 40-time is around average for a safety. If he is able to recover from the surgery he’ll get a shot in the NFL. Prior to the injury I had him projected as a seventh round pick.  

2012 Seniors

Alex Carder, QB – The Broncos former quarterback was expected to be at Pro Day but cancelled. According to his Wikipedia page, Carder signed with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League on February 5th, but was suspended on March 12th. The suspension from the Barnstormers allowed him to sign with the Nashville Venom of the Professional Indoor Football League. It's on the Internet so you know it's true. Carder went undrafted after finishing his career with 8,886 passing yards and holds the WMU record for most passing yards in a season with 3,873 in 2011. Carder signed with Lions on April 27th, 2013 but was released 33 days later.  

Deauntay "Woody" Legrier, DL – Legrier went undrafted last season and didn’t sign on with any NFL teams. He was here trying to impress the scouts in attendance. He looked like he was in good shape but failed to do anything spectacular to warrant an NFL contract.