March 10, 2009
By Zak Gilbert
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Eight CSU players took part in the Rams' annual Pro Day Tuesday at Moby Arena and The Edge Sports Center.
Scouts representing seven NFL teams, including a national scout who will share measurements and times with each of the league's personnel departments, were in town to collect personal information and conduct performance testing on each of the participating players in preparation for the April 25-26 NFL Draft.
Rams running backs Kyle Bell and Gartrell Johnson posted solid times in the 40-yard dash. Consensus times collected by the scouts were unavailable, but each player said he ran in the 4.5-second range. For Johnson, that was an improvement on his time from the NFL combine last month.
Each player who took part in the day's evaluations, including running back Mike Myers, quarterback Billy Farris, defensive end Tommie Hill, safety Mike Pagnotta, kicker Jason Smith and tight end Kory Sperry, had diligently prepared for Tuesday's event. Also in attendance Tuesday was Ryan Chesla, a tight end from Northern Colorado.Sperry, who posted outstanding times at last month's NFL combine, several of which were the best performances among invited tight ends, chose not to participate in any of the tests Tuesday. He did catch passes from Farris, and ran routes, at the end of the day. Representatives from the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos, as well as longtime scout Kent McCloughan from the Oakland Raiders, were in attendance. The day began at Moby Arena with meetings and personnel interviews. Then, most of the participating players made their way onto the basketball floor, where scouts collected marks in the broad jump and vertical leap, then moved into the weight room, where players were asked to bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible. Bell reeled off 29 reps in a crowded and boisterous weight room. Several former Rams, all of whom went through Pro Day workouts after their senior years, were on hand to support the participating players Tuesday. Included in that group were the Houston Texans' Joel Dreessen and Jesse Nading, the Oakland Raiders' Erik Pears and the Denver Broncos' Clint Oldenburg. Weather, which included high winds, forced the running portion of the day indoors. Following the bench press, the group caravanned to The Edge Sports Center in East Fort Collins to collect times in the 40-yard dash and other on-field tests, such as the three-cone drill. Once the Rams' $13 million indoor practice facility opens this fall, weather will not force future Pro Days from the CSU campus. Now, the waiting begins. Players will continue to work out in anticipation of a selection in next month's draft, a signing as an undrafted free agent, or a tryout invitation to an NFL team's spring camp.
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