With family, teammates, and dozens of NFL scouts in attendance, Clemson held their annual pro day at Poe Indoor Stadium on Thursday. 22 Clemson players hit the field hoping to impress the NFL representatives including Mike Tomlin, Mike Vrabel, and Todd Bowles. Most of the activity came from players that didn’t participate in the NFL Combine, but players like Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, and Trayvon Mullen had their moments.
Standout performers included Trevion Thompson, Milan Richard, and Greg Huegel. Thompson ran the 40 in about 4.48 seconds and Richard wasn’t far behind him. They also racked up approximately 16 and 20 repetitions on the bench press, which are impressive results for their size and position. Huegel managed to connect on field goals of 50+ yards, making a clear improvement after his knee brace was cleared for removal. Overall, the day was great for Clemson’s unsung heroes. Players like JD and Judah Davis, Adam Choice, and Mark Fields that don’t see the field often got the opportunity to showcase their abilities on a big stage.
Pro Day was an important day for linebacker Tre Lamar who did not participate in workouts at the NFL Combine. Projected as a mid-round pick, Lamar had a chance to prove to scouts that he is worth a shot on day two. Lamar impressed in the vertical jump and broad jump, and clocked a solid time in the 4.8 range on the 40 yard dash. Choice, who did not get an invite to the NFL Combine, was eager to display his skills as well. While Choice had some great moments in a Clemson uniform, he spent most of his time as the third running back in what was an extraordinary backfield trio with Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster. At 220 pounds, there was never any doubt about Choice’s physicality, but his speed has been called into question. On Thursday, he ran an unofficial 4.45 which would have put him in a tie for second fastest time had he been at the Combine. While Choice’s 5 foot 9 inch frame may still be reason for concern, his results from Pro Day will certainly improve his chances of finding an NFL team.
Tuesday marked the last time the 2018 National Championship team played on the same field. While Dabo Swinney and staff are already focused on the 2019 season, Thursday had to have been bittersweet nonetheless. Swinney and the staff did their best to tell the scouts in attendance just how special this group is, not only because of their accomplishments on the field, but because of the men they have become off the field. Between the defensive line donning their Power Rangers headbands, to current team members and coaches cheering on their former teammates, the camaraderie and chemistry of this Clemson team was on full display. Beyond their physical skill sets, Clemson players demonstrated their character and charisma for the NFL scouts in attendance.
With all 32 NFL teams represented, Clemson’s athletes certainly had a platform to showcase their talents. From some of the most talented players in this year’s class to players that rarely saw the field, Pro Day was an outstanding opportunity for the Tigers, and they certainly made the most of it. The NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 25th.