We got a chance to check out several NFL hopefuls at the University of Washington’s pro day.
Players like running back Chris Polk, receiver Jermaine Kearse and defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu were looking to improve on their marks from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.
About 15 teams were on hand, including scouts from Seattle, San Francisco, Jacksonville, the N.Y. Jets, New Orleans, San Diego, Cincinnati, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, the N.Y. Giants, Cleveland and Atlanta.
Several scouts from the Seahawks were there, along with receivers coach Kippy Brown, offensive line coach Pate Ruel, defensive line coach Todd Wash, special teams coach Brian Schneider and defensive quality control coach Robert Saleh.
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Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider did not make an appearance.
Polk lost a couple more pounds, weighing in at 212. And he benefited from running in the comfortable environment at the Huskies’ indoor practice facility, posting a 4.49 electronic time in the 40-yard dash, and 4.45 hand held.
Polk ran an official time of 4.57 at the combine.
Polk says he’s continuing on his mission prove to scouts that his weight at the Senior Bowl, where he showed up chubby and weighed 224 pounds, was a fluke. And that he can be a contributor at the next level.
A former receiver in high school, Polk might find a role as a third-down back at the next level. He’s very fluid running routes and has a good enough burst to elude linebackers coming out of the backfield.
“Me personally I just see passes as an extended carry,” Polk said. “I’m not going to fumble the ball, and I’m not going to drop any passes. If you just come my way and you just trust in me, I’m going to get the job done.”
Former University of Washington and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker also made an appearance today, coming back to throw to his receivers.
Another person looking to improve on his combine numbers was Kearse, who ran a 4.58 in the 40-yard-dash at the combine. Kearse said he ran faster today, but wouldn’t disclose his time.
The fastest 40 time posted today was by cornerback Quinton Richardons, who ran a 4.35 and 4.38 in his two turns.
Ta’amu weighed in at 347 pounds, but still looked pretty fluid going through the drills.
Here’s a couple more notes on some players that participated in the pro day.
WR Devin Aguilar: Measured at a little over 5-11 and 200 pounds. He ran in the 4.5s in the 40-yard dash and looked impressive in the pass-catching drills. He’s a hands catcher and someone to keep an eye on for Seattle as a possible undrafted rookie free agent addition, but also could very well drafted on Day 3. I think he’s an NFL receiver.
LB Cort Dennison: Measured in at a little over six feet tall and 229 pounds. Dennison showed some upper body strength in the bench, pushing up 225 pounds 25 times a ran a pretty good time in the 40-yard dash, running a 4.6 according to Dennison. The key for Dennison making it in the league is finding a niche on special teams and proving that he’s versatile enough to play both inside and outside linebacker. But he’s got a pretty good pedigree with Mason Foster and Donald Butler both already in the league.
WR Jermaine Kearse: He measured in at just over six feet and 208 pounds. Kearse ran in the low 4.5s in the 40-yard dash, and chose not to bench press today. He looked solid in his route running, but struggled at times getting in and out of his breaks. But he did catch everything again today, building on a solid performance in the pass-catching drills at the combine.
OL Senio Kelemete: The former defensive lineman turned offensive lineman played left tackle for the Huskies, but has the ability to move inside and play guard at the next level. Kelemete measured in a 6-3 and 5/8 and weighed 309 pounds, about 14 pounds more than his playing weight of 295 during his final season at Washington. Kelemete bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.
P Will Mahan: Measured in at nearly 5-11 and weight 197 pounds. Most impressive, Mahan benched 225 pounds 25 times – pretty strong for a punter.
RB Chris Polk: Measured in at 5-10 ½ and weighed 212 pounds. Looked slim, but still could easily put on 10 pounds of good weight and carry it well. Looked real fluid in pass-catching drills and ran well. I think he’ll make a nice complementary back from some team with a running-back-by-committee system like Cleveland or Cincinnati.
CB Quinton Richardson: Measured in at just over 5-11 and weight 204 pounds. And he tested well, benching 225 pounds 19 times and running a 4.35 and 4.38 40-yard times. Those numbers make you wonder about what’s going on when you watch his film.
DT Alameda Ta'amu: Measured at nearly 6-2 and ½, and weighed 347 pounds, but I thought he carried his weight well. A number of 3-4 teams like Houston, the N.Y. Jets, Green Bay and San Francisco were obviously here to get a look at him. Ta’amu didn’t bench, but didn’t need to – he put up 225 pounds 35 times at the combine.
DE Everette Thompson: At nearly 6-5 and 263 pounds, Thompson is another guy that looks the part and makes you wonder what’s going on when you watch the film. He benched 225 pounds 26 times.
Also in attendance were former Husky linebacker Victor Aiyewa and E.J. Savannah, cornerback Vonzell McDowell and fullback Dorson Boyce, who went to training camp with Seattle last year and made some plays during the preseason.