Oregon hosted its annual pro day for NFL scouts Friday, an event with increased attention this year due to both the cancelation of the league’s annual scouting combine and the presence in Eugene of some highly regarded prospects in this year’s NFL Draft.
One year after quarterback Justin Herbert commanded attention at Oregon’s pro day – before being the No. 6 pick in the draft and winning Rookie of the Year with the Los Angeles Chargers – scouts flocked to see another potential top-10 pick, offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
In all, 11 players participated Friday, including five members of Oregon’s back-to-back Pac-12 championship teams from 2019 and 2020 – cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, safety Nick Pickett, defensive linemen Jordon Scott and Austin Faoliu, and tight end Hunter Kampmoyer. They were joined by four members of the 2019 team who opted out of last season – Sewell, defensive back Jevon Holland, safety Brady Breeze and cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. – along with 2019 senior Dallas Warmack and Sewell’s brother, Gabe.
“I think people kind of forgot about my name a little bit (due to opting out last year),” Sewell told NFL Network after pro day. “I just wanted to wake people up and know I’m still OT1 in the draft, and that what I bring to the table is something totally different than everybody’s seen.”
There were representatives of 31 NFL teams in attendance, including at least two general managers, a head coach and multiple position coaches.
“They saw the fact these guys are not only excellent football players and athletes, they’re great human beings as well,” UO coach Mario Cristobal said. “You saw how competitive they are, how well they take instruction, took to coaching. They’ve all obviously put a lot of time into preparing for this pro pay, and that’s the reason they all did really well.”
Breeze, Faoliu, Graham, Holland, Lenoir and Sewell received invitations to this year NFL Scouting Combine. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there was no in-person combine to attend, however, making the spotlight on Friday’s Pro Day even brighter. Participants were put through extensive measurements that typically take place at the combine rather than pro day, and the number of participants, scouts and other observers permitted into the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex weight room and the Moshofsky Center was limited by public health guidelines.
Sewell was measured at 6 feet, 4 7/8 inches and 331 pounds. He did 30 repetitions at 225 pounds on the bench press, broad-jumped 9-1 and ran the 40-yard dash in times ranging from 5.09 to 5.13 seconds, according to reports from scouts in attendance.
“That boy’s 6-4, 330, and he just ran a 5-flat?” one UO player watching from a distance in the Moshofsky Center commented.
“No he did not …” came the reply from a teammate.
Sewell is generally projected as a top-10 pick, with some projections having him taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 5 pick. The Bengals were represented Friday by their head coach, director of player personnel and offensive line coach, the latter being the scout designated to put Sewell, Warmack and Kampmoyer through position drills.
Following those drills, the skill guys did position drills, with former UO quarterback Dennis Dixon throwing passes for them.
Breeze had the best vertical jump of the day, 38 inches, while Holland broad-jumped 10-6. Holland, Graham and Lenoir all ran the 40 in the range of 4.44 to 4.49 seconds, according to reports.
“Are there any more questions,” Holland’s father, Robert, asked aloud rhetorically after the display of speed by his son.
This year’s NFL Draft will begin April 29 in Cleveland. If Sewell is taken in the top 10, it will be the second time the Ducks have had top-10 picks in consecutive NFL drafts, following Marcus Mariota going No. 2 in 2015 and DeForest Buckner going No. 7 in 2016.