Between about 15 prospects and representatives from 23 different pro teams, there was a whole lot of watching at Georgia's football practice facility on crisp, windy Wednesday morning.
Pro Days, however, typically do not deal in a whole lot of new information. Mostly, they are about confirming what we already know about the players trying to make it into the elite club of athletes that is the NFL. And that's not to say there isn't something exhilarating about watching these workouts. They often represent the culmination of not only four years of hard work, but also a lifetime of hoping and "one day ifs" and, potentially, a nice payoff for that long struggle.
Mostly, those in attendance were area scouts. These were serious-looking men with notebooks, stopwatches and windbreakers adorned with a tiny logo of the respective. Even when running career walk-ons through 3-cone and broad jump drills, they seemed to do so with the utmost authority and seriousness.
The Falcons had three men on hand for the workouts: Anthony Robinson, Billy Devaney and Bob Harrison. The Jaguars, it should be noted, brought a party of seven, including head coach Gus Bradley and quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo. You'd have to postulate that the Jacksonville staff was at least somewhat interested in Aaron Murray.
I'd actually bet most teams were in attendance for the prolific college passer, especially considering UGA's Pro Day was moved back to mid-April solely to give Murray a chance to throw before the draft. The Falcons, however, were likely in Athens to look at other players.
Arthur Lynch, who said he has already worked out with Falcons tight end coach Chris Scelfo**, could very well be one of the team's targets given his position and projected draft slot. The media heard from Lynch briefly after the workouts concluded.
"Since I did the Senior Bowl and since I don’t really have off-the-field issues, it’s just not really that much that I have to work out," Lynch said of his private workouts. "I worked out for the Falcons’ tight end coach last week. I met with him. And I’ve talked to almost every coach on the phone individually. But in terms of workouts, I don’t know if I have any. If I do I’ll just fly out there or they’ll fly out here and we’ll see. I’m really not too worried about that. I know I’ll stay in shape and impress them as we go."
**Yes, the Falcons' Scelfo is the brother of the Jaguars' Scelfo. Shocker.
Because of his participation at the NFL Combine, Lynch only performed in the vertical jump drill (29 in.) at his Pro Day. However, he also caught a handful of passes from Murray as part of a 54-play scripted package for scouts.
Lynch's numbers from the Combine include a 4.82 40-yard dash, 28 reps in the bench press and a 9'8 in the broad jump. As for his strengths and weaknesses, he spoke pretty candidly about how he views his own game and skill set.
"I come from an offense that's a pro-style offense. I don't think there's a tight end in this class who was asked to do the things I was asked to do schematically. I played full back, tight end, flex out as a wide receiver and played special teams for four years," Lynch said. "I'm not necessarily the guy who wows you, but I'm definitely the guy that does things consistently and everything very well."
That's a pretty fair self-assessment. Lynch is your traditional in-line guy who is one of the better blockers in the class. He's not a big-time downfield threat or explosive in space, but he's solid across the board. That said, it did look like he trimmed down a bit since graduating, perhaps so that he can play a little faster.
One other thing about Lynch: he is a smart, well-spoken guy that has always done things "the right way," for lack of a better term. He was always nice to the media and consistently brought an interesting perspective to his answers. I don't often talk in absolutes about a guy's character, but I can say with enough certainty that Lynch is a good guy.
Most sites have Lynch projected as a fourth-round pick, which sounds fair enough. He'd certainly be in play for the Falcons if C.J. Fiedorowicz is off the board.
Again, Pro Days are more about confirmation than anything else. And the numbers, though they certainly get the most attention from the media, aren't always the most important facts to come out of Pro Days, as my Garrison Smith was happy to mention.
"There’s a lot of T-shirt All-Americans out there. A lot of guys that can look good running the 40, running the drills. But when you put them pads on, they don’t look that good. That’s not football," said Smith, a former defensive lineman for the Bulldogs. "That’s why I say look at my film. Look at my game tape."
I'll point out that Smith has never been a workout numbers guy. He's intense on the field and he's been a productive player as a 3-4 strongside end, but his Pro Day numbers weren't great (5.23 40-yard, 23 bench reps, 8'2 broad jump). Still, he's worth maybe a late seventh-round pick, or if not then at least a UDFA contract. He said he'd talked with a few teams, including the Jaguars and Panthers, but didn't mention the Falcons.
Well, what do you all think about Lynch and Smith?