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12 observations from Baylor Pro Day


1. It took all of one loud, unexpected whistle to remind everyone that Baylor Pro Day is just a little different than every other school's pro day. I've been to my fair share of pro days and without question, Baylor's is atop the standings from the energy department. Music played throughout. Former and current players all migrated back for the unofficial Baylor football family reunion we all know as pro day. Cheers and encouragement emanated from everyone wearing green and gold. Along those lines, as each player completed a testing event, a member of the Baylor strength staff would blow into his whistle, whether in the weight room or the football facility and scream...

"TERRELL BURT WITH A PRrrrrrrrrrrrrr" (PR = Personal Record)

2. The first time it happened in the weight room, it was sort of like the cannon in NRG Stadium; it woke all of us up. But, it was Baylor being Baylor and added a little spice to the day. There were some scouts perturbed by it, some amused by it, I'm sure. That said, this was the last time these players would wear the green and gold and some will never play football again. Looking back, it was a great way to celebrate the effort of every prospect doing work on Wednesday. Regardless of the repeated personal record announcements, most in attendance understood the day's focus was on a pair of potential first round selections - two players for which it wouldn't be a stretch to see in a Texans uniform in the future.

As I sidled up to one scout and queried him where Baylor WR Corey Coleman was, he noted "you didn't see him in his velour sweatsuit?"

3. At about that time, Coleman strolled up to the front of the bench press in his Jordan Jumpman black jumpsuit, circa 2006 Sopranos-style. He announced that he wouldn't be doing the bench press, but in all honesty, no one was there to see Coleman bang out reps of 225. He didn't do a ton on the day, eschewing any measurement testing other than the one thing we all wanted to see.

The 40-yard dash.


4.** After not running the 40 at the combine due to his continued rehab on an injury suffered at the end of the 2015 season, Coleman captivated everyone when he strolled up to the line. There were camera phones galore, being held up to record the event, like it was a Drake concert and the crowd wanted an encore of Hotline Bling.

Approximately 4.37 seconds later, Coleman confirmed what many had already known.

5. He's fast, or as I put on social media…fast enough. Three different stop watches around me had 4.35, 4.37 and 4.41, which would've been fast enough for third at the combine behind Notre Dame WR Will Fuller and TCU WR Kolby Listenbee. Most of the talk after the combine was that this was one of the slowest groups of receivers in some time and that blazing 40 time could make Coleman an even more valued commodity than even before.

6. He went through a series of routes on the field and even though he didn't run the full gamut of the route tree at Baylor, he looked smooth, explosive and quick, in and out of his cuts, on all of his routes. He caught it well, catching all but one throw. On that throw, it was wide and high and Coleman nearly held on for a one-handed catch. Either way, he was the showstopper on the day. I've long said that Coleman dominated the college game outside the numbers and up the sideline. If he can hone his interior route running skills and win between the numbers consistently, he'll be a dangerous weapon in the NFL.

But, he already knows that. As one scout said to me "Confidence? On a scale of 1 to 10, it's like a 12."

7. The other player with a first-round grade for most teams in the draft was DT Andrew Billings. He's shorter than 6-1 but at 300 lb., he moves like a linebacker. He ran a personal-best 4.96 in the 40 and I just happened to be standing right near the finish line. I couldn't help but think what it must be like to be on the receiving end of one of his tackles.



See photos from the career of safety Antonio Allen.

8.** During his position drills, he showed how that lack of height manifests itself, in a positive way. He was asked to do a shuffle drill, touching his hands to the turf every four or five yards. He hardly broke stride or slowed down for about 30 to 35 yards down the field. His ability to slide laterally, his quickness and his power make Billings a candidate to be taken on Thursday night of the draft.

9. One other player who shone on Wednesday was 6-2, 200 lb. CB Xavien Howard. He ran a 4.41 in the 40, jumped 38.5" vertically and had a 10'5" broad jump. That athleticism, combined with his size, makes him a compelling prospect. He had five interceptions in his final season and 10 in his career, but he wasn't always the most consistent player, which is the only troubling aspect of his draft prospects.

10. OL Blake Muir had a strong workout, doing 28 reps on the bench, posting a 32" vertical jump and a 9'8" broad jump. The Australian played a season at Hawai'i before starting his last two seasons at Baylor. He's an impressive looking athlete, thick from head to toe, and the type of athletic body that we often see on NFL offensive linemen.

11. The one player that confounded everyone was LaQuan McGowan. He weighed in at 405 lb., ran a 5.33 in the 40 yard dash, played tight end, worked out with both the OL and the TE/WR, caught the ball with angel soft hands and probably had as many people buzzing in the building than anyone else. Those on hand weren't really sure what to think of him, honestly, as I saw numerous dog head turns after he made a one handed catch during the TE/WR route running period.

12. We capped off the day with Gut Paks from Vitek's BBQ, our annual culinary destination in Waco after pro day. Titans WR Kendall Wright and Cowboys WR Terrance Williams did the same. I just hope Kendall didn't get any BBQ sauce on his McLaren.

Well, that's all from Waco and the Bears Pro Day. See ya from the University of Houston and Rice next week!

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