There wasn't a big-time name on the marquee at Houston Pro Day as Will Jackson's was last year. After running in the 4.3 range at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, first round buzz grew louder by the day for Jackson and it brought GMs and head coaches to TDECU Stadium to see him work out.
Jackson eventually was drafted in the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals, but the real winner of last year's Pro Day was Elandon Roberts. Jackson sat on his numbers from the Combine, so Roberts really had an opportunity to shine on his own in front of the scouts. He crushed it that day and convinced the New England Patriots that he was worth a draft selection. He was drafted in the sixth round and became a key contributor for the World Champion Patriots defense.
The one player that may experience a similar fate after Houston's Pro Day on Monday is cornerback Brandon Wilson. You remember him? The last time he was in NRG Stadium all he did was return a missed field goal attempt 109 yards to help upset Oklahoma in the opener last year.
On Monday, Wilson put on a show. First of all, he walked out in front of the assembled masses of scouts and there was definitely some physique envy. Wilson didn't have one ounce of body fat and was sculpted straight out of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Pumping Iron movie.
He then slayed his workout. He first put up 24 bench press reps of 225 pounds. Keep in mind he's 5-10 and weighs 196 pounds. That would've been the top bench number at the combine for cornerbacks. He jumped 41 inches on the vertical jump, another number that would've been tops for all cornerbacks. His 11-1 broad jump would've been second amongst all cornerbacks at the Combine.
Can't win 'em all, huh, Brandon?
When we moved out to the TDECU Stadium turf, he completely lit up the 40-yard track. The current Houston players on hand and small section of family and friends started cheering after Wilson concluded his first 40-yard run.
I watched the scouts turn to each other and show each other their stopwatches as if to say "did he just do that?" The players next to me all had their phones out timing each runner and they went nuts when Wilson finished. It was an incredible moment for them to see their former teammate completely crush the 40 yard dash.
Wilson may fall into that category, like Roberts, in which teams just can't ignore a true baller that then has the testing measurables to match.
He wasn't alone, though. Former quarterback Greg Ward Jr. ran in the 4.4 range on his 40-yard dash and even in the high 4.3 range on some stopwatches. He's going to make the move back to receiver at the next level and that kind of speed is bound to get him some attention.
Ward Jr., outside linebacker Tyus Bower, a member of the Harris 100 and cornerback Howard Wilson could all hear their names called on draft weekend, but that was to be expected, in some sense. Brandon Wilson, though, may have nudged his way into the conversation after the show he put on Monday at U of H's Pro Day.