On Wednesday, 15 Maryland football player from the 2017 roster along with a few former members took the field in front of scouts, coaches and general managers from 30 NFL teams. For some, it was a final chance to put themselves on the radar of a professional team. For others, it was an opportunity to increase their draft stock 29 days before they can possibly hear their named called at the NFL Draft.
D.J. Moore and J.C. Jackson
The two players who drew the most attention were Moore and Jackson. Both performed well at the combine in early March and both will find themselves on an NFL roster after the draft, but Tuesday gave the two a chance to shine while everyone was focused on just them.
Moore, who declared for the draft after a junior season in which he was named Big Ten Receiver of the Year, has seen his draft stock continue to rise throughout the entire process. Some mock drafts have him going as high as 13 overall to the Washington Redskins, and most have him ending up somewhere in the first round. Those mocks mean nothing come April 26, but Moore does know that he has impressed up to this point.
“As far as round wise, [the teams] don’t really talk about it,” Moore said. “They just tell me I’m a great player and, like, my ceiling is so high.”
Moore opted not to participate in any of the non-skill position drills including the 40-yard dash, which he ran in 4.42 seconds in Indianapolis, but did take part in the receiver portion of the day. The Philly native ran eight routes, and caught eight passes from quarterback Caleb Rowe, looking sharp throughout.
— Ryan Homler (@RHomler) March 28, 2018
Moore spent time chatting with representatives from numerous teams, but earned special attention from the Carolina Panthers during his route-running time. Wide Receivers coach Lance Taylor and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner chatted with him throughout, even giving pointers in between his turns.
Like Moore, Jackson did not partake in anything but the defensive back catching drills. With an already-impressive 4.46 40-yard dash put up at the combine, he was more focused on improvement in other areas.
“Just the DB drills,” Jackson said about what he wanted to work on the most. “Staying right, staying fit.”
Probably the most unlikely storyline of the day was the return of Will Likely. A year removed from his first pro day, where he was the most notable prospect for the Terps, Likely returned to College Park. After a lingering injury from the 2017 season hindered his participation at his original workout last March, he was determined to show what he can do when he’s fully healthy.
Likely admitted that last year, he was probably only at 80 percent strength when the scouts came to town. Wednesday, the man who has spent the last ninth months training in Florida after failing to make an NFL roster, was a full participant and looked like the electric player he was at Maryland.
“Last year I wasn’t really 100 percent,” Likely said, “I felt like this was my real pro day.”
Josh Woods and Jermaine Carter Jr.
Among the other Terps who took part in the festivities, Woods and Carter Jr. helped themselves the most.
When Woods wasn’t slapping his body in preparation for a drill or cheering on his teammates, the defensive back was putting up some impressive numbers including a 4.46 40-yard dash and a 10’1 broad jump.
Carter Jr. impressed as well, looking smooth, quick and ferocious throughout his time on the field. He also took to Twitter to let everyone, including those who did not invite him to any showcase, know how he performed.
Low 4.6 40
11.55 60 yard shuttle
— 1 (@JERMA1NECARTER) March 28, 2018
As the calendar turn to April and these player get closer to becoming Pro-Terps, The Left Bench will have continued coverage of the journey.
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