Shalom Luani to Seattle? It’s way too early to say, of course, but a Seahawks representative put Luani through a battery of defensive back drills for the Seahawks on Thursday.
Shalom Luani to the Seattle Seahawks?
It’s way too early to say, of course, but a Seahawks representative put Luani through a battery of defensive back drills at the end of Washington State’s Pro Day Thursday afternoon in Pullman.
Luani did not participate in the combine-style drills that scouts from 20 NFL teams put WSU’s draft eligible players through, opting instead to stand by the numbers he’d put up during his workout at the NFL Scouting Combine last week.
But he ran through some safety drills with the Seahawks while other teams watched.
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“Teams are interested in me playing deep, at safety,” said Luani, who met with multiple teams at the NFL combine in Indianapolis last week.
The 5-foot-11, 202-pound safety said he focused most on his bench press and 40-yard dash in the lead up to the combine, and was happy with the 4.55 40-yard dash time, and 12 bench press repetitions he managed.
He spent the couple of months before the combine training at the EXOs facility in San Diego, but now that that’s over, Luani will probably wait out the draft in Arizona, where his brother lives.
At the combine, Luani said NFL teams did ask him about the incident last summer in which he was accused of assaulting another man at a pizza joint – Luani was never charged because the prosecutor determined he might have been acting in self defense – but said the team representative generally seemed satisfied with his explanation of the event.
“They said, ‘It happens, everybody makes mistakes’ and ‘just move forward,’” Luani said, adding that the case wasn’t much of a distraction to him at the time. “It happens. All I did was move on and play my game.”
Luani totalled 157 tackles and eight interceptions in his two years as a starting safety for the Cougars, but will have to distinguish himself from a deep class of defensive backs to make a case for himself as a draft selection in April.
Robert Ray, Luani’s business manager and marketing agent, said there’s a strong likelihood that his client will be invited to go through private workouts for some NFL teams in the next few weeks.
“I think his versatility is his biggest asset, and his ability to adapt to philosophies quickly,” Ray said. “He’s a quick learner, and I think that’s what sets him apart from the other draft prospects.”
Luani and Gabe Marks were WSU’s two representatives at the NFL combine this year, and Marks, too, stood by most of his combine numbers.
Marks did, however, ran his 60-yard shuttle at Pro Day – an event he did not do in Indianapolis. According to Marks, he clocked 11.3 in the 60-yard shuttle on Thursday. That time would have put him in ninth place among all the receivers who ran the 60-yard shuttle at the combine.
Marks also did a workout with the Cincinnati Bengals at the end of the Pro Day.
Receiver River Cracraft, who is still recovering from ACL reconstruction surgery, only did the bench press on Thursday, and managed 15 repetitions, which would have put him in 12th place – tied with Clemson’s Mike Williams, East Carolina’s Zay Jones and USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster – among all receivers who worked out at the combine.
Offensive linemen Riley Sorenson and Eduardo Middleton, defensive linemen Robert Barber and Jeremiah Mitchell, receiver John Thompson and linebacker Paris Taylor all went through the complete workout for scouts at Pro Day.
According to the Spokesman-Review, Taylor managed 15 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press. Taylor also had a 32-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot, 9-inch long jump.
Barber finished with 25 repetitions on the bench press, which would have been tied with three other defensive linemen for 13th at the NFL combine.