Frankie Luvu came out of WSU's Pro Day on Thursday with two private workout invitations from NFL teams, Jamal Morrow says his broken foot is mending well, Robert Barber makes a surprise return and Dylan Hanser talks about his bonus special teams skills
Washington State welcomed 27 NFL teams to its pro day in Pullman on Thursday. Sixteen Cougars met with scouts, included Robert Barber, who graduated in 2016 but never signed with an NFL team.
The only NFL teams that did not come to WSU’s pro day were the Chiefs, Broncos, Texans, Bengals and Saints.
Quarterback Luke Falk did not put on an official scripted passing workout, but he threw casually for his teammates in drills meant to showcase Gerard Wicks and Robert Lewis’ receiving abilities, and lofted some passes for the trio of WSU defensive backs who worked out for scouts in the Cougars’ indoor bubble.
Falk will have a complete pro day on March 28 at Utah State.
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Offensive lineman Cody O’Connell, who was a unanimous All-American after his junior season in 2016, was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine but said he tried to use the snub to his advantage.
“It sucked, but I can’t do anything about it,” O’Connell said. “I got an extra week to train for everything.”
O’Connell weighed in at 352 pounds and managed a pro day-best 28 reps in the 225-pound bench press – and two more than his teammate, WSU tackle Cole Madison, did at the combine.
O’Connell said he didn’t know the rest of his pro day results but that he was pretty satisfied with how he did in both the combine drills and the position drill segments.
“I think it went pretty good,” O’Connell said. “I showed how well I move.”
O’Connell was a two-year starter at right guard for WSU, but said NFL scouts seem most interested in evaluating him as a right tackle.
O’Connell, Falk, Wicks, Lewis and Madison were the five offensive players who participated in pro day, along with kicker Erik Powell.
WSU’s contingent of draft-worthy players is heavy on defense this year. Three defensive tackles (Barber, Daniel Ekuale and Garrett McBroom), three pass rushers (Hercules Mata’afa, Frankie Luvu, Dylan Hanser, and three defensive backs (Marcellus Pippins, Robert Taylor and Kirkland Parker) worked out on Thursday.
Barber has been training in the Seattle area since last spring, when a potential contract with the Carolina Panthers fell through due to a pending court case. Barber was later found not guilty of assault. He’s now hoping to revive his NFL dream, said his agent, Anthony Bendana.
“This pro day was the best opportunity for him to get re-introduced to teams. He can sign with a team as a free agent,” Bendana said. “He’s in amazing shape, he’s 310 pounds, he improved his 40 time and he did well.
“He’s mentally happy and at peace with what was resolved.”
Pippins and Taylor both put up numbers that compared favorably with what other defensive backs managed at the NFL combine.
Taylor’s 4.03 20-yard shuttle would have put him in the top 10 of all defensive backs at the NFL combine. Pippins impressed scouts with a 39.5-inch vertical jump that would have been seventh among all defensive backs at the NFL combine.
“I could have had a 40,” Pippins said. “But we only get two jumps.”
Pippins said he also did 12 reps on the bench press, hit 10-feet on the broad jumped, and ran a 40-yard dash of 4.56 seconds.
Taylor said scouts told him he was timed between 4.38 to 4.46 in his 40, and he had a 10-foot-4-inch broad jump and a 39-inch vertical jump.
“I think I showed my strength,” Taylor said. “I think it went great, I had a solid day. I showed some explosion in the vertical jump and broad jump.”
LB Isaac Dotson is done with football
LB Isaac Dotson was a notable omission from WSU’s pro day lineup. In an Instagram post on Wednesday night, Dotson announced that he is retiring from football.
“I made the difficult decision to walk away from the game that I have loved playing my entire life,” Dotson wrote. “Unfortunately in football, concussions can happen, and they happened to me more than a few times in my career.
“While I did have aspirations of playing at the next level, I decided, after consulting with doctors, trainers and family to do what I feel is best for my brain in the long run and hang ‘em up.”
RB Jamal Morrow on the mend
Running back Jamal Morrow only benched at pro day – he hit 17 reps – but said his broken foot is healing well and that he was just cleared to start running.
Morrow, who signed with the same agency as WSU QB Luke Falk, said he’s working to get back in shape and hopes to perhaps work out for scouts either privately, or see if he’ll be allowed to participate in pro day at one of the Southern California schools.
Morrow said he’s had interest from a few NFL teams whom he met with at the NFLPA collegiate bowl game practices, and that they all stressed that he should take his time to ensure he’s fully healthy before he tries to work out.
Morrow broke a metatarsal bone in his foot during WSU’s Holiday Bowl game.
“I want to push it along as much as possible, but I want to be able to get right without having any pain and not have questions about anything,” Morrow said.
More pro day notes:
- Rush linebacker Frankie Luvu said he was happy with all his pro day results and that a handful of NFL teams have already invited him to come out for private workouts, though he declined to name the teams. DraftAnalyst.com reported that Luvu clocked 4.79 in the 40, and has been invited to work out for the Lions and Raiders.
- Rush linebacker Dylan Hanser said he ran his 40 in the “high 4.5 to low 4.6-second” range, managed 19 reps on the bench press, had a 33-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 9-feet-8-inches. Hanser did linebacker drills, but also did some long snapping for scouts. “He really attacked the special teams route,” said his agent Anthony Bendana.
- DT Garrett McBroom had 23 reps on the bench press, while RB Gerard Wicks hit 22 – which would have tied him in fourth place with all running backs at the combine.