Rookie Diary #6: A Solid Pro Day
by TechSideline.com, 3/24/04

In part 6 of Nathaniel Adibi's rookie diary, he tells us about the first of two Pro Day workouts at Virginia Tech, a day that saw DeAngelo Hall wow the scouts, and Kevin Jones turn in subpar (for him) 40 times.

Representatives from 30 NFL teams, including head coaches Steve Mariucci (Detroit), Bill Cowher (Pittsburgh) and Jim Haslett (New Orleans) arrived in Blacksburg and worked out Adibi and over a dozen other former VT players.

The player list included Adibi, DeAngelo Hall, Kevin Jones, Cols Colas, Ernest Wilford, Vegas Robinson, Garnell Wilds, Michael Crawford, Doug Easlick, Chris Shreve, and former Hokies T.J. Jackson and Chris Buie.

Jones ran 40s of 4.61, 4.63, and 4.65, according to NFL.com, which put him in the middle of the pack with his fellow players who were working out and fueled rumor-driven speculation that his father Thomas, who was present, was very upset (one rumor-mongering site -- not TechSideline.com, of course -- told of a profanity-laced tirade by Thomas).

Of Thomas and Kevin, Adibi would only say diplomatically, "I personally did not see him [Thomas] after he found out his [Kevin's] times, but I heard that he was not really too pleased about how Kevin ran."

As for DeAngelo Hall, he did not run the 40, but his shuttle and L-drill (3-cone drill) times are so low that they look like misprints when you first read them: 3.68 and 6.39.

How did Adibi do, and what was the day like? Read on.

We got there around 11:00 in the morning. We weighed in, and I was 6-3, 253. The first thing we did was the 225 bench test, which I did not do at the Combine because of my thumb. I did it here, and I did it 24 times, so that was pretty good. Especially for me, getting back from an injury, where I wasn't able to bench for a while. I'm really satisfied where I'm at on bench. We do it here at Tech every once in a while, and the most I ever did was 22.

The next thing we did was go to the back gym and do the vertical jump and the broad jump. I did not do the vertical jump this time, because I'm not a big time jumper, and I thought I would stay around 33 inches, which is what I did at the Combine. I didn't feel like it would go up any at all.

I did the broad jump, but I did better at the Combine. I jumped a 9-10 at the combine, and I only jumped a 9-5 here.

After that, we went to the field house and did our 40's. I ran about a 4.6 again [4.68 and 4.66].

It surprised me [how slow the times in general were]. I did not realize our surface was that slow. We usually do it on the indoor track surface, and that's why you see the difference in times. We ran on the actual turf in the field house for Pro Day.

I went first, because of my last name. I go first in every drill we do, period. It sucks, in a sense, because I can't watch anybody else, and I have to make sure my mind is right and I pay attention to everything the coach says in drills, because I have to go first, and I pretty much lead everything off.

They don't call your time out afterwards. It's pretty much a top-secret thing. I'm dead serious. I'm walking back, asking the players that might have overheard what I ran, and they'd be like, "4.6." So I never knew, 4.6 what? I just knew it was 4.6-something. I�m trying so hard to get in the 4.5s it's ridiculous. I do not know why I can't hit the 4.5 right now. It seems like everybody else is running the same time I'm running, so I think I'm doing good, since pretty much everybody else is doing about the same time I'm doing, and they're supposed to be faster than me anyway, and they're only running 4.5s, and I'm running 4.6.

On Doug Easlick's first 40, he pulled his hamstring. I didn't know he pulled his hamstring, I just thought he didn't want to run anymore. I didn't find out he pulled it until the end of the day.

I watched everybody else run, while I kept stretching and tried to stay loose. Not everybody knew what they were running. You'd say, "What'd you run?" and they'd come back shrugging their shoulders saying, "I don't know." You felt like you were running fast, and then if you found out your time [which was slow], you'd be like, "Golllll-ee!" You really don't know exactly what you're running. Some people did, some people didn�t.

After that, they split everybody up into two groups. Half did the short shuttle, and half did the L-drill [also known as the 3-cone drill]. The short shuttle, I did a freakin' 4.3 again, so I�m going to do that again this Thursday. I know I can do better. I keep messing up on my second turn, not coming out smoothly.

I have no clue what my L-drill time is. I heard I did a 7.03, but I'm not totally sure. I was trying to get my time, but I could only find one person, and he told me 7.03. I tried to find someone else [with a time] so I could see how close they were, but I couldn't find anybody else. So I don't know how accurate 7.03 is, but that's what I heard.

Then it was time for individual drills. Kevin went first, and I was pretty much waiting for my time to go. I spent so long waiting for my time to go. I went first in every other drill, but when it came to the individual drills, I worked out with the linebackers, and we did not go until the last group of people. That was me, Cols, Vegas, and Chris Buie.

It's kind of nerve-racking. Picture yourself doing the bench reps, and you look to the side, and you see Steve Mariucci right there watching you, or Bill Cowher. It was definitely a different experience. At the Combine, it's like a stadium atmosphere. It's a whole lot of people doing things at one time. But here, it's like, you're up, and all eyes are on you.

I did nothing but linebacker drills. You practice them, but doing it when it really means something, that's different in itself. I think I did pretty good. I definitely can do better, especially in the short shuttle. I can only get better in the linebacker drills, the more I do it. I'm also still practicing all my D-line stuff, so hopefully I can continue to do both and be a more versatile player.

I was one of the last to leave, I got back home around 3:30.

Next Thursday, I doubt it will be as big as this one. Everybody who wanted to see people came for this one, I would think. I think it will definitely be a much smaller crowd. My goals are to get better at the linebacker drills, let people see me in the D-end drills, and get my shuttle time down.

On DeAngelo Hall's Performance:

You just watch DeAngelo do his stuff, and you see that he's just popping his drills. His short shuttle, his L-drill, all his times were ridiculous. Even the players were talking about it. The NFL personnel were talking about it. So I know he definitely helped himself. [His short shuttle] was sick. That's the fastest I've ever seen anybody do it in my life. Even his L-drill time was sick. I think he broke the record in one of them or both of them. Even his long shuttle was good -- he messed up in his long shuttle, and it was still good. It's amazing how fast he was stopping and going, really.

On Whether NFL Teams are Showing Particular Interest at This Point:

I'm trying to separate myself from the other players. Some teams at this point will talk to you more than others, but you still don't get a sense of who's more interested in you. Some players do, but for me right now, it's still about the same as before. They want to see me move in space, see if I can play linebacker. I'm still a tweener, so it depends upon what type of defense a team plays. People who use small D-ends of have a 3-4 Bear defense, those are people who will be looking for a player like me.

Teams are talking to you, but you really don't know, honestly. Hopefully, in the next week or two, after I talk to my agent, I can get a better feel for what's going on.

On the Difference Between Playing College Football and Preparing for the Draft Thus Far:

I can get real bored really easily. I'm the kind of person who likes to have things going on. Going to class, and knowing I have to go lift weights, and then practice, things are always going on, so you don't really have time to sit around and be bored. Also, every once in a while, it is good to have time off, but that's a lot of time to have off, to work out in the mornings, and then have the whole afternoon doing nothing pretty much. Sometimes it gets boring. You can only play X-Box for so long. It will be good once I get into the football things again, but it has been good to get a break, too.

Next Update:
How Pro Day #2 went.

Previous Rookie Diaries With Nathaniel Adibi:

Rookie Diary #5: In Town for Pro Day, 3/17/04

Rookie Diary #4: Adibi's Time in Oakland Winds Down, 3/12/04

Rookie Diary #3: The Aftermath of the Combine, 3/4/04

Rookie Diary #2: Busy Weekend at the Combine for Adibi, 2/26/04

Rookie Diary #1: Adibi Prepares for the NFL Combine, 2/19/04

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