Jaron Gilbert, Shonne Green highlight 2009 NFL Draft risers And Sliders

Published on March 31, 2009 by     

greeneiowaThe pro-day schedule was a light one this week, due in large part to the NFL owners meetings in California. There were still several notable performances from prospects that could be selected as early as round one or as late as the final frames of the draft.

Jaron Glibert/DL/San Jose State: Gilbert put on a show for scouts last Friday and stamped himself as one of the more athletic big men in the draft. The 284-pound lineman posted times as fast as 4.76 seconds in the forty, 4.40 in the short shuttle and 7.56 in the three-cone, marks which were far better than his performance at the combine. Gilbert was later run through defensive line drills by New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and drew a lot of praise for his work.

Shonn Greene/RB/Iowa: Greene turned in a terrific performance at the Iowa pro day Thursday, running much faster than his showing at the combine. Greene’s forty times were between 4.53 and 4.56 seconds. He posted a 39-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-6 broad jump and completed 23 reps on the bench. Greene is now likely to be the fourth running back selected next month, somewhere early in round two.

Hunter Cantwell/QB/Louisville: Cantwell, who struggled through a difficult senior season, may finally be turning the corner. The signal caller had a terrific pro-day workout Thursday, connecting on 56 of the 60 passes he threw during quarterback drills. Cantwell was asked to make NFL-type passes from the pocket and on the move. He was required to accurately hit stationary targets as well as receivers in stride and did so successfully. Scouts on hand congratulated Cantwell on a terrific passing session afterwards.

Jason Cook/FB/Mississippi: Cook, who did not run at the combine due to injury, was impressive during his workout. The 241-pound lead blocker broke 4.7-seconds in the forty besides posting a 33.5-inch vertical jump and completing 22 reps on the bench. Cook rarely handled the ball at Mississippi, combining for just six rushing attempts and 21 receptions over his four years with the Rebels. The athleticism of his workout leads scouts to believe there’s another dimension to his game.

Josh Mauga/LB/Nevada: The Wolfpack linebacker looked sensational during his workout, even though he’s still recovering from a torn pectoral muscle. Mauga measured 6-1½, 246, ran a 4.60 forty, posted a swift 4.28 in the short shuttle and 7.16 in the three cone. Scouts put him through a grueling session of linebacker drills, trying to break Mauga, who kept rising to the occasion.

J.D. Skoltnisky/DL/James Madison: Skoltnisky was a surprise junior entry into the draft but is giving scouts something to think about. The lineman measured 6-5½, 263, posted a 31.5-inch vertical jump and ran forty times of 4.72 and 4.76 seconds. His short shuttle time of 4.37 would’ve ranked him top three of all the defensive linemen at the combine while Skoltnisky’s three cone time of 7.22 seconds would have been a top 10 performance in Indianapolis.

Lance Louis/OL/San Diego State: The former tight end who moved to the offensive line as a junior blew scouts away during his workout. Measuring 6-2½, 300, Louis ran a 4.71 and 4.72 after completing 30 reps on the bench. He also posted a vertical jump of 32½ inches.

Jamarca Sanford/S/Mississippi: Sanford showed he was the strongest defensive back at the combine by completing 29 reps on the bench. He displayed better than expected speed at his pro-day, timing in the mid-to-low 4.4s. Sanford was down five pounds (209) from his weigh-in at the combine.

Christopher Owens/CB/San Jose State: Owens improved from his solid showing at the combine, posting forty times in the low 4.4s besides turning in a 35-inch vertical jump. He’s now poised to be a top-100 selection.

Jorvorskie Lane/FB/Texas A&M: Lane was considered a top pro prospect early in his A&M career, yet he has watched his game regress. He looked significantly overweight at his pro day and tipped the scales at 297 pounds then was unable to run faster than 5.0 in the forty. Lane has dropped out of the draft and must now fight for a free agent contract.

Arian Foster/RB/Tennessee: Foster has struggled with a hamstring injury since the Senior Bowl but the inability to run under 4.65 seconds at his pro-day workout, coupled with pedestrian performances in the shuttles and three cone, will not sit well with scouts.

• Aaron Curry looked every bit the draft’s first pick during his pro-day workout earlier this week. The Wake Forest linebacker rested on his combine numbers, but looked nothing less than outstanding in position drills. He was fast, athletic and very explosive. Sources told SI.com his footwork in pass cover drills was on a par with many of the defensive backs who took part in the workout.

• Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel has been a late-riser up draft boards and is starting to get a lot of attention from NFL scouts. Teel struggled early last season but pulled it together down the stretch. He’s been worked out privately by a number of teams and has displayed NFL arm strength throwing the ball. Teel was at one time considered a marginal free agent prospect but is now likely to slide into the late rounds of the draft.

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