NFL

Minnesota, Oklahoma State, UCF pro days: Rashod Bateman makes case for first round

With the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine operating under a different format this year, pro day workouts are taking on a heightened importance this spring. Minnesota, Oklahoma State and UCF were among the schools that held their pro days on Thursday, giving some top 2021 NFL Draft prospects a chance to make an impression on scouts and NFL executives.

How did the most highly touted talents perform? Check out the quick rundowns below.

NOTE: Times listed below are unofficial.

Minnesota

Among the notable NFL attendees of this pro day in Minneapolis: GMs Brian Gutekunst (Packers) and Jon Robinson (Titans).

Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50: No. 48

A few eyebrows were raised when Bateman measured 6-foot-3/8 and 190 pounds on Thursday after being listed by Minnesota at 6-2, 210, but Bateman told NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, who was on assignment at the pro day, that he’s never weighed more than 200 pounds. Anyway, the subject quickly changed to Bateman’s speed when he clocked an impressive 4.39-second 40-yard dash. He also posted a 36-inch vertical jump and broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches.

Scouts told Pelissero the Gophers pass catcher looked really good in positional drills, which were run by Bears WR coach Mike Furrey and Panthers WR coach Frisman Jackson.

After the workout, Bateman told Pelissero he had COVID-19 last summer, which is why he initially opted out of the 2020 season, and that he never felt like himself after he opted back in. Fortunately, Bateman said he is feeling back to his normal self now.

“I just hope that I showed them that I’m a first-round draft pick,” he said of his pro day showing. “I came out here and I ran fast and I performed at my best. I ran good routes. I did good in all the drills. I think I solidified myself, but at the end of the day, if that doesn’t happen, I’m just here to play football.”

St-Juste has excellent size, measuring 6-3 1/4 and 202 pounds on Thursday. Combine those traits with his athleticism, and you can see why he’s an intriguing middle-round prospect. The Montreal native posted a blazing-fast 3.96 short shuttle, according to Minnesota. His 40 was clocked at 4.51 seconds, per Pelissero.

NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter projected St-Juste to go in the third round in his recent four-round mock draft.

Oklahoma State

Thirty-one NFL teams (all but the Rams) were represented at the Cowboys’ pro day.

Ranking in Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50: No. 34

Jenkins, NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks’ No. 5 offensive tackle in the draft, showed off his strength, posting a team-best 36 reps on the bench press, per NFL Network reporter Jeffri Chadiha, who was on assignment in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

He measured 6-5 7/8 and 317 with 33.5-inch arms, according to Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy. Jenkins had a good day, running the 40 in 5.01 seconds and recording a vertical jump of 32.5 inches. He had a broad jump of 8 feet, 10 inches, a short shuttle of 4.66 seconds and completed the three-cone drill in 7.72 seconds.

Hubbard, a Canadian, took the road less traveled to the NFL draft and now finds himself as a likely middle-round pick. He measured 6-0, 210 pounds with a 4.48-second 40 on Thursday, per Nagy. The 2019 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year recorded an impressive 36-inch vertical jump, a broad jump of 10 feet, a short shuttle of 4.26 seconds and ran the three-cone drill in 7.24 seconds. He also threw the bar up 20 times on the bench press.

Wallace is a tough, competitive receiver who returned from an ACL tear suffered in the fall of 2019 to earn first-team all-conference honors in 2020. He doesn’t have great size, measuring 5-11 3/8, 194 pounds, but ran a solid 40 of 4.48 seconds, according to an NFL scout in contact with Nagy. He reached 33 inches in the vertical and 9 feet, 4 inches in the broad jump. Wallace also showed his quickness with a 6.97-second clocking in the three-cone drill.

UCF

The Cardinals, Panthers, Jaguars, Raiders, Dolphins and Lions sent defensive coaches to Orlando for the event, per Reese’s Senior Bowl executive directory Jim Nagy.

Grant (5-11 5/8, 197) was one of the biggest standouts from the week of practice at the Senior Bowl in January. He impressed again on Thursday. Grant ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds and showed his explosiveness with a broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches and a 6.78-second three-cone drill, per Nagy.

Robinson (5-11 1/2, 186) helped himself on Thursday with a 40-yard dash of 4.39 seconds, per a scout attending the pro day. His vertical jump of 37 inches will get teams’ attention, too. Robinson was projected to go in Round 2 in NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter’s recent four-round mock draft. He has the potential to be a Day 1 starter in the NFL.

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