Among the participants in Friday's six pro days was Eastern Kentucky pass rusher Noah Spence, who improved on his 40-yard dash mark after his recent NFL Combine performance.
After a somewhat underwhelming performance at last week’s NFL Combine, Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence set out to improve on some of his marks during the school’s pro day on Friday afternoon in Richmond, Ky.
The Washington Redskins were among 23 NFL teams on hand to watch the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Spence, a projected first-round pick, ran 40-yard dash times of 4.75 and 4.79 seconds according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.
The defensive lineman also participated in defensive drills while deciding his vertical jump (35 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, one-inch) from the NFL Combine were satisfactory.
"I knew that wasn't what I usually run," Spence said of his 40-yard dash times in Indianapolis via ESPN.com.
Spence dazzled during January’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., as he looked like the clear-cut best pass rusher on both the North and South Teams.
During the actual game, Spence even recorded a sack. But he suffered a slight hamstring tweak that may have been a resulting factor in some of his times in Indianapolis.
"I was just too tight [at the combine]," Spence said. "I'm still not 100 percent, but it felt good. It felt a lot better."
Spence started his career at Ohio State in 2012.
After seeing action as only a backup during his freshman year, Spence recorded eight sacks in 13 starts as a sophomore in 2013.
But two failed Big Ten drug tests for ecstasy derailed his career in Columbus.
He would transfer to Eastern Kentucky where he would record 11.5 sacks.
While there may not be any concerns about his on-field ability (some mock drafts have him going in the top 10), Spence continues to be hammered with questions about his checkered past.
“With anybody with a substance abuse problem that they’ve had, I feel like they’re pretty leery about it,” Spence told the media at the NFL Combine. “But if you can put it behind you can convince the team it’s behind you.”
Spence believes he has put that phase of his life in the past.
“I feel like everything is done and it’s out in the open,” Spence said. “I never got away with anything. It’s all there.”
Other pro days around the country
Among the other schools that held Pro Days on Friday were Arizona State, Kentucky and Nebraska.
Here's a look at the University of Kentucky's 2016 Pro Day that took place in Lexington, Ky.
Arizona State wide receiver D.J. Foster improved on his Combine 40-yard dash time of 4.57 seconds with runs of 4.47 and 4.49 seconds.
Foster is second all-time in Sun Devils history for career receptions with 222.
“Going to the combine, not a lot of people see the three days prior to that and just the grind you’re putting in and going out there and just warming up a little and then trying to go out there and run," Foster said via AZCentral.com. “I just wanted to show that I do have that top-end speed along with the quickness, and I feel like I went out and did that today.”
At Kentucky’s Pro Day, both linebacker Josh Forrest and A.J. Stamps participated just one week after showcasing their skills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Forrest struggled with his 40 time in Indy, as his 4.91-second time was 29th out of 31 linebackers who ran the dash.
But at the school’s pro day, he upped his time to 4.75 seconds.
“I think it went well,” Forrest, who admitted he was dealing with an illness at the NFL Combine, said to The Courier-Journal. “Had a lot of fun. It's more comfortable out here with the guys I know, so I definitely think I did better.”
The following Nebraska players participated in the school's pro day: Maliek Collins, Andy Janovich, Alex Lewis, Vincent Valentine, Taariq Allen, Imani Cross, Daniel Davie, Jack Gangwish, Givens Price, Jonathan Rose, Zach Sterup, David Santos and Jamal Turner.