BOULDER - Representatives from 24 NFL teams, totaling 26 officials in all, ventured onto the University of Colorado Boulder campus on Wednesday with the hopes of finding a gem. Nine Buffaloes prospects spent the afternoon trying to turn as many heads as necessary in order to make the wishful objective of all of those scouts a reality.
The nine participants included six from this past season’s senior class (DT Nate Bonsu, OL Gus Handler, DB Parker Orms, SN Ryan Iverson, DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, ILB Derrick Webb), a junior who decided to forgo his senior season (WR Paul Richardson), a member of the 2012 senior class (LB Doug Rippy) and one from the 2011 class (DB Travis Sandersfeld).
Each underwent a series of measurements and examinations which over time the NFL has declared most accurately assesses the ability of a potential signee. After the height, weight, wingspan, arm lengths, and hand sizes were calculated and then scrutinized over ad nauseam; the players then got a chance to showcase their actual skill level through a variety of drills. The bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, individual position drills were among those in which the players were tested.
When it was all said and done, most of them were satisfied with their performance as they now await a final judgment that may not come down until May.
The player who garnered the most attention leading up to the event and then commanded all of it during, Richardson, put forth a performance he would consider just average by day’s end. That, on top of his impressive showing at the NFL Combine, will ultimately be weighed to help decide where teams may decide to select Colorado’s record-setting wide receiver on draft day.
“Things went good today but I think I could have done better,” Richardson said. “But, that’s how I always feel. I think I competed good for the circumstances but I think I could have done a lot better.”
Richardson was much more complimentary of his former teammates however as he beamed with satisfaction in describing their efforts.
“I’m proud of how my guys competed today,” Richardson said. “I had fun competing with them and it feels good that all of us were able to represent the University of Colorado so well. Some of those guys have been out for a year or two and they came back and showcased their talents again. It felt good that we were able to get Colorado some exposure.”
Among those who seemed to quietly improve their standing within the NFL scouting circle was Iverson, CU’s four-year long snapper, who, based on a solid performance, seemed to peak the curiosity of those who may have previously been unaware of his talents and strengthened the beliefs of those weren’t. Many in attendance were still buzzing about Iverson’s display well after the event came to an end.
“I thought I did some things well today,” Iverson said. “We’ll see if I impressed them enough. I feel like I might have.”
Iverson’s 27 bench press repetitions were the most among the group and he didn’t stop there. His 31.5-inch vertical jump and 4.78 40-yard time also were noteworthy accomplishments considering athleticism isn’t always prototypical of an NFL long snapper. Long Snappers rarely get drafted but Iverson’s chances of landing with a team at some point during the off-season appeared to take a significant boost on Wednesday.
Handler's afternoon on the other hand, turned out to be a bittersweet one. After strong showings in the bench press and the vertical jump, he pulled a hamstring in the 40 and sat out the remainder of the event.
"It's frustrating because you work so hard and then something like that happens," Handler said. "It's unfortunate but I'm going to keep working."
The 2014 NFL Draft will take place Thursday, May 8, to Saturday, May 10, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Coverage of the event will air on both ESPN and the NFL Network.
|Nate Bonsu||99||DT||6-0.7||298||32.25||9.875 / 78.5||20||21.5||8-6||1.85||3.17||5.56||4.78||7.72|
|Gus Handler||55||C||6-2.6||295||33.5||9 / 80.375||26||25.5||8-4||1.78||3.04|
|Ryan Iverson||69||LS||5-11.0||240||32.625||9.75 / 75.75||27||31.5||9-6||1.68||2.73||4.72||4.45||7.38||12.38|
|Parker Orms||13||S||5-10.1||190||30.625||8.75 / 71.375||7||32||10-2||1.56||2.61||4.58||4.28||6.83||11.36|
|Paul Richardson||6||WR||6-0||170||33.375||8.625 / 77.5||37.5||4.23||7.14|
|Chidera Uzo-Diribe||96||DE||6-2.2||252||33||9.625 / 77.5||21||35||10-1||1.66||2.72||4.70||4.52||7.17||11.79|
|Derrick Webb||1||MLB||5-11.3||224||33||9.25 / 76||15||26||9-2||1.65||2.80||4.86||4.71||7.61||12.39|
|Doug Rippy||MLB||6-1.6||251||31.75||9.5 / 77||17||33.5||9-3||1.60||2.80||4.90||4.45||7.28||12.46|
|Travis Sandersfeld||DB||6-0.2||207||32.5||8.875 / 75||19||38||10-7||1.60||2.67||4.62||4||6.96||11.62|
KEY - Arm - arm measurement; Hand - hand measurements; BP - bench press, number of reps; VJ - verticle jump; BJ - broad jump; 10 - 10-yard split on 40-yard dash; 20 - 20-yard split on 40-yard dash; 40 - 40-yard dash; SS - short shuttle; 3cn - 3 cone drill; 60 - 60-yard shuttle.