NFL scouts from 28 NFL teams looked on as fifteen senior Cougar football players participated in BYU’s Pro Day on March 27.
Alani Fua, Devin Mahina and Jordan Leslie were some of the prospects to undergo a series of drills with the hopes of improving their stock for the upcoming NFL Draft in April and May.
Participants hoped to turn the heads of NFL scouts through a series of physical tests, including the 40-yard dash, bench press, broad and vertical jumps and shuttle sprints. They also underwent tests to measure their height, weight, arm length and body fat percentage.
Players also took the Wonderlic Test, which is meant to measure a player’s cognitive skills and problem-solving abilities. The scouts then had the opportunity to interview prospects to get a feel for their character, mental toughness and football intelligence.
Safety Skye PoVey caught NFL scouts off guard by acing the Wonderlic and recording the highest vertical jump and fastest three-cone drill.
“I think I performed well,” PoVey said. “I think I had the highest vertical, which was 37 (inches), and heard I had the fastest three-cone, which was 6.6 (seconds) flat. To be honest, I don’t think I was on their radar, but after I ran and jumped I had a few guys come and approach me. I had one scout ask me to stay after and run through a test.”
Outside linebacker Alani Fua improved his numbers from the NFL combine, cutting his 40-time from 4.73 to 4.59. He also improved his broad jump from 118 to 119 inches and increased his number of bench press reps from 18 to 20.
“I wanted to come out and improve, and I think it was a successful day,” Fua said. “I’ve felt good, and people have been telling me that I did (well). It’s pretty intense.”
Defensive back Robertson Daniel recorded the fastest 40 time with a 4.45, while wide receiver Jordan Leslie finished close behind with a 4.46.
“I heard I was one of the fastest, so that’s always an accomplishment,” Leslie said. “I was pretty high up on shuttle and was second in three-cones. It’s a lot of stuff to do in one day, but it shows the heart you have and the stamina you put on the field.”
Leslie had fun with the drills and kept a light heart throughout the day.
“No matter what, I’m going to be myself. I’m a competitor, but I like to have the fun,” Leslie said. “I’d be honored to go to any team. I talked to a few scouts, and they were really impressed, so that’s always good to hear.”
The players started preparing for the pro day in December.
“A lot of people doubted me, but I always believed in myself, and I wanted my numbers to speak for themselves, and I think they did,” PoVey said. “I loved training for it. For the past three months I ate, drank and slept football. I love it; it’s my passion.”
Leslie echoed the excitement for draft day.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was little to go to the NFL,” he said. “If I had that chance, the team that picks me will always be my favorite.”
The first day of the NFL draft begins April 30 and ends May 2.