NFL rules allow for teams to host one local pro day, inviting players that played football locally either in high school or in college for a workout. Generally speaking these workouts are meant for lower-tiered prospects (as they're projected) and not names that you would expect to see in the first few rounds (not saying that it's not possible, only that a majority of these workouts are designed for players trying to make a name for themselves during the NFL draft). Most of these players will (likely), receive a contract after the NFL draft or be an invitee to rookie camp -- trying to impress teams for a contract.
The Bengals held their local pro day on Wednesday with 24 players participating.
According to reports, the Bengals were extremely impressed with Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks -- who played at Lakota West. Hicks, who is training at home (at Ignition in Mason) is a mid-round projection and the prospect that's most likely to get drafted.
"Hicks worked enough that he raised eyebrows at the three major stops of the draft process in the Senior Bowl, at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, and his campus workout in Austin," writes Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com. "After his 2012 season was short-circuited by a hip problem and his 2013 season was wiped out by a torn Achilles, he made it through 2014 and then felt like he showed the scouts at the Senior Bowl he could play in the middle after playing mainly the WILL backer at Texas."
"Hicks took the field in a stadium he spent years watching as he rose to prominence in the high school ranks and offers a possible fit for a team seeking depth at linebacker in the middle rounds. A chance of ending up playing professionally on the field perked his interest," writes Paul Dehner with the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Chris Trapasso with NFL.com sent a tweet this week that the Bengals "were most impressed" by edge rushers Terrell Hartsfield (University of Cincinnati) and Michigan State's Marcus Rush (Moeller). Interest in Rush has been known since mid-March when Michigan State held their annual pro day.
The Cincinnati Bengals sent linebackers coach Matt Burke and according to MLive.com beat writer Mike Griffith, he was working with defensive end Marcus Rush as a linebacker (because we're all graduates from the David Pollak school of position transformation). "The 6-foot-2, 251-pound Rush is considered undersized for defensive end in the NFL," writes Griffin, "and on Tuesday the Cincinnati Bengals' linebackers coach was on hand to work him out at the position."
"He plays his tail off,'' McShay said of Rush during the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he generated a shared sack and was disruptive all afternoon. "I sat with him in an interview room at Michigan State in East Lansing earlier this year, (and) he looks like a regular dude on campus. He puts on shoulder pads and a helmet, and he will absolutely eat you up as an offensive lineman.''
Senior analyst Gil Brandt observed:
Marcus Rush (6-2 1/4, 247) played defensive end during his time at Michigan State, but worked out at linebacker during the pro day. Rush ran the 40 in 4.69 and 4.74 seconds. He had a 34-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-9 broad jump. He did the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.24 (seconds) and the three-cone drill in 6.75 seconds. He performed 24 strength lifts.
Rush, as a defensive end for Michigan State, generated 18.5 sacks as a four-year player, adding 37.5 tackles for loss. In reality, he would address two needs -- pass rusher and depth at linebacker (if not eventual starter).
The local pro day workout list:
- DL Camaron Beard, Cincinnati
- RB Dominque Brown, Louisville (Winton Woods HS)
- OL Tyreek Burwell, Cincinnati
- TE Jake Golic, Cincinnati
- DL Brad Harrah, Cincinnati
- DL Terrell Hartsfield, Cincinnati
- RB Domonique Hayden, Thomas More
- QB Conner Hempel, Harvard (Ryle HS)
- QB Andrew Hendrix, Miami-Ohio (Moeller HS)
- LB Jordan Hicks, Texas (Lakota West HS)
- DL Jerrell Jordan, Cincinnati
- OL Eric Lefeld, Cincinnati
- QB Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati
- LB Jeff Luc, Cincinnati
- OL Dominc Mainello, Cincinnati
- OL Greg Mancz, Toledo (Anderson HS)
- TE John Peters, Mount Saint Joseph (Lakota West HS)
- WR Leonard Riston, Mount Saint Joseph (Withrow HS)
- DL Marcus Rush, Michigan State (Moeller HS)
- OL Kevin Schloemer, Cincinnati (Lakota West HS)
- DL Nick Seither, Georgetown (Ky.) College (Badin HS)
- LB Nick Temple, Cincinnati
- TE Alex Welch, Miami-Ohio (Elder HS)
- DB Howard Wilder, Cincinnati
- WR Tyler Williams, Akron (Colerain HS)