Due to the quantity of quality NFL talent that they produce, Michigan State is among the top destinations for scouts and coaches during the predraft phase when annual pro days are held. Every NFL team sent a representative to Michigan State's Pro Day on Wednesday and upwards to 53 personnel staff, including Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer were on hand.
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 observes:
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).
Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard was also in East Lansing, observing former teammate Trae Waynes, who he thinks is the best defensive back (not just cornerback) in the 2015 NFL draft. "I think he just sealed the deal," said Dennard via the Detroit Free Press. "I think he just showed all the scouts and coaches who came here to witness the pro day that he's the best cornerback, the best defensive back, coming into the draft."