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by Jeff Reynolds, BYU Athletic Communications
PROVO, Utah (March 21, 2007) -- With just over a month to go before the 2007 NFL Draft, scouts and coaches from 18 different NFL teams gathered in Provo Wednesday to weigh, measure, analyze and evaluate 14 draft-eligible players from the Cougars' Mountain West Conference championship team.
The players were put through a series of tests designed to measure strength, speed, quickness and agility. Cornerback Justin Robinson impressed the scouts with the best 40-yard dash time, the best vertical jump and the top standing broad jump. Robinson was clocked near 4.3 seconds in the 40, and had a 37.5-inch vertical jump and the longest standing long jump of the day at 10-feet-4 inches.
Offensive lineman Eddie Keele recorded 43 reps in the 225-pound bench press. Texas' Justin Blalock and Texas Tech's Manuel Ramirez had the most reps during February's NFL Combine in Indianapolis with 40. Coming off a season-ending knee injury just six months ago, Keele also ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 5.08 seconds.
Fellow offensive lineman Jake Kuresa showed up at today's workout at a slim and trim 322 pounds -- the result of a regimented training schedule.
"I haven't weighted 322 since I was a junior in high school," Kuresa said. "I want to be able to show teams that I can play at 315, 320 or even 330. If a team needs me at 330, I can get there. If they need me at 320, I can play there too. I've worked my tail off. I feel like I've done everything I can do at this point. Now, it's just a waiting game."
Kuresa recorded 35 reps in the 225-pound bench press and ran the 40 in 5.1 seconds.
Running back Curtis Brown ran a 4.6 in the 40 and had an impressive vertical jump of 36 inches. Brown also spent time after the workout to run pass routs out of the backfield for some of the scouts.
While he did not participate in the testing, due to a solid performance at the NFL Combine, quarterback John Beck threw for several coaches and scouts at the conclusion of the workout. Beck showed his arm strength, his ability to throw on the run, his soft touch and his accuracy with only two dropped balls during the entire workout.
Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel, along with Kansas City Chiefs' assistant head coach Dick Curl, were on hand to watch Beck throw.
"I've been anxious for this time," Beck said after his workout. "This is something I've been looking forward to for a long time. With today, and my workouts at the combine, I feel like I've made the most of my opportunities. I told one of the teams I met with at the combine that I thought I was one of those quarterbacks who might have flown in under the radar. I told them I felt like I was going to surprise a lot of people."
Beck said with his workouts out of the way, and the draft still a few weeks away, he is going to spend some time with his wife as they await the arrival of their first child.
"Shopping with my wife for a baby seat and other things like that has really helped me balance things out. I could easily spend all day thinking about football, but with our first child due in just a couple of weeks, we've had to do a lot of things to get ready."
Other draft hopefuls, including linebackers Cameron Jensen, Aaron Wagner and tight ends Daniel Coats and Jonny Harline were among the players who participated in today's workouts.
The 2007 NFL Draft will be held on April 28-29.