The BYU Cougars held their annual Pro Day on Thursday. 32 scouts from 24 NFL teams, and one from the CFL were in attendance to get a glimpse at 13 former college players, including first-round lock, Ziggy Ansah.
Today's participants from BYU included: DL Ziggy Ansah, OL Braden Brown, OL Braden Hansen, DB DeQuan Everett, DL Romney Fuga, DB Preston Hadley, DS Reed Hornung, LB Brandon Ogletree, LB Uona Kaveinga, DB Joe Sampson and P Riley Stephenson.
DB Cache Morgan from Dixie State and WR O'Neill Chambers from Nebraska-Kearney (former Cougar) also took part in today's drills.
With the NFL Draft less than four weeks away, the players performed drills ranging from the 40-yard dash to weight lifting. Ziggy and Braden Brown only participated in the position drills, deciding to let their combine numbers stand.
Ansah was worked extremely hard by one particular scout. The Raider's representative spent a lot of time with Ziggy throughout the two-hour workouts. Oakland just happens to have the third overall pick in April's draft.
Since the 2012 football season ended, Ziggy's game and story has been one of the most talked about aspects of the upcoming draft. For a guy that doesn't necessarily seek the spotlight, it could be overwhelming. Ziggy, however is taking it in stride. "I'm just taking it day-by-day," Ansah responded. "You never know what's going to happen in the near future, but I'm just enjoying every single minute of it."
While Ziggy is guaranteed to hear his name called by Commissioner Goddell, offensive lineman Braden Brown is also expected to be drafted. Brown was noticeably leaner than he was during last season. Braden has put a lot of work into improving his athleticism, but he knows there is still work to be done.
"I'm definitely not in football shape," Brown said. "I could tell during the o-line specific drills we did today. Now's the time -- all the testing is over, now it's time to get in football shape."
Preston Hadley, Brandon Ogletree and Uona Kaveinga are not expected to be drafted but based on their performance on Thursday, may have helped themselves get noticed. Ogletree ran a 4.61 40, which is an impressive time for a guy that weighs 237.
One of the more intriguing stories of Pro Day was Joe Sampson's participation. Sampson was released from the team back in November after he and a few other teammates were involved in a late-night altercation at a Provo restaurant.
Sampson said that Coach Mendenhall told him when he left that he would be allowed back for Pro Day -- so he has spent his time away from the Cougars to prepare for today's opportunity.
"It means a lot," Sampson said. "I still had an opportunity that I was looking for; what I came out here for was to play football. I got a chance to show scouts what I could do."
Players will now spend the remaining weeks before the draft training and visiting teams that want to work them out privately. The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25th.
You can listen to all of the post-workout interviews by clicking on the audio below...
OL Braden Brown
LB Brandon Ogletree
DB Preston Hadley
DB Joe Sampson