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Pro day tidbits

Memorial Stadium was bustling with activity today as a handful of Cal’s potential pro prospects went through drills for NFL personnel. All 32 NFL teams were represented, including Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards and new Raiders wide receivers coach James Lofton.

Wide receiver Robert Jordan arguably had the biggest day. Depending on who you ask, he ran anywhere between a high 4.3 and a low 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. This was big for Jordan because he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine. Jordan said he thought there was a perception that he was more of a 4.6 receiver, and scouts there certainly took notice. Jordan seemed to create the most buzz of any Cal player working out. There seemed to be some question going in if Jordan would be drafted at all, but it seems to me that he is a solid second-day pick.

Fellow receiver Lavelle Hawkins also helped his cause with what was reported to be a 4.48 40. Hawkins had a disappointing 4.53 at the NFL combine and had hoped to improve on that Tuesday. Mission accomplished. Hawkins had really increased his stock at the Senior Bowl in January but his 40 time at the combine may have set him back a bit. Tuesday’s performance may have gotten him back on track. It looks like Hawkins could go in the second or third round.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson didn’t run the 40 Tuesday. You wouldn’t either if you ran a 4.35 at the combine, the fastest of any receiver. He did go through some agility drills. Jerry Rice, who has become Jackson’s personal trainer in preparation for the draft, was on hand.

Rice, whose work ethic as a pro has been well-documented, said Jackson has been receptive to his teachings so far.

“I told him, ‘You come on board, you’ll have to work’,” Rice said. “His attitude is all about working, going out there and putting the time in and making the sacrifices. I want to teach him that he has to be a professional off the football field, that there is a certain standard that you have to go by. If he doesn’t listen, I’ll just have to work him a little harder.”

Running back Justin Forsett seemed a bit disappointed with his 40-time of 4.59. Forsett isn’t considered a speed burner but he said he had been running under 4.5 in personal workouts. Still, Forsett seemed optimistic about draft day, and singled out Philadelphia as one team that seems especially interested.

Among others who participated Tuesday were offensive lineman Mike Gibson and Brian De La Puente. Gibson reportedly opened some eyes at the NFL combine and Tedford said many teams are looking at him as a guard. Tight end Craig Stevens, who also had a strong combine, was believed to have another good workout Tuesday. Safety Thomas DeCoud, who ran a 4.5 at the combine, didn’t run the 40 Tuesday but participated in some of the other drills.

Another guy who worked out was defensive lineman Matt Malele. It was nice to see Malele out there, despite the fact that he’s probably a long shot to be drafted. But if Malele can get completely healthy, he could hook on somewhere as a free agent. If nothing else, it was nice to see Malele up and running again after missing the last three games of last year with knee problems, something that bothered him all year.

Many of Cal’s current players were on hand to watch and support their former teammates. A couple of the players I talked to, including linebacker Zack Follett, said the chemistry of the team has never been better. Of course, many of them said that before last season as well. But Tedford said the team has been spending more time off the field talking, holding meetings, getting things out in the open, etc. It became apparent by the end of last season that the chemistry wasn’t optimal, and it appears everyone in the program recognizes the need to get on the same page.

A bit of very good news for Cal fans – running back Jahvid Best was running drills with Shane Vereen and Michael Calvin up in the concourse with a ball machine. The trio was taking turns running pass routes while another ran the machine. The fact that Best was running and cutting is a good sign as he continues to recover from his hip injury toward the end of last season.

I chatted briefly with Alex Mack, who said he was looking forward to the battle for the two open spots alongside him on the offensive line. He seemed encouraged by the depth the Bears have on the line. He also modestly said he is going to compete for his job, although he joked “but I don’t plan on losing it.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • torchbear

    the news about Best is fantastic! Good to see him working with Calvin and Vereen, our skill trio of the future! How hard was Best able to run out there?? Hopefully he can be 100% by the fall.

    Congrats to the bears who participated in pro day, especially Jordan. Here’s to hoping everyone gets a shot at an NFL career.

    Looking forward to spring ball coverage, keep up the great work JO!

  • morencsarecoming

    Here is what I don’t understand. This team had 3 potential NFL bound wide receivers, a TE who appears to have a pro career ahead of him, a RB that one could conclude the same about yet it went through the greatest meltdown ever in college football history. Can someone explain it all?

  • CBKWit

    A) Not even close to the “greatest meltdown” in college football history. Maybe in the top 5 of LAST YEAR.

    B) QB got hurt.

    C) How did your team UC Davs do last year, amy?

  • http://yahoo.com bayareabear

    Morencs…,

    You really have toooo much spare time on your hands. You should seriously consider taking up a hobby! Try reading “Chicken Soup for the How to Stop Being a Hater Soul” it will work wonders for you!

  • dball

    Why bother responding to morencsarecoming? We let her win every time we reply.

    I think I first reported Jerry Rice working with DJ over a month ago, I’m glad I was right (I’ll pat myself on the back now) :-)

    Let’s keep this board positive and value-added with attention to JO’s posts and our own inside info, and not so much attention paid to those who want to detract from our program.

  • Jan K. Oski

    Dball,

    I would agree with you if that would stop the sicko, but she has been stalking this forum for too long to think that she’ll go away if we don’t pay attention to her. I’m convinced that J.O. or someone else will have enough and delete her messages, so long as we in mass continue to attack her.

    Nice job on the Rice connection, but it was on Rivals, first! :P

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    big MACK is going to bring the RIMINGTON to STRAWBERRY CANYON.

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    NYAN BOATENG is going to be 1st rounder just like THA 1.

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    everyone better be out in MEMORIAL on APRIL 12 for the practice.

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    morencsarecomin YOU ARE A BUM!!!!! Go back to your cardboard condo on SKID ROW….

  • morencsarecoming

    This is a good read. List of programs with NCAA infractions.

    http://blog.al.com/bn/2008/03/southeastern_conference_at_75.html

    Cheaters never prosper.

  • Morencsarecoming

    I am in Vail skiing for the next couple of days. So you will all miss me here (may be I will post from Vail). My uncle owns a bunch of property here and let’s our family stay whenever we want.

  • CBKWit

    Not going to reply to me, coward?

  • Morencsarecoming

    CBKWit Says:
    March 13th, 2008 at 8:54 am
    Not going to reply to me, coward?
    ————–

    No point. You & your Berkley friends are not in my league. I know more about Berkley, Stanford, pucla and USC football than all of you combined.

    If you know anything about football, then answer these. Without going to Google – what is a rooster block? An Okie defense? Who runs drag patterns? From the center position number the holes. What kind of an offense did Jess Hill run at SC? What was Kapp’s favorite play in the 1958 season? Who was the all-American catcher on the SC team in ’67 and how did he relate to the Glove Man? ID the four positions in Red Sanders backfield and how did the O line lineup? How did that pucla team break the huddle?

    All that for starters.

  • CBKWit

    Here are a couple questions for you, Amy.

    If you know so much about football, why do you consistently exaggerate everything related to cal and usc to fit your own distorted view of the world? Sure, Cal has its ups and downs, but according to you, everything related to the Cal football program and the university, ever, has been terrible, while everything related to usc, ever, has been perfect. I can handle reality and can admit both good and bad things about Cal (and usc and everything else). If you can’t handle living in reality, get an xbox and stop annoying us. If you set the difficulty to “easy”, I’m sure you can play Cal’s opponent every week and win, and then you will have your own perfect little world.

    Second, why do you always dodge my questions and responses? I’m guessing because they don’t fit neatly into your “reality.” In your reality, a jc in folsom is superior to Cal. Are you actually the delusional, or are you just dishonest? Maybe I’ll get around to answering your irrelevant posturing once you actually respond to relevant questions here and everywhere. In other words, I’ll treat you with respect once you stop being a coward.

    Look, I’m sorry you didn’t get into Cal and I’m sorry you hate your dad. Go see a therapist.

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    Morencsarecoming YOUR A BUM. go hold your daddy’s hand. stand on your two feet and stop holding your uncles’ hand on his property. To admit your a pathetic, unable, worthless FEMALE who needs to be taken care of by your parents speaks volumes. Enroll at fucla and ask them who USC lost to in 06′ & 07′? oh yea it was fucla 13-7 & the greatest debacle every LOSING TO A 40 pt UNDERDOG at HOME. that’s bum status just like U. I hope you end up like SONNY BONO and meet a TREE.