NFL scouts swarm to Knoxville to evaluate talent

Jalen Reeves-Maybin prepares to run his 40-yard dash at Pro Day in Knoxville on Friday. Photo: WTVC

Just about every NFL team had a scout or coach in Knoxville today.

It's a drastic difference compared to the last two years.

The scouts had their eyes trained on certain Vols and also looking for the diamonds in the rough.

They measured every inch and every pound of each player.

Next, it was time to see how strong these NFL hopefuls actually are.

Projected first round defensive end Derek Barnett benched 225 pounds 20 times.

On Thursday, the Mocs Keionta Davis, who plays the same position as Barnett, busted out 30 reps.

But Barnett sparkled in the agility cone drills.

Not so much in the 40 yard dash where he posted a 4.9. Barnett said, "I was most pleased with my field work. I just felt better. I had a lot of pep in my step. Lot more energy. 40 time wasn't the best. It is what it is. I think I play fast on the field."

Some draft boards have pegged Alvin Kamara as a potential first rounder. Kamara looked fluid in the cone drill.

Defensive back Malik Foreman turned some heads with an unofficial 4.37 second 40-yard dash. "After running that 40, I think I kind of improved my stock and just looking through my drills. I think I did pretty smooth so I think I helped myself," Foreman said.

Scouts looked in closely on Cam Sutton, who appeared calm and fluid in his drills.

The same was true for Jason Croom, the big receiver who has beefed up to 252 pounds to play tight end. "I really feel I came out here and did well in everything that they put us through. I really got to show that I've been working my route running," Croom said.

Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin knew he had to impress, especially with his history of injuries. Reeves-Maybin said he feels good. "That's one of the biggest question marks on me is my injury and how I'm recovering. I've done a good job rehabbing."

The last man off the field Friday afternoon was Josh Dobbs.

He looked very good and completed a sensastional bomb for his last throw.

The buzz is building around him. For Dobbs, it's pretty cool and could lead to an NFL future. "It continues to grow from the Senior Bowl, putting a great week together down in Mobile to going to the combine," Dobbs said. Then, he came "home" for his last display. "I had a lot of fun and I know my guys did as well. I was glad to go out like this."

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