Only the NFL can captivate a former president and NBA greats in other sports. In a workout.
A pro day “wow” performance greatly elevates a prospect’s profile, and it fuels the hype machine while heaping pressure on teams that hold the top picks of the May 8 draft. But that’s the fun of all of this because it’s added proof of how popular football is. A pro day features athletes who engage in a number of drills, sort of a meat-market to a horde of scouts, coaches and executives. It’s unique because pro days for name prospects are now televised, unlike any NBA, baseball or hockey predraft workouts.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M had his pro-day workout last month, one of the most hyped in history, and certainly the first to have former President George H.W. Bush on hand. After watching on TV, LeBron James tweeted that Manziel was a superstar in the making.
Manziel, never one to conform to policy, didn’t perform in the traditional T-shirt and shorts. He went through drills in shoulder pads and a helmet, his confidence speaking, and his dazzling display added to his luster.
This week it was South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney who impressed a sea of media and NFL coaches and scouts. The 6-foot-5, 266-pound defensive end prompted ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. to say this was a once-in-a-generation prospect, ala Andrew Luck. Kiper added that if Clowney isn’t a future Hall of Famer, he has only himself to blame.
And perhaps, the media build-up of perceived greatness would be to blame, too. Stand and bow, Mel.
– Joe Davidson
Does the media make too much of NFL pro-day workouts?
• No, more coverage the better
• Yes, it’s too much
• Who cares?
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