Mar 4, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan defensive lineman David Ojabo (DL36) talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Combine.  Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Michigan’s David Ojabo tore Achilles at pro day

Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo sustained a torn Achilles during his pro day workout, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.

Per ESPN, Ojabo is expected to return to play in approximately six months. A September return means he would miss the first few weeks of the regular season.

Ojabo, who is regarded as a potential first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, clutched his leg during a pass-rush drill and needed assistance to exit the field in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior took to Twitter to deliver a message to his fans.

“God got me!! ima be back stronger than ever (heart emoji) all part of my story,” he wrote.

Ojabo registered 11 sacks and five forced fumbles this season as the Wolverines advanced to the College Football Playoff.

Raised in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ojabo didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school after moving to the United States.

He did not appear in any games for Michigan as a freshman in 2019 and registered just one tackle in six games in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Mar 5, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan defensive lineman David Ojabo (DL36) goes through drills during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s David Ojabo injured leg at pro day workout

Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo sustained an apparent left leg injury during his pro day workout on Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Ojabo, who is regarded as a potential first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, clutched his leg during a pass-rush drill and needed assistance to exit the field.

The severity of the injury was not immediately known.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior registered 11 sacks and five forced fumbles this season as the Wolverines advanced to the College Football Playoff.

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ojabo didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school after moving to the United States.

He did not appear in any games for Michigan as a freshman in 2019 and registered just one tackle in six games in 2020.

–Field Level Media

What's wrong with the QB Pro Days?

This past Tuesday, Florida State held their pro day for their outgoing senior prospects. The main attraction of the day was quarterback Jameis Winston, who appears to be the consensus top pick in the NFL Draft at the end of this month.
On March 12th, Oregon held their pro day and quarterback Marcus Mariota was the main attraction. Since Winston and Mariota are the only QB’s projected to go in the first round, these two workouts got a lot of publicity and were televised “live” on the NFL Network.
A year ago, there were four headline quarterbacks in Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. All four had big media driven pro days.
Pro days, as we know them, came about in the early 1980’s. Prospects were, at times, working out four and maybe five times a week for coaches and scouts. There were some days when a players would have scheduled two workouts for clubs in a single day. It got to be too much, and the school took control as they should have.
When schools first started to have pro days, they would schedule two or three for their players during the month of March. The problem was that if a player had a strong workout for clubs on the first scheduled day, his agent wouldn’t let him work out again. While that may have been good for the player, it was tough on clubs, because not every team sent a scout to all of the workouts. If the club missed the “good“ work out performance, they were out of luck.
Because of that, schools started going to just one pro day per year, and the system has worked fairly well. The purpose of the pro day is to let NFL scouts and coaches work with the prospects. They not only worked with the players who were at the combine but also the players who were not invited to Indy. Coaches were able to meet with the players, get some “board” work done and then do drills on the field that they felt were important in the evaluation process.
In the last ten years, that has changed, especially in regards to quarterbacks. Agents are now hiring a “quarterback guru” to prepare the QB prospect for both the Combine and his pro day. Not only is the guru helping the player prepare, he “runs the workout” at the pro days. The NFL coaches have virtually no say in what a QB prospect does at his pro day. They can only stand and watch.
What they are seeing is a heavily scripted work out. The guru sets up how many throws the prospect makes, what routes and receivers he will throw to, and usually has the player only make throws he does well. The script is practiced many times in the weeks leading up to the event so that the player performs at his best. It becomes almost a rehearsed workout. The problem is, football isn’t a rehearsed game. It is a game of instincts and reactions.
Because the NFL coaches have no say in what throws the prospect makes, it can be frustrating for them. The only thing they are getting out of the workout is what the “guru” wants them to see. In the case of Winston’s pro day, what was done was absurd.
Winston’s guru had him throw over 110 passes. That’s ridiculous! I’ve been to countless QB pro days and I have never seen a player make more than 65 throws. That is plenty, as he should be able to make every throw a scout or coach needs to see in 60-65 throws. Throwing an extra 50 passes is crazy and not necessary.
Because of these “scripted” workouts, teams who are interested in a QB have to go back and have a private workout. Both Winston and Mariota have had or will have a number of private workouts before the draft.
With a private workout, the team now “controls” the show. They might spend the whole day with the player including one or two meals and interviews. By spending that amount of time with the player, they get to know him much better and get a strong feel for his personality and work habits.
During the course of the day, they may spend an hour or so “interviewing” the player. If there are issues that need to be addressed, it is done then. Mainly, they get as good a feeling as they can about the players personality.
When the interviews are done, the coaches get the player in a classroom and put on the “board”. Here, they let him draw up some plays and walk the coach through the theory of the plays. The coach then will teach the player some of their own plays, erase the board, and then have the player come up and relate back to the coach what he was just taught.
This gives the coach the ability to see how the player learns and retains and how focused he is in a meeting. Once done in the meeting room, they go out to the field and then practice what they have learned. This part is important to a coach because the player has no idea what he is going to be asked to do. He has to react, and being that football is a reaction game, the coach gets a lot more out of the workout.
By the end of the day, the coach, scouts, and decision makers have a much better idea of what makes the player tick. They know if they want the opportunity to work with and coach the player. In short, the private workout answers a number of questions that weren’t answered at the pro day. It becomes much more significant in the overall evaluation process.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

2015 Pro Days Notebook Part II

Some schools with top prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft held their pro days this past week including Alabama and Oregon. In many cases, if the top players already performed the measurable drills at the combine and were satisfied with the result, then they only ran position drills for coaches. Still, there were some players who chose to replay some drills.
 
UCLA
Owamagbe Odighizuwa – DE – stayed with the results of his combine times. He looked good when working out as a defensive end, but when the linebacker coaches had him do some drops, he didn’t look as comfortable. I’m told that some clubs will still work him in private workouts as a linebacker just to get a better feel.
Eric Kendricks – LB – ran the 20 yard-shuttle and the 3-cone and did a nice job, with times of 4.15 and 7.18 respectively. Despite being bothered by a minor lower leg injury, he looked good. Some teams are a bit worried about his size (235) and feel he will be best as a 4-3 Will.
 
Alabama
Amari Cooper – WR – He redid the vertical jump and jumped 34”, not great but good enough. In his position workout he looked quick and smooth and caught all but one ball. If Cooper isn’t the first receiver drafted, something is wrong.
T.J Yeldon – RB Yeldon needed to run well and he did. He ran both 40’s in the 4.53 and then looked very good doing position drills for coaches,
Landon Collins – DS – Collins did not bench at the combine and then did 16 reps at the ‘Bama pro day. That s a very average number for his position. You would like to see him closer to 20 reps. Like the others he looked very good doing position drills.
Trey DePriest – LB – He didn’t help himself running both 40’s in the low 4.9’s.
 
USC
All the top prospects at USC ran nothing but positional drills at their workout. Leonard WIlliams, Buck Allen and Nelson Aglohor all looked impressive. Linebacker Hayes Pullard did run and averaged 4.69 for his two 40’s. His standing broad jump was a very unimpressive 8’10”.
 
Oklahoma
Dorial Green-Beckham – WR – He ran the 20 yards shuttle and the time of 4.35 was not good for the WR position. That can indicate tightness in the hips. He also had a 10’ LJ and a 33” VJ. While the long jump was good, many thought his vertical would be much better. His positional workout by all reports was impressive.
Jordan Phillips – DT – He only did positional drills and everyone I talked to came away impressed. He looked quick, strong and explosive.
The two offensive tackles Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson both ran the 3-cone drill and neither jumped out but they did look good doing positional drills.
 
Oregon
Marcus Mariota – QB –He threw in a scripted workout, often huddling before each series of throws. He threw a nice tight ball and showed the necessary arm strength but his ball placement and accuracy on the deeper throws was inconsistent at best.
Arik Armstead – DE – Stayed with the numbers he posted at Indy and just did position drills. His athleticism jumped out doing drills
Hroniss Grasu – OC – He helped himself, running a 5.03 in the 40 at 302 pounds.
 
Michigan
Devin Funchess – TE – At Indy he ran a disappointing 4.7 in the 40. There were reports that he ran as fast as 4.48 at the Michigan pro day this week, but people I talked to said it was much closer to 4.56. Still that is a drastic improvement. Just so you know, it’s not unusual that there are discrepancies between different scout’s times.
 
West Virginia
Kevin White – WR – He only did positional drills and looked like he has looked all year: very good. He is big, smooth, fast and athletic and will be either the first or second wide receiver drafted.
 
Ohio State
Michael Bennett – DT – The 297 pound 3-technique ran the 40 in 4.97 and 5.01. He also had a very impressive 35.5” vertical jump. He strained a hammy doing his second 40 and did no other measurable drills.
Devon Smith – ran the 3-cone in an outstanding 6.82 and stood on the rest of his Indy numbers. Scouts in attendance said he was inconsistent catching the ball while doing positional drills.
Jeff Heuerman – TE – Ran 4.81 and 4.84 in the 40. He also had a 34.5” vertical jump and a 10” long jump. He caught the ball well in drills.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

14 players that need to have a strong Pro Day

Now that the Combine is complete, the next phase in the evaluation process are the pro days. Starting next week, there will be numerous pro days Monday through Friday, through the month of March. When a club really wants to get up close and personal with a prospect, they will schedule a private workout with the player but we wont see many of these until after their school has it’s pro day.
The pro day is important for a number of reasons. First off, the players from a school who weren’t invited to the Combine get to workout in front of NFL evaluators. Every year there are about 35 players who did not get invited to the Combine who end up getting drafted.
Over the years, I have seen some drafted as high as the second round, but the majority of these players start coming off the board starting around the fourth round. While teams are interested in these players because of the way they played during the season, their performance on their pro day is also important in the evaluation process. These non-combine players have to have workout numbers better or similar to invited players at their position.
The pro days are also important for the players that didn’t live up to expectations at the Combine. The players who are happy with their Combine results will not take part in the measurable events such as the 40, the 20 yard shuttle, the 3-cone and the jumps. They will only do the position-specific drills for coaches after the measurable drills are finished.
There are other players who feel they need to improve on some of their combine times in order to keep their value high. After going through the Combine results, here are some players who may want to redo some of their drills.
Ameer Abdullah – Nebraska –  While his jumps and agilities were excellent, he only ran 4.61. He may want to run the 40 again.
Melvin Gordon –  Wisconsin – The same holds true for Gordon. I think every scout in the league felt Gordon would break 4.45. When he ran 4.52 that was a bit disappointing.
Duke Johnson – Miami – He is another running back who ran slower than expected. He may also want to try and improve on his 33.5″ vertical jump. Johnson did not run any of the agilities, so he needs to run those also.
Trae Waynes – Michigan State – While Waynes ran fast, his agility times were slow compared with the other top corner prospects. Slow times in the agility drills can mean a prospect is tight in the knees or hips.
Marcus Peters –  Washington – Marcus looks fast on tape, but he didn’t run fast at Indy. 4.54 is not first round corner speed. His other drills were good enough.
Kevin Johnson – Wake Forest – With Kevin, it’s the same story as Peters, excellent jumps and agilities and an average 40 time.
Ladarius Gunter – Miami – Most felt he would run in the low 4.5’s. He ran in the 4.60’s. He has to run again.
Quinten Rollins – Miami (Ohio) – He ran much slower than anticipated, the problem he may have is Miami (Ohio) does not have an indoor facility and he may want to wait until early April before he attempts to run again.
Danny Shelton – Washington – Every one want to compare Shelton to Ngata, but Ngata ran a 5.13 at Indy and Shelton ran in the 5.6’s. He needs to improve his speed or his value will drop a little.
Justin Hardy – East Carolina – I never thought Hardy was a burner, but his average time of 4.58 is not quite fast enough.
Vince Mayle – Washington State – The same holds true with Mayle as he ran 4.67.
Maxx Williams – Minnesota –  His speed was disappointing in that he ran 4.85, 4.77. He needs to run in the 4.6’s if he wants to be considered as a first round candidate.
Paul Dawson – TCU – No one thought he was going to be a speedster, but 4.95 is way too slow. I would think he will be first in line to run at TCU’s pro day.
Shaq Thompson – Washington – Shaq plays like he can run in the mid 4.5’s. His 40 times were 4.72 and 4.69. If I were him, I’d run again.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe