Ah the NFL Combine, when potential NFL draftees are measured against each other while wearing disturbingly tight shirts. It doesn't matter where you played, who you played against or how tall they want to pretend you are in the media guide, this is for real.
And this year, Underdogs are making the most of their chance to become Combine stars. Aside from an impressive performance from a Division III offensive lineman, small school tight ends showed out as well.
MyCole Pruitt, SIU: Pruitt put a major exclamation mark on his combine workout by finishing as a top performer in five of the six categories measured.
Stars = top performer. MyCole Pruitt was the only tight end with five. #Salukis #NFL #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/KofwGlFxer— Saluki Football (@SIU_Football) February 20, 2015
The former Saluki was a four-year starter who left behind a ton of school and conference records. Not bad for a guy who had no FBS offers out of high school. Part of that is because Pruitt didn't play football at all until the ninth grade, but still.
Pruitt's 4.58 40-yard dash was tops among all tight ends, as was his 38-inch vertical jump. At 6-foot-2 he's a little short though. We'll see if the combine numbers boost his draft stock.
Pruitt's pro day is March 17.
Wes Saxton, South Alabama:
Official 40 times for tight ends: MyCole Pruitt at 4.58 and Wes Saxton at 4.65 were only ones under 4.7.— Mike Huguenin (@MikeHuguenin) February 20, 2015
Yep, the two fastest tight ends both hail from non-P5 schools. Saxton is USA's first player to even appear at the NFL combine. He battled injuries during the 2014 season, catching just 20 passes for 155 yards, but could be a late-round pick.
Nick Boyle, Delaware:
Boyle rounds out the Underdog contingent after ending his career with the Blue Hens. Boyle had a mixed day with a slow 40 measured against fast times in the 20-yard shuttle and the 60-yard shuttle. He could have an in with the Philadelphia Eagles as his offensive coordinator at Delaware worked with Chip Kelly for years when the two were at New Hampshire. Thus, the offense he played in during college is quite similar to Kelly's system.
Boyle is also taller than Saxton and Pruitt, measuring at 6-foot-6. While he also impressed at the Senior Bowl, it remains to be seen what will happen come draft day.