After compiling a 8-5 record and competing in a bowl game, the Houston Cougars will be losing talent on both sides of the ball to graduation and early declaration. However, that talent performed for the last time as college athletes, Thursday, in front of men who will decide their NFL future. According to Houston Football's twitter account, 22 teams sent scouts to evaluate Houston's draft hopefuls.
Headlining the 16 players present at Houston's Pro Day were WR Deontay Greenberry, DT Joey Mbu and OLB Efrem Oliphant.
Deontay Greenberry operated as Houston's number one option at receiver in both 2013 and last season. Greenberry provided both John O'Korn and Greg Ward, Jr. a reliable target that can break plays open with the ball in his hands. In his final collegiate game against Pittsburgh, he hauled in two receiving touchdowns and carried his emerging NFL appeal into the offseason.
He entered Houston's Pro Day at 211 pounds; 11 more than his playing weight in 2014 . As a 6'1" physical specimen, Greenberry registered a 35.5-inch vertical jump which topped all performers. Even NFL teams acknowledged the feat:
.@UHCougarFB WR Deontay Greenberry has some major spring in his step. #BigAirInSlowMo https://t.co/uRmotES5XH— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) March 26, 2015
The impressive day continued for the former Houston wideout.
Greenberry paced the field in both the 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle in his first attempts at the drill after his combine absence. Houston Texans Analyst John Harris noted that Greenberry's 21 reps at the bench press would have been second best at the Combine if he competed. While the wideout shined, his teammate, Joey Mbu, saw his draft stock fail to ascend.
Underdog Dynasty previously highlighted Mbu's underwhelming showing at the 2015 NFL Combine, and Pro Day validated the DT's physical deficiencies compared to other DT prospects. However, his 5.49 40-yard dash and 4.84 20-yard shuttle times were a slight improvement for the gargantuan athlete.
The hometown Texans decided to give Mbu a workout following Pro Day in an attempt to see continuous offseason gains and how he performs as a 3-4 DT or NT in their system.
Along with Greenberry, scouts took in another scintillating Pro Day performance from OLB Efrem Oliphant. The tackling machine, who finished second in the conference in the category, proved his play on film was just another facet of his game that he excels in. His performance at various drills Thursday gave scouts a reason to believe in the total package.
His three-cone drill time of 6.99 seconds ranked first out of the participants. The Houston product also finished second in the broad jump and recorded a 4.7 seconds flat time at the 40-yard dash. At 6'1" and a respectable 228 pounds, Oliphant offers teams a 4-3 OLB with consistent production and playmaking speed in the later rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Out of the 16 participants and five schools that were represented, both Greenberry and Oliphant churned out the strongest performances of the day and offers the greatest chance a Houston Cougar gets drafted in 2015.