Pro Days must be exhausting for NFL scouts. I counted 142 Pro Days on this schedule. By the time scouts make it to Jonesboro, 140 Pro Days will have already been conducted. The only Pro Day remaining is Georgia Southern's, scheduled for the next day (which will likely inspire some SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST! tweets).
If you want to get an idea what a Pro Day is like, this Monday Morning Quarterback article offers a fairly clear window. Mostly, it's a lot of dudes with stopwatches. If you're an athlete, you get to perform all the circus tricks: bench press, the 40, vertical jumping, sword swallowing and chainsaw juggling.
CBS Sports lists six Red Wolves on their 2016 NFL Draft Prospects List, but only 4 of those six are scheduled to perform on Pro Day (Michael Gordon and Chris Stone are not expected to attend). Because zero Arkansas State Red Wolves were invited to the NFL Combine, A-State Pro Day is the one chance for most of these players to shine before NFL Scouts. (TE Darion Griswold did receive some valuable PT at the Reese's Senior Bowl.) Here's who's looking to thrill and amaze at Red Wolves Pro Day, to be held indoors at the amazing A-State SAC.
Darion Griswold, TE (12th TE, 220th overall)
The 6'3", 253lb behemoth has nice hands and moves well, but he's known more for his blocking (and is famous for this). Because Fredi Knighten's style of play required more bodily protection, Gris' pass-catching abilities were largely underused at A-State. He tallied only 187 yards on 13 receptions in 2015. A better representation of Griswold's playmaking skills came in 2013, when he tallied 3 TDs on 24 catches and 312 yards. The Gris can catch. The Gris can block. And if needed, the Gris can tote the rock (FW to the 6:05 mark).
J.D. McKissic, WR (92nd WR, 705th overall)
It's a damn shame that J.D. isn't ranked higher, because the 5'10" 193 receiver was one of the best to put on a Red Wolves uni. McKissic, the SBC record holder for receptions (289), exploded onto the Sun Belt scene in 2012 when one-and-done coach Gus Malzahn and QB Ryan Aplin fed the Alabama native 103 receptions for 1,022 yards and five TDs. J.D. is versatile, too, serving as the team's primary kick and punt returner in 2013 and 2014. Watch J.D. McKissic tear apart Idaho in every way imaginable (4:48).
Rocky Hayes, CB (91st CB, 929th Overall)
Rocky began his A-State career as a super-fast all purpose offensive threat (he was actually second on the team in rushing in 2012), but he quickly evolved to become one of the most lethal cover backs of arguably the most exciting defense in Red Wolves history. Hayes finishes his A-State career 10th on the Sun Belt's all-time INT list (10), including a conference high 6 picks in 2015. You can enjoy one of those six INTs by watching these highlights of A-State's victory over the Appalachian St. Mountaineers (2:50).
Tres Houston, WR (145th WR, 983rd Overall)
The circus catch against Missouri made him famous, but acrobatic plays was routine for Tres in J-Town. Houston (6'2", 188lbs) led the Sun Belt in 2015 with 10 TD hauls, good for 5th most all time in the Sun Belt. Houston was A-State's go-to big play threat, averaging 12.9 yards per catch in 2014 and 17.1 yards in 2015. If anyone on the Red Wolves roster is undervalued in this year's NFL draft, it's Tres Houston. Watch him stun the Missouri Tigers with this insane catch in the end zone.
Tragically Not Ranked
It won't be long before A-State fans truly comprehend the greatness of Fredi Knighten, who led the Red Wolves to some of the program's most memorable wins. Generously listed at 5'11", Knighten isn't a prototypical QB. But he has a surprisingly strong arm and first-class wheels. In fact, Fredi's legs made the A-State rushing attack almost impossible to contain. In 2014, he scored 11 times on 779 yards rushing (in addition to tossing 24 TDs). Fredi's production fell in 2015 thanks to injuries that took him completely out of three games. But he still managed to hurl 19 TD passes and add 400 yards on the ground. The dude is tough and he's a competitor. Check out Fredi's gutty performance against Utah State in 2014.
Booker Mays, WR
Booker is immortalized for his lead role as The Fainting Goat, a classic trick play that didn't even work. But Mays was more than just a decoy. The 5'11" speedster only caught 7 passes in 2015, be he hauled in 4 TD passes in 2014. Booker is used to overcoming the odds. He was a walk-on athlete for Bryan Harsin in 2013 before Blake Anderson awarded him a scholarship. Booker always did anything that was asked of him. Let's honor him with one last Fainting Goat.