March 15, 2012
Sixteen Cavaliers from the 2011 team and one former player took part in the annual Pro Timing Day on Thursday. Scouts from all 32 NFL teams and one Canadian squad made the trip to Charlottesville to test the draft-eligible athletes' skills.
The day started at the brand new McCue Center weight room on UVa grounds with weigh-ins and measurements. Players were then tested in the vertical and broad jumps and bench press. Outside on the practice fields, a pair of shuttle runs, a cone drill and the 40-yard dash came next. The showcase concluded with position drills and individual workouts.
After competing in the NFL Combine, All-ACC defensive back Chase Minnifield was among the popular recruits, garnering interest from a number of attending scouts. The fifth year senior ran an unofficial 4.5 and 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and did some position work but did not complete the agility drills, calling a sore hamstring the reason.
Defensive end Cam Johnson also received an invitation to the NFL Combine and used Thursday to test in areas he didn't compete in in Indianapolis.
"I think I have versatility and that's one thing that teams are looking for," said Johnson. "I can play in space and play with my hand in the dirt as well. I came to show them and put my best foot forward and I think I did that today."
Other competitors included wide receivers Kris Burd and Matt Snyder. Both coming off recent injuries, they used Thursday as a way to build up their stock.
"Not being completely healthy for the bowl game," said Snyder (ankle). "I wanted to come out here and show myself and everybody that I'm back to where I was before the injury and I'm ready to go."
Burd, who had surgery on his shoulder after the Chick-fil-A Bowl, only competed in the on-field position drills Thursday but feels he is capable of contributing to a pro roster.
"The dedication I have for the game and the passion I play with," said Burd. "It can't really go unrecognized so I'm looking forward to hearing from them and see where it goes."
Offensive lineman Austin Pasztor felt like he did all he could to set himself up for a future career.
"I think I performed pretty well," he said at the end of the 3-hour event. "I set a lot of personal records today in most of the events so I'm very happy with that. Feedback [from scouts] is gonna come a little bit later on."
Players that attended Thursday's workout included: Kris Burd, Matt Conrath, Chris Hinkebein, Jimmy Howell, Cam Johnson, Dom Joseph, Ray Keys, Rodney McLeod, Anthony Mihota, Max Milien, Chase Minnifield, Corey Mosley, Austin Pasztor, Robert Randolph, Matt Snyder, Aaron Taliaferro and a senior from the 2010 seaosn, Joe Torchia.