Though Deonte Williams is planning to attend an NFL regional combine in Seattle next weekend, he won’t be running the 40-yard dash there.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound former Cal Poly running back hit the time he needed at the Mustangs’ NFL Pro Day on Wednesday.
Williams, who rushed for 1,547 yards in 2012, the second-highest single-season total in program history, ran the 40 in 4.53 seconds, leading one scout to declare he was in the right neighborhood.
“I’m satisfied with my time,” said Williams, who is hoping to be drafted by the NFL in April and will likely garner a free-agent contract if he is not taken in the
seven-round event. “This is what I’ve been preparing for. I know I can play. Scouts know I can play. I just needed to come here and show the speed.
“I have a positive outlook on it. Whatever happens in April happens.”
Two NFL scouts were there, one from the Oakland Raiders and another from the San Diego Chargers. So was Cal Poly Hall of Fame running back Gary Davis, a 1976 draft pick of the Miami Dolphins. Even recent Super Bowl champion Asa Jackson came out to lend support just a year removed from going through his own workouts at the Upper Sports Complex.
“This day is a big day for our guys,” Mustangs head coach Tim Walsh said, “because the film says X amount of things about them as a football player, but they’re all looking to see how they match up from a statistical standpoint, size, speed, strength, change of direction, all the things you’re seeing here today.”
Williams had the fastest 40 time of the six players that tested, including receiver Brandon Michalkiewicz (4.61), cornerback Nico Molino (4.63), quarterback Andre Broadous (4.71), fullback Quentin Greenlaw (4.71) and linebacker Kennith Jackson (4.74). The players also performed the broad jump, vertical leap, 60-yard shuttle, short shuttle and three-cone drill before adjourning to the weight room for bench press reps.
Jackson, a four-year starter at linebacker, was also satisfied with his 40 time. The 6-0, 230-pound fifth-year senior said a time on the lower end of the 4.7 range was what scouts were looking for from him.
An all-conference first-team selection this past season, all Jackson wants is a chance to play at the next level.
“As a kid being in this position, you always want to get drafted,” Jackson said. “I’d love a team to believe in me enough to pick me as one of the top players to get in the draft, no matter what round that would be in. If that doesn’t happen, so be it. Hopefully just looking to get a team tryout and show what I can do.”
Broadous came into the pro day on the heels of an appearance in an all-star game for lower-level college players in Akron, Ohio, last week. Though the 6-0, 201-pound option quarterback anticipated having to change positions as a professional, coaches at the showcase kept him exclusively at quarterback, Broadous said.
A career in the NFL would likely necessitate a change to running back or safety, but Broadous said he has an invitation to a private tryout April 10 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League as a quarterback.
With his scrambling ability, Broadous would have a better chance to play quarterback in Canada, where the field is about 10 yards wider.
“I feel good about it,” Broadous said about the interest from the CFL. “It’s always a pleasure to be able to play after college.
“They’re looking for mobile quarterbacks. It’s a better opportunity for me to play quarterback.”