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Rebels Should Have Good Draft After Working Out for NFL Scouts

Former Rebels show out at record breaking Pro Day Monday

Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

On an otherwise normal Monday morning on the Ole Miss campus, the Manning Center was everything but normal this week as 63 representatives from all 32 NFL teams flocked to the Rebels’ facility to see the next crop of NFL talent.

Obvious names like Nkemdiche, Treadwell and Tunsil took to the field, but there were also 16 others attempting to make it onto 53-man rosters by the time the fall rolls around.

Some potentially the lesser-known Ole Miss players also performed well. Chief Brown, Woodrow Hamilton, Channing Ward, Quitaveous Burdette all did well for themselves.

Though they did well, that doesn’t always translate into a professional career unfortunately. How many times have we thought someone was good enough and the entire NFL disagreed? It happens every year.

Here are the notables from the Pro Day festivities on Monday.

Bench: Laremy Tunsil made it look easy cranking out a quick 34 reps on the bench press. No one else looked as strong as Tunsil in that area, but are we surprised? Absolutely not.

Broad jump: Chief Brown looked the best in this area. He leapt to an impressive 10’5 measurement, which is good for someone trying to out jump wide receivers, every play.

Three-cone: A lot of guys looked quick on this drill, but Chief Brown nailed this one too. He showed his allusiveness and efficiency on his feet with a 6’81 second drill.

40-yard dash: This is the drill everyone cares about, and the Rebels didn’t disappoint. The fastest came from dual-athlete Quintaveous Burdette. While Burdette had the fastest wheels of the players working out, there was only one or two the scouts were looking for. Trae Elston posted a 4’46 and Laquon Treadwell posted an 4’6, while Channing Ward cruised to a sub 4’75 rating. Other notables were Trae Elston’s 4’46, Jaylen Walton’s 4’5 Mike Hilton’s 4’51 and Chief Brown’s 4’6.

Note: All measurements are unofficial.

It should be noted that there were a handful of NFL general managers on hand and a head coach or two to see the workouts. While Ole Miss has a solid presence on Sundays, this is the largest NFL contingent to ever attend an Ole Miss pro day.

Head coach Hugh Freeze is the biggest cheerleader right now for his guys.

“I’m on a mission right now to make sure our young men have an opportunity to do something productive that changes their families’ lives after football,” Freeze said. “In the meantime, you know that’s a big part of who they are. We want them to get chances and opportunities to continue to play. Anything that helps get them those opportunities is a good thing, a very positive thing.”

Freeze could be seen throughout the morning talking to scouts from all over the league trying to give his players the best reference moving forward, but his job is done.

Now that the workouts are over, all the players can do is wait for their name to be called or their phone to ring. For defensive back and Winona, Mississippi native Chief Brown, that’s something he’s been working towards his entire career.

“It would mean a lot to me, because it was my dream as a child,” Brown said. “It’s been a rough road through my career with a torn achilles. It was a tough road getting back in shape because it was a hard process. I’m just hoping someone gives me a chance.”

The 81st NFL Draft is April 28-31 and will take place at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The Tennessee Titans of the AFC South, who had the most representation on hand Monday, will be on the clock first.

Official measurements from Ole Miss’ Pro Day can be found on NFL.com.


Connor Hennessey is a journalism student at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He can be contacted at cmhennes@go.olemiss.edu.

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