Monday morning was a key day in the draft process for the five Tar Heel draft prospects that are hoping to hear their names called in next month’s draft as the Bill Koman practice facility was home to the Tar Heels 2021 pro day. With the NFL Scouting Combine cancelled this season in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this was the last, and for some the only, opportunity to test in front of scouts. 31 teams had representatives in person (the Los Angeles Rams have not been send scouts out to venues during pro days) on Monday creating a combine like feel. giving all five guys a great opportunity to step up and help their stock. Let’s take a look at who hurt and helped their draft stock in our opinion on Monday with an offseason edition of the stock report.
Brown was the former Tar Heel that helped himself the most on Monday. He entered the day as a mid to late 3rd rounder and he may have very well locked him into a day two selection and even generated some late 2nd round conversation. Brown put down a tremendous 40-yard dash time of 4.46 and also put up a very nice 10’8” jump in the broad. He showed some good explosion and these numbers along with a good day in the rest of the measurements and drill have him sailing up some draft boards, including Bucky Brooks.
In the regional combine that Surratt participated in down in Florida a few weeks ago, some people were afraid that he had hurt his draft stock a bit. On Monday, however, he may have quieted those doubters, as he came and put up an improved time in the 40-yard dash and had a strong day everywhere else. Surratt’s 4.58 in the dash is a really solid time and 25 reps on the bench at 225 continues to impress scouts, especially for a former quarterback. While the hopes of the second round might be dashed, he is now definitely looking like a solid third round linebacker after this pro day performance.
Williams was one of the talks of the day on social media after running an unofficial 4.60 in the 40-yard dash that set off plenty of overreactions. Those were cooled a bit when the official numbers came out and it was revealed that he actually ran a 4.55. Either way, any concerns with those numbers are rather ludicrous considering the times of some of the other top backs at the NFL right now, such as Alvin Kamara, who ran a 4.56. His 36” vertical and 10’3” broad jump showed just how explosive he was and he put up a really solid number on the bench of 22 reps. Williams did exactly what he needed to on Monday to stay right where he is on current draft boards and keep himself in consideration to be one of the first three running backs off the board.
Like Williams, Carter did everything he could to stay put on the draft board and stay in the group right behind the trio of Williams, Harris and Etienne. His 4.50 40-yard dash time was a very solid time for him, but the more impressive times were his shuttle and three-cone time of 3.98 and 6.81 that showcase his ability to change directions quickly and get in and out of cuts quickly. His measurement and jump numbers were rather average, though, and it will basically keep him where he is at as a fringe 3rd to 4th rounder and one of the first running back off the board after the big three.
This was Newsome’s lone showing of the pre-draft process and it was not a great day for him. His 4.59 40-yard dash wasn’t nearly as quick as some thought he would and his times in the shuttle and three cone didn’t jump off the page either. He struggled on the bench, putting up just twelve reps, but that wasn’t entirely unexpected. He did put up some solid jump numbers, but he didn’t do anything to really improve his draft stock. His production and special teams ability should be enough to get him drafted, but he has likely sealed his fate as someone who will go in the final two rounds of the draft.
You may be wondering why the rising junior quarterback is on this list with him returning to lead this 2021 Tar Heel team, but there is a good reason why. Howell was the quarterback that the Tar Heels wide receivers and running backs had throwing them the football and he gave the scouts something to think about for next year on Monday. He made some really great deep and sideline throws that had to have left some scouts impressed. This was basically a mock pro day for Howell, an experience that will be extremely valuable for him whenever he enters the draft.