The Tar Heel held their official pro day yesterday in the Bill Koman Center as 12 former Tar Heels worked out in front of representatives from all 32 NFL teams. While the majority of the talk heading in was about Sam Howell and how much he would be able to help himself as he tries to make a push to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board, there were some other prospects that did some good things to really help themselves. Here is a look at the prospects that were in attendance that we think helped their stock the most.
We thought we could see a motivated McMichael on Monday after he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine despite a strong week in Las Vegas at the East-West Shrine Game and we did. McMichael set the pace, running a blazing 4.34 40-yard dash, a time that would have ranked fifth fastest amongst defensive backs at the combine. He didn’t jump great but the numbers were still solid and he look good in the drills in the videos that were released. This performance from McMichael will definitely put him squarely in the Day 3 conversation for some teams.
This was the day where we thought Howell could shine and he did. In his roughly 30 minute on-field session, he ran through a 66-play script, completing 63 of the passes and showing off some really good things. The deep ball was the area that the receivers seemed to have the most issue and he was a little behind on some throws, but for the most part, many were pleased with what saw. ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid was very complimentary of Howell’s performance when he joined ACC Network’s live coverage, saying he liked how he threw the deep ball to show off the arm strength and deep accuracy and was happy to see how he threw when he was put in off-platform situations. This might not have been the best pro day of the quarterbacks in this draft class this year, but he had a good enough day to put himself in contention to be taken by someone in the first round or early second.
Gemmel was the prospect for the Tar Heels that probably needed this day the most to stabilize his draft stock and he did just that. According to Inside Carolina’s Gregory Hall, the former Tar Heel linebacker did talk about the fact that he had to miss both the Senior Bowl and the on-field portion of the Combine while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, which was a big part of his draft stock falling. The good news is, he did some good things on Monday, especially in the drills, showing some really strong footwork and cutting and breaking on the ball well in the open field. His performance in the on-field drills may allow him to rise up some boards, especially now that teams know he is progressing well from that shoulder injury.
Fox’s day didn’t start off great with him reportedly coming up a little lame after his first 40-yard dash attempt according to Inside Carolina’s Gregory Hall, but he bounced back with a nice day for himself in the on-field drills. He showed some really nice footwork in the bag drills, especially for an edge rusher, and changed direction pretty well, too. The area where he made the biggest impression, though, may have been in the weight room where he finished with 24 reps at 225 lbs., a very solid number for him. This performance may have been enough to secure him a spot on a training camp roster this summer at the least.
Wolfolk was one of two former Tar Heels who were not a part of the program last year that returned to participate in the pro day and he had a good day for himself. He laid down a very solid 4.48 in the 40-yard dash and had decent vertical (34”) and broad jump (9’11”) numbers. Unfortunately, the video of his workout was not posted, but just the numbers that he put up on the testing side of things are enough to at least give him a glimmer of hope at an NFL career after he entered the day off of every major draft board.