Former Pitt players meet NFL scouts, coaches at pro day
Aaron Donald said he doesn't know if he will get invited to the NFL Draft on May 8 when he is expected to be among the first defensive players selected.
But just like all other times in his life, he won't be caught unprepared.
“I got a couple of suits ready,” he said.
Donald concluded the formal part of his draft preparations Monday when he joined nine of his former Pitt teammates at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex in a workout session for NFL scouts. Twenty-eight teams were represented, including coaches Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans and Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Donald, who ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash and lifted 225 pounds 35 times Feb. 24 at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, said he believed he had little to prove after dominant efforts during the season for Pitt and in the Senior Bowl. Chances are he might not have matched his combine efforts Monday and only managed to raise questions before the draft.
“I retired my ‘40' cleats,” he said. “I know what I did. I was happy with my time.”
Donald, though, said he is unsatisfied and will remain that way until he retires.
“Right now, I have a lot of work to do,” he said.
Donald, who said he gained 2 pounds to 287 since the combine, has spoken with most NFL teams in the past two months, including the Bengals, who gave him five words to remember at the start of the interview and asked him to repeat them at the end.
“I got three out of five,” he said.
Former Pitt wide receiver Devin Street said he was asked how many uses he could find for a paper clip in a minute (seven) and whether he would rather be a cat or a dog (he chose dog because, he said, it's more aggressive).
“They want to know what's upstairs,” Street said.
Street said he improved from the combine in two important drills, the 40 and the 3-cone shuttle.
“A lot of teams had me at 4.46, in between 4.46 and 4.50,” he said after running a 4.55 40 last week.
He said his shuttle time went from 6.89 to 6.65 seconds, something that indicates how quickly he can get in and out of breaks.
“It's all about the progressions,” he said. “I don't want to be second best. Now, everyone is working for checks. The ante is higher.”
Other Pitt seniors who worked out Monday were quarterback Tom Savage, linebacker Shane Gordon, defensive tackle Ty Ezell, cornerback K'Waun Williams, linebacker Emanuel Rackard, wide receiver Ed Tinker, safety Jason Hendricks and punter Matt Yoklic.
Ezell measured in at 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, and he recorded 22 lifts.
“I feel like I'm pretty marketable already,” said Ezell, a Steel Valley graduate. “I just have to work on my pass rush and get stronger.”
Ezell said he has a Plan B if he can't secure an NFL contract: professional wrestling. He already has chosen a persona.
“I want to be a bad guy,” he said. “It's more fun. You get to do whatever you want and say whatever you want.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UPMC McKeesport president reiterates hospital will remain open
- ‘Last of the downtown mansions’ demolished in McKeesport
- McKeesport man whose dog bit officer waives charges to court
- TSA fee increase this week arrives with load of complaints
- Dodgers rough up rusty starter Volquez, knock off Pirates at PNC Park
- Squirrel Hill street that had been paved getting another pave job
- Derry Township assault suspect arrested
- Latrobe’s Ci Medical Technologies transforms to medical device business
- Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
- Moody’s downgrades Pa. rating; Corbett ponders pension reform session
- ACC notebook: Pitt predicted to finish 6th in Coastal Division