BYU held its annual Pro Day on Friday at the Indoor Practice Facility, with scouts from 21 NFL teams and one CFL team (if you count former BYU QB Max Hall of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who was there mostly to throw the ball around, but also clocked a few players before it was his turn to work with the receivers).
Here are the teams that had representatives on hand to take a look at the players:
San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneeers, Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Texans, Tennessee Titans.
BYU players who participated, some more than others, included:
LB Kyle Van Noy, WR Cody Hoffman, DB Daniel Sorensen, DT Eathyn Manumaleuna, LB Spencer Hadley, LB Devin Unga (injured, just watched), WR JD Falslev, OL Manaaki Vaitai, TE Richard Wilson, TE Kaneakua Friell and WR Marcus Mathews
The only non-BYU player was quarterback Griff Robles. The Spanish Fork product played for Utah for a couple of years, then transferred to Dixie State College in St. George. Robles told me he was at BYU “because they let me come” but also noted that he will throw at Utah’s Pro Day later this month.
Of course, most eyes were on Kyle Van Noy, the All-American linebacker who most people believe will be the first BYU player taken in April’s NFL Draft.
Van Noy participated in a linebacker drill along with Spencer Hadley (it was conducted by a rep from the San Diego Chargers), but I didn’t see him do any other drills. I asked him why he didn’t run the 40 (his published time in the 40 from the NFL Combine was 4.71) and he said: “I didn’t need to.”
First thing Van Noy said when reporters surrounded him for an interview: “Yes, I have a beard.”
He said he weighed in at 246 pounds on Friday and was happy with that.
Van Noy looked athletic and explosive in the linebacker drill, although Hadley looked a little quicker, while weighing in at 228 pounds.
What did Van Noy think about it?
“I think it went really well,” he said. “I came back to do the drills, and I felt like I was pretty crisp in them. I felt like I need to get in a little elevation shape. I think the altitude got to me a little bit. But staying in shape was a good thing out in California, and then just doing the drills pretty crisp and enjoying the environment with people that you trained with for four years here, it was fun.”
Van Noy said he chose the agency Athletes First and Justin Schulman to represent him and has been training in San Diego with NFL players such as Von Miller of the Broncos, Clay Mathews of the Packers and Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings.
“Me and [Schulman] have a good relationship. Dennis [Pitta] and Max [Hall] have the same one as me, as well as Steve Young. The list goes on. I went with a group that I could trust, and that I have built a good relationship with,” Van Noy said.
My story for the newspaper will be posted online later tonight and has more comments from Van Noy about why he didn’t run the 40 on Friday and his experiences so far since the season ended. Van Noy said his favorite NFL team growing up was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because his favorite player was Derrick Brooks, but said Friday he would love to play for the San Diego Chargers.
Here’s more from one of the best defensive players to ever don the blue and white:
On what teams he’s talked to:
“I have talked to all 32 teams. Everybody. So, who knows? I am looking forward to this last segment. It is kinda now a waiting game, and I am just looking forward to this final segment of going places, and having people coming in to workouts. So, it is going to be good.”
On what the plan is for him next:
“Get in the best shape possible. I think it is hard to get in football shape without doing practice. As far as being in running shape, being able to run as long as you can, your endurance, and then every drill being able to do it sharp and crisp, is probably the best thing for me. So endurance, and be sharp in drills.”
On where his home base will be the next few months:
“I think the plan is to stick around here [Provo] for awhile. But I will be in and out of California as well. I have to go back and do some things there.”
On whether a wedding date is set yet. Van Noy is engaged to former Miss Utah Marissa Powell:
“Nope. Trying to figure out which team I am going to first, and then the wedding is after that. I am just looking forward to it. I am excited to get married. She’s awesome.”
On whether he follows draft projections:
“No. Media guys say what they need to say to get viewers. That’s how it goes. I know how you guys work. It is good. I don’t have a problem with it — nothing necessarily bad about me is said. .. .If you guys are saying bad things about me, then you are entitled to your opinion. It doesn’t really matter to me.”