OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Thirty-nine scouts from 31 of the 32 NFL teams gathered inside the Manning Center for Ole Miss' Pro Day as a dozen Rebels put their skills on display with hopes of pursuing a future in the National Football League.
The weight room portion was headlined by offensive lineman Daronte Bouldin throwing up 35 reps on the bench press, one more than Laremy Tunsil's previous record of 34 a couple of years ago.
This day was a chance for a couple of guys to improve on some numbers they put up at the NFL combine, like Marquis Haynes who felt like he had a good showing in Indianapolis, but wanted to shrink a couple of ticks on his 40-yard dash time.
"I really wanted to get my time down," Haynes said. "I am faster than a 4.68. I wanted to get down around 4.5 where I am usually at. I felt good. I accomplished that today."
Haynes, who played defensive end primarily at Ole Miss, said teams are largely viewing him as a stand-up outside linebacker at the next level. He doesn't mind that. He played as a hybrid defensive end, stand-up backer in Wesley McGriff's defensive system last fall. He says he feels comfortable standing up or down on the line.
"Right now, they are viewing me as a stand-up outside linebacker because I am so versatile," Haynes said. "Some teams don't know what they want to do with me yet. That is still evolving, but right now I see myself as an outside linebacker. I feel comfortable there."
Haynes came in unofficially at a 4.56 in today's time, meeting the benchmark he'd set for himself going into the day. Jordan Wilkins was also at the combine earlier this month, but was dealing with a nagging hamstring injury he tweaked three weeks prior. Today, he wanted to put together a more consistent performance all around as he felt better about his health.
"I just wanted to come out and compete and have fun with it," Wilkins said. "At the combine, I didn't feel like my numbers were where they need to be. Not making excuses, but I wasn't fully healthy. I think that made a big difference."
Wilkins notched 37 inches on the vertical jump, and a 4.50 forty time.
"I thought it was decent," Wilkins said. "Just feeling healthy was the big thing. It wasn't my best time. I wanted to get down into the 4.4 range, but it was a decent day."
Wilkins caught passes and went through a variety of drills. He said he felt good about his day overall and the versatility and quickness he showed to the scouts congregated to watch.
"Just my versatility, running around out of the backfield and catching balls, breaking tackles and working on pass protection," Wilkins said. "I want to get all of the yards that are there and be able to do whatever the coaches ask me to do whether that is run routes, run in between the tackles. I just want to be a dominant player and do what the coaches ask."
Rebel defensive back A.J. Moore had the best dash time of the day at 4.39 seconds. Linebacker DeMarquis Gates ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, weighed in at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds, his vertical jump was 34.5 inches and he had a 10-5 broad jump.
Rod Taylor had an exceptional NFL combine performance in which he ran a 5.24 forty time and amassed a 30.5 inch vertical. He went through drills on Tuesday but did not run another forty.
The NFL Draft is Thursday April 26 through Saturday April 28.