DALLAS- The SMU football team hasn't been synonymous with consistent success in recent seasons, but there were still several draft-eligible prospects at the school's Pro Day on Tuesday. SMU hasn't had a prominent draft prospect since quarterback Garrett Gilbert in 2014, but this year kicker Chad Hedlund has a good chance of landing on a roster.
Hedlund, a Texas native, committed to Wake Forest, redshirted in 2011, but transferred to SMU for his senior season. In SMU's 2-10 2015 season, Hedlund converted 8-of-11 field goals, was perfect on 43-of-43 PATs and scored his career-long 52-yard field goal in SMU's loss to James Madison. Hedlund led SMU in points with 67. At his Pro Day, Hedlund switched between Highland Park High School's indoor facility for field goals and the outdoor field for kickoffs, hitting around 10 each. Despite being a very mechanically sound placekicker, Hedlund's kickoff experience might be what takes him to the next level. Hedlund had 61 kickoffs with 42 touchbacks his senior year.
Notable Names: K Chad Hedlund, DB Shakiel Randolph, LB Robert Seals, LB Jonathan Yenga, DB David Johnson, DE Zach Wood
Possible Cowboys Fits:
Shakiel Randolph: Randolph graduated from SMU last year as a junior but stuck around to try his luck in the new Chad Morris era. He's a natural defensive back, but in 2015, SMU tried him out at linebacker. He was a top performer in the indoor portion of his Pro Day despite doing what he considered worse than his best. Randolph has a lot of athleticism that didn't go unnoticed by the scouts who kept him for workouts after speed drills. Randolph was named to the All-Freshman team in 2012 and at the end of the June Jones era, the Waco native was still picked to be one of the more successful players to come out of SMU. Unofficially, Randolph reported a 10'10" broad jump and a 41" vertical jump.
Robert Seals:Seals, from Pearland, Texas, looks the part of an NFL linebacker and he has the proper mechanics and passion for the game. In his four seasons at SMU, Seals tallied 123 tackles and with his athleticism, there's a feeling that he hasn't hit his ceiling yet. At his Pro Day, Seals looked quick and natural in the drills.
Who Else Stood Out:Defensive end and team leader Zach Woods put on a lot of muscle weight in preparation for Pro Day. Woods looked fit, but he sees his only future in the NFL could be as a long snapper.
"My numbers weren't as good as when I was training but I know that's just because of the anxiety and nervousness," Woods said.
What They Said:
Hedlund on his Pro Day performance:
"It was a good day," Hedlund said. "I just wanted to come out here and do the best I could. It's what we've all been working on for so long. It's good to get a chance to come out here and prove ourselves."
Hedlund on his strengths:
"I like to see myself as a balanced guy. I like kickoffs and field goals," Hedlund said. "I think if you asked me now what I'm better at I guess I'd say kickoffs because I got a lot of experience my senior year. But in general, I just like kicking."
Hedlund on what his Pro Day was like compared to high school recruitment:
"It's not really like high school for a kicker," Hedlund said. "This is probably the most attention I've ever gotten. It's nice to see all these scouts interested in me."
Randolph on his Pro Day experience:
"It's been unbelievably real," Randolph said. "Because it's something that you dream about and think about from when you were a little kid."
Nikki Chavanelle (@NikkiChavanelle) covers SMU for Rivals.com.