Pro Day Tour: Treadwell Pleased With 40 Time; Nkemdiche Faces Scrutiny

(Throughout the spring, DallasCowboys.com will be providing live reports from NFL Pro Days at college campuses around the country. On Monday, Collin Brister of The Daily Mississippian attended Ole Miss' Pro Day to watch Laquon Treadwell run his much-anticipated 40-yard dash, among other workouts).

OXFORD, Miss. -- When Laquon Treadwell decided not to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February, he had one question to answer at Ole Miss' Pro Day.

He answered it, unofficially, in 4.63 seconds.

Treadwell's 40 time has been a major topic of concern, as many have questions regarding the heralded wide receiver's top end speed.  Treadwell indicated the he didn't feel comfortable running at the Combine, but was content with his time today.

"I'm proud of what I ran," he said. "I'm proud of myself. I wanted to run better, but I'm proud of what I ran."

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said that Treadwell ran exactly what he expected him to run.

"If you're looking for a guy that can just run a straight line fast, that's not what he is," Freeze said. "If you're looking for a guy, that when you put on the tape, can use his physical abilities and body to win in one-on-one situations and tight quarters and win 50-50 balls, that's him."

Treadwell admitted that he was glad to get the Pro Day over with, as it was a lot of pressure on the star receiver.

"You want to do your best," he said. "Me being a competitor, I wanted to do good and do the best that I can. I work extremely hard, so just to get it passed me and never have to run a 40 again."

Treadwell, originally from Crete, Ill., signed with the Rebels in their heralded 2013 recruiting class and starred in Oxford for three seasons. Treadwell was a freshmen All-American in the 2013 season and was on pace to have another great year before fracturing his leg at the goal line vs. Auburn in 2014.

Treadwell never considered the injury career-threatening and vowed to come back even stronger.

"Once I got hurt, I just set my mind to getting better," Treadwell said. "Staying focused on what's important."

"Once I had my injury, the first thing I told my family is 'I'll be alright.' I know how I got to that point and that was working hard. "

Treadwell was utilized in a versatile way during his time in Oxford. He played in the slot his freshmen year, before transferring to an outside receiver position during his final two seasons.

While Treadwell's performance was on the forefront of Ole Miss' Pro Day, other Rebels like Robert Nkemdiche and Trae Elston performed well.

Nkemdiche, amid a variety of off-the-field questions, had a solid performance, dominating defensive line positional drills.

The defensive lineman elected not to run the 40-yard-dash after running a 4.87 at the NFL Combine, but he answered a lot more questions pertaining to his off-the-field situation.

Nkemdiche fell out of a hotel window in Atlanta in December and was later arrested for possession of marijuana.

Nkemdiche has received questions regarding his brother Denzel, who missed the last three games of Ole Miss' 2015 season after being hospitalized in November.

"Me and my family have made it to a point where we're going to be separated for the beginning of my career," Nkemdiche said of his brother. "We're going to keep football where football needs to be, and I'm going to be handling that."

Nkemdiche has also been questioned for taking plays off during his tenure at Ole Miss, and whether his effort is lacking.

"That's not me at all," Nkemdiche said. "My film will show you that. My work ethic will show you that."

Elston, a four-year starter for Ole Miss in the defensive backfield, impressed at Pro Day, running a 4.46 40-yard dash.

Elston's aggression has helped catch the eye of scouts, as he's able to play inside the box.

"They like how aggressive I am, even though I'm undersized," Elston said. "I can come in the box a lot and show quick speed. I got a lot of range at the free safety position."

Elston, listed at 5-11, 195 pounds, sees many players in the NFL that he can compare himself to.

"Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, all those guys that are 5-11, 200," Elston said. "I kind of see myself as those, but there's only one Trae Elston."

Elston played the rover and free safety position during his time at Ole Miss, and provided a ball-hawking mentality for the Rebel secondary.

"That's a name that keeps coming up," Freeze said of Elston. "He started 44 games for us or so. He played really good football. I think everybody is intrigued by him. I think he helped himself today."

Top Picks:Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell, Robert Nkemdiche, Fahn Cooper, Trae Elston

Possible Fits For The Cowboys

Laremy Tunsil: While Tunsil is slated to be the first pick in the draft, he would be a dynamic left tackle for any suitor. While the Cowboys are pretty set at left tackle with Tyron Smith, Tunsil would give the Cowboys a great offensive line piece.

Laquon Treadwell: The 6-2, 210 pound receiver would provide another physical outside threat to the Cowboys receiving corps. With Dez Bryant already on the roster, the former Ole Miss receiver could be a dominant possession receiver for Dallas. Treadwell played in 35 games during his Ole Miss career, tallying 202 catches, 2,393 yards, and 21 touchdowns. Treadwell had a stellar 2015 season garnering 82 catches for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Robert Nkemdiche: If Robert Nkemdiche was just being gauged on his football abilities, he would most likely be a top five pick. The 6-4 296-pound defensive tackle is a freak athletically, and would wreak havoc on a defensive line. Nkemdiche's off-the-field problems, along with questions of his ability to finish plays may plague him in the upcoming NFL draft, but Nkemdiche certainly has the physical tools to be a dominant defensive lineman at the next level.

Trae Elston: While Elston was not invited to the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine, the defensive back is a ballhawk and could come in and provide a physical presence to the Cowboys secondary. Elston ran a sub-4.46 at Ole Miss' Pro Day on Monday morning, and could provide the Cowboys with help not only in the secondary, but also in special teams situations.

What they Said:

Treadwell on his strengths:"Just attacking the ball.  I'm not afraid to take a hit. I'm really not afraid to go across the middle and make those plays. Make the tough plays, make the tough catches. I'm just a big-body receiver, and I try to play like that."

Nkemdiche on his draft stock: "GM-wise, head coach-wise, team-wise, I'm hearing anywhere from top 10 to top five. From a media perspective, they're saying all kind of things, but from what I've heard and talked to scouts and talked to head coaches and GM's I've heard lots of good things, so I'm not worried."

Nkemdiche on his incident in Atlanta: "It happened. You can't take the past away. You've just got to put it behind you and move forward."

Elston on his 40 time:"They thought I was like a 4.6 guy, 4.7 and they said I need to run a 4.4 or 4.5 and I did that, so that's pretty good."

What others said

Freeze on Tunsil:"For an offensive-lineman, if protecting your quarterback at the left tackle position is something that you want to make sure that you secure, then Laremy is that guy. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone that can bend like he does."

Freeze on Nkemdiche:"He knows what's at stake. They've got to make the call on that, but I think he has the potential to make somebody look really, really smart that ends up taking him."

Freeze on Treadwell:"I don't watch a lot of NFL football games, but I see the highlights, and I don't really see anyone running away from those DB's in that league, so I'd take my chances with a guy like Laquon that can win in those tight quarters and those one-on-one's situations."

Treadwell on Tunsil:"Laremy is a basketball player, a football player, point guard. You should check him out on the court."

Collin Brister (@CollinBrister) is the sports editor for The Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss.

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