Scout's Notebook: Connor Williams, Malik Jefferson Headline Crowded UT Pro Day

AUSTIN, Texas– For the first time in what feels like a while, it was a crowded morning at the Texas Longhorns' Pro Day.

No doubt, they'll be hoping it transitions to the college field in the future, but Texas was well-represented as the NFL descended on campus for workouts. Headline by Connor Williams and Malik Jefferson, the Longhorns have six or seven big-time prospects, and they should all hear their names called next month at AT&T Stadium.

Here are some notes from what I saw on the 40 Acres:

  • Offensive lineman Connor Williams stood on his Combine numbers and just participated in the positional workout portion of the day. The New Orleans Saints conducted the drills, putting him through a pretty instinctive workout.
  • Williams was outstanding in his athletic testing. He was able to open his hips easily while also playing with the proper knee bend.
  • He was flexible in his hips and displayed some power/pop when they asked him to explode through the bag.
  • He was able to adjust, going both to his left or right easily out of both stances. During the season Williams generally played out of a two-point stance, and seeing him play with either hand on the ground appeared to be comfortable for him.
  • Working through the bag, Williams displayed a flat back with power through the hips. There was no struggle when it came to maintaining that football position.
  • Pass set and punch were coordinated along with the ability to stay with his man. There was quickness out of his stance with balance once he made contact.
  • There are teams looking at Williams not only as a tackle, but a potential guard, as well. It was interesting to see the Saints working him as a possible center by having him shotgun some snaps.
  • Like Connor Williams, linebacker Malik Jefferson stood on his Combine numbers, which had him as a 4.54 guy. When it came time to work with the coaches, it was interesting that Jefferson choose to work second instead of first with the linebackers. In other words, he didn't want to lead the drills.
  • The workout, from an athletic standpoint, was a little different. Jefferson wasn't as smooth running through the drills as he appears on tape. He was a little tight turning and not as fluid. There was some labor in his movement as if he was fighting himself. His stiffness showed up as a pass rusher running the circles in those drills.
  • Where Jefferson did show up was in coverage. There was a burst when he had to carry the route up the sideline and he didn't look as clunky. He also had some pop in his hands when taking on the pad.
  • The lateral quickness through the bags wasn't as good but again, you see him play better on tape.
  • Safety DeShon Elliot stood on his Combine numbers, as well. He looked a little tight in his movements as well -- except when he had to drive on the ball. Better job coming forward than going back.
  • I liked what I saw from him when it came to covering some ground. Once he opened up and took off running deep, he showed some speed. This was an area where he struggled badly on tape.
  • I really liked what I saw from defensive tackle Poona Ford in this workout. He didn't have a chance to go to the Combine, so this was a big day for him. His times varied from 5.18 to 5.20, which is fine for his size.  He benched 225, 25 times which was a little surprising. I thought he would have done maybe five to eight more reps.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals conducted the workout with Ford, putting him through various drills.
  • Being built low to the ground helps Ford with his bend and redirection. He was outstanding running the circle drill, getting low to the ground and snatching the tennis ball off the ground.
  • On tape he's a powerful man, in person you see that power. The way he was able to swat the bags and work back to the quarterback was impressive. He has a real feel for how to position himself to finish the play.
  • Ford might be a nose tackle build-wise, but he does have those traits that you'd like to see from your three-technique, as well. He really helped himself with his workout.
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