Ex-Razorbacks get new shot at pro day

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Arkansas defensive lineman Armon Watts runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Arkansas defensive lineman Armon Watts runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

FAYETTEVILLE -- One former University of Arkansas football standout couldn't run because of a tweaked hamstring while two others rebounded from slow days at the NFL Scouting Combine at the Razorbacks' annual pro day Monday at Walker Pavilion.

Fourteen Razorbacks from the 2018 team and two more who wrapped up their careers in 2017 -- safety De'Andre Coley and linebacker Dwayne Eugene -- ran, jumped and performed drills for the large array of NFL scouts in attendance.

Defensive tackle Armon Watts, who felt a twinge in his hamstring during his final on-field drill at the combine in Indianapolis two weeks ago, did 20 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press and called it a solid day.

"I'm getting healthy for a few teams and visits," Watts said. "That's what I'm focused on now."

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw was hand-timed at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash after not running in Indianapolis due to a tight hamstring.

"I didn't do bad, ran well," Greenlaw said. "I definitely could have run faster. ... But for the most part, I ran hard and looked smooth, looked fast. I felt like I ran good."

Cornerback Ryan Pulley wanted to atone for a 4.61 time at the combine and did so with two runs at sub 4.5, including a hand-timed 4.45.

"I went out there off my weight at 209. That wasn't me," Pulley said of his run in Indianapolis. "I felt heavy. I felt bad honestly. My legs were heavy. I was tired all week. I came in here at 200, a lot lighter, felt pretty good."

Former Arkansas receiver Jared Cornelius said he came in with a chip on his shoulder after not receiving an invitation to the scouting combine.

"I got it last year and I was expecting to get it this year, but you have less than 10 targets and less than 10 catches in a year, you come in with a chip on your shoulder to prove those guys wrong," said Cornelius, who clocked a hand-timed 4.55.

"My main focus was coming in here and showing that I can play. ... It was a good day. I came in and ran the numbers I thought I was going to run and did a little better on some drills. ... I ran well on my 40 and then I exceeded in my routes, so that's my strong suit and that's what I needed to do ... and I think I did that today."

Cornelius, Gary Cross and former Arkansas wideout Drew Morgan caught passes from ex-Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, whose passes still had the high velocity and tight spin Razorbacks fans enjoyed during his two-year career with the Hogs in 2009-2010.

Offensive guard Hjalte Froholdt, who put up 31 reps on the bench press at the combine and ran a 5.20 there, limited his action Monday. He also cross-trained by showing his snapping to the scouts.

"At the combine, it was more just movement and they want to see how you move in space," Froholdt said. "I didn't snap at the combine. ... It was good to move around again and show out with all these scouts here today. ... I'm satisfied with what I've been doing."

Froholdt said he did pre-combine training at ProActive in Los Angeles, but will base himself in Fayetteville for team workouts on campus.

Greenlaw, who trained at the Michael Johnson Performance center in McKinney, Texas, said he got asked in Indianapolis about whether he could lose about seven pounds to reach 220 again and have a run as a hybrid safety type.

"I was like, 'If you pay me to, I'll do it, no doubt,' " Greenlaw said, laughing. "I haven't played safety in a while."

Safety Santos Ramirez was putting up strong numbers -- like 10 feet, 3 inches in the standing broad jump and a 38-inch vertical jump -- before pulling up with an apparent hamstring injury in his first 40 run. He had an ice pack wrapped to his right hamstring the rest of the morning.

Pulley, who has been training in south Florida, was asked what he told teams about his suspension for the season finale after fraternizing with members of the Mississippi State spirit squads prior to the Hogs' 52-6 loss in Starkville, Miss.

"I just tell them the truth," he said. "They already know what happened, what the media wrote. No reason to lie about it. Just go with the flow, no pressure. I don't think it was what the media put out there, but I'm not going to get into it."

Cornelius caught 7 passes for 99 yards and no touchdowns in 2018 after having 1,096 career receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in his first three seasons.

"Film doesn't lie," Cornelius said. "Despite what happened this past year, I was still open, I was still winning on my routes. I just wasn't getting the ball."

Watts, who blossomed with a team-high seven sacks and 42 tackles as a senior, said the combine experience was amazing.

"For me, it was like a dream," Watts said. "Especially the up and downs I had here. For me to do that was big for me. Talked to a lot of teams. Lot of good feedback. It was a good experience."

Sports on 03/12/2019

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