Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for the Hawgs Sports Network. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas and previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He was the 2022 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Pro Day Notebook: Haselwood runs well, O-linemen confident
Arkansas receiver Jadon Haselwood runs Wednesday, March 29, 2023, while taking part in the 40-yard dash during Pro Day in the Walker Indoor Pavilion on the university campus in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for the photo gallery.
FAYETTEVILLE — Former Arkansas receiver Jadon Haselwood was not happy with his time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Haselwood, who transferred from Oklahoma, made up ground Wednesday in that regard during the Razorbacks’ Pro Day in Walker Pavilion.
At the combine he was timed in 4.66 seconds.
In what he deemed a more comfortable and familiar environment, Haselwood was clocked at 4.56 seconds during his first run Wednesday. He then ran 4.47 seconds in his second rep.
“I’m very happy with what I did today. I’m more happy with the 4.47,” he said with a smile. “The combine was a long week. I really wasn’t feeling good [and] probably shouldn’t have ran it. After I left, I went straight back to work the next day and those two to three weeks I was grinding.
“The results showed today.”
Haselwood had a 37-inch vertical leap at the combine and was timed at 4.31 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.
“Like I said, it was a long week [at the combine],” said Haselwood, who added that he has a visit with the Atlanta Falcons set up next month. “A lot of people tugging and pulling on your body. You’re getting sore from orthopedic stuff and they’re trying to make sure you’re healthy. That was horrible for me.
“I didn’t like that at all, and it kind of showed when I ran my 40.”
According to NFL.com, Haselwood has a prospect grade of 5.63, meaning he could be a “candidate for bottom of the roster or practice squad.” He is confident in himself and where he stands ahead of the April 27-29 draft in Kansas City.
“I know I’m a ball player,” he said. “Like I said, I love the game. And when my time is over I will be remembered.”
Sanders has 'pretty solid' Pro Day
After transferring from Alabama, linebacker Drew Sanders quickly burst onto the scene as one of the top players in college football at his position in 2022.
He became the first Arkansas linebacker to pick up a first-team All-America nod from The Associated Press since Ronnie Caveness in 1964 after tallying 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award.
“Being able to experience playing that stacked position, middle linebacker, kind of helped me a lot, obviously,” Sanders said. “It was very valuable time here and I’m thankful for all the experiences I’ve had here.”
According to NFL.com, he has a prospect grade of 6.70, which indicates he could be a starter in his first year in the league. Lack of experience at his position is a bit of feedback he has received from teams, but Pro Day offered the chance to show scouts that he can drop into coverage and move well in space.
Sanders (6-4, 235 pounds) is widely expected to be the first Razorback selected in the draft, with countless projections listing him as a first-round prospect. Will Brinson of CBS Sports projected him 14th overall to the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
“I mean, you can look at that stuff. Of course I was looking at it in the beginning, getting excited about it,” Sanders said. “I just kind of stopped, just kind of quit focusing on that. It’s really in God’s hands now.
“I mean, I can’t really change too much, so why worry about it when you can’t affect it that much?”
Sanders showed well Wednesday, recording 37 inches in the vertical leap, 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 4.38 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.
Sanders has been working out at home in Denton, Texas, with his mother serving as his nutritionist and his father as his strength coach.
“You only go through this once,” Sanders said. “You have to enjoy the little moments like this. … This is really kind of that last step before the draft. You always have meetings and that kind of stuff.
“But this was my last thing of showing what I could do workout-wise. I’m kind of over that last hump now.”
Landers 'at work' during Pro Day
Matt Landers, the former Georgia receiver who transferred to Arkansas from Toledo, spoke with former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett at the combine, and Bennett told him he needed a receiver for the team’s Pro Day earlier this month.
Landers jumped in front of scouts in Athens, Ga., and ran routes, he said. On Wednesday, Landers said he felt good about his work in Walker Pavilion before personnel from at least 24 teams.
“Running routes, just being polished up throughout the training process, so I felt like I did good for my agility drills for my size,” Landers added. “I’m at work. My mindset is just working, so any chance I get, like I said, I’m going to show it.”
Landers was timed at 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine and 4.34 seconds in Wednesday's 20-yard shuttle.
NFL.com shows a 5.94 prospect grade for Landers, indicating he could be an “average backup” or special teams player in the NFL as of now. On March 11, Draft Countdown projected him as the No. 278 pick in the draft.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote Landers is “a developmental prospect with upside and should hear his name called on Day 3 of the draft.”
“It’s been a long process,” Landers said. “Just been working hard for this my whole life. Just seeing where it takes me and starting from the beginning again.”
Stromberg, Wagner confident ahead of the draft
Right tackle Dalton Wagner said he made up for some missteps at the combine during Arkansas’ Pro Day.
In Indianapolis, Wagner checked in at 24 1/2 inches in the vertical jump, but measured 27 1/2 inches on Wednesday. He also ran 5.25 seconds in the 40-yard dash Wednesday.
After battling numerous injuries during his college career, he believes he is moving as well as he ever has and feels like “a million bucks.”
“Today was excellent. Probably one of my best days. I improved a lot from the combine,” Wagner said. “Position drills at the combine, I felt like I was moving well. Today, I felt like I moved even better than that.
“I feel 100% healthy. I feel great. I’m just confident.”
On March 10, Draft Countdown projected him as the No. 241 pick in the draft. Zierlein wrote that Wagner is “a right tackle-only prospect, but pass protection is very valuable in the league, which gives him a chance to make a roster.”
Stromberg, a projected fourth-round pick by Draft Kings on Monday, said his Pro Day was positive, but he felt choppy in one of the drills. He said he has been preparing for the draft in Dallas.
He ran 4.47 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle Wednesday.
“I think I feel pretty good,” Stromberg said. “I’ve been working hard. I lost weight, took my body fat down, got stronger. I feel pretty confident.
“And now, since Pro Day is over, I'm just waiting for the draft to come up next and see where it goes.”
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