(Editor’s Note: Throughout the spring, DallasCowboys.com will continue its NFL draft coverage by looking at various college Pro Days and workouts around the nation. Western Michigan, home to first-round receiver prospect Corey Davis, hosted its annual Pro Day on Wednesday, and Brendan Buffa of The Western Herald was on hand for the event.)
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Corralled in the weight room of the Bill Brown Alumni Football Center, members of the press and numerous NFL scouts awaited the Western Michigan Broncos’ Pro Day in anticipation.
This would be the first time Corey Davis, one of the nation’s leading wide receivers and top draft prospects, would take the field since the Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 2 at AT&T Stadium. But Davis, still recovering from his late-January ankle surgery after tearing two ligaments, wouldn’t dress.
Late Tuesday evening, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported Davis’ non-participation at WMU’s Pro Day, confirming the originally reported “extremely minor” ankle surgery is still nagging Davis.
Davis’ modest personality reflected throughout the three-hour Pro Day, as a 20-minute conversation with WMU head coach Tim Lester was promptly followed by his departure in an effort to lessen the distraction from his teammates’ opportunity to impress.
Shining the light away from Davis, WMU hosted numerous other athletes, including quarterback and William V. Campbell Trophy recipient Zach Terrell, offensive tackle Taylor Moton and the remaining pieces of WMU’s 2016 wide out trifecta, wide receivers Carrington Thompson and Michael Henry, Jr.
Terrell finds his force in Arizona
After the Cotton Bowl Classic, both Terrell and Davis departed for Phoenix, Arizona to participate in an eight-week training program at EXOS, a human performance training facility.
As Davis’ takeaways from the getaway await further public inspection, Terrell’s physical stature and increased velocity behind his passes were widely noticeable throughout Pro Day.
“I think my fundamentals have really improved, and that’s kind of amazing because I felt like I was really fundamentally sound in my collegiate career,” Terrell said. “I’ve only gotten a lot better, which really excites me especially going to the next level where you’re playing against the best. I’m continuing to grow and get a lot better, and that could mean some special things for me in the future.”
While in Phoenix, Terrell worked with veteran quarterback coach Terry Shea, who has formerly worked with the likes of the NFL’s Robert Griffin III and Matthew Stafford. The new and improved Terrell would go 50-for-51 in his attempts throughout passing drills, an accomplishment Shea has only seen done one other time by current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford — a former first-round pick.
“I’m not saying I deserve the No. 1 pick overall. I think I have the ability to be, I believe in myself that much, but I think the rest speaks for itself,” Terrell said.
During Terrell’s preparation period for the draft, he mentioned how he has heard a lot of comparison to Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott.
“I’ve gotten a lot of comparison to him in terms of what people are looking at for me. There’s some question marks and people are saying, ‘Zach Terrell could be the next Dak Prescott in which teams miss out on.’ Today, I wanted to show teams what they shouldn’t miss out on.”
Taylor Moton finding his way into the NFL by trusting the process
Heralded as one of the top offensive tackles in the draft, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Taylor Moton wouldn’t participate in WMU’s Pro Day aside from some footwork drills due to his participation in the NFL Combine.
Posting a 30.5-inch vertical, a 4.58-second 20-yard shuttle and pushing 23 reps on the bench at the Combine, Moton is being recognized as a top three tackle, but his sights are set on trusting the process behind his progression into the big league.
Moton spoke about his emotions on the transition from being a college senior into the NFL.
“I just know it’s the next stage in this process, and that’s how I look at it. I don’t try to blow it up or make it a big deal,” Moton said. “I just got the tunnel vision.”
Moton says his focus on the next step of the process won’t stop until he retires from the NFL or is told he has to stop playing.
“Coach Fleck is gone, but that’s what I learned from him: trust in the process,” Moton said. “I’m a process-driven guy, so I’m not worried about end results, I’m worried about what’s in front of me the next day.”
Gorham Performance prepares Thompson, Johnson and Henry, Jr.
WMU alumnus and athletic trainer Matt Gorham spent the past several weeks working with WMU receivers Carrington Thompson and Michael Henry, Jr. along with running back Fabian Johnson through his training program, Gorham Performance.
Thompson, a 6-foot-1,177-pound receiver who posted a 36.5-inch vertical and boasted a 4.66-second 40-yard dash, has been highlighted as one of this draft’s underrated receivers with his ability to stretch the field as a vertical receiver.
Henry, Jr. fully participated in the Pro Day, marking a 37-inch vertical, the second highest amongst participants, and a 4.34-second 20-yard shuttle.
Johnson, the shortest participant of the Pro Day at 5-foot-7, topped the list in vertical jump at 37.5-inches. Johnson also participated in route running with the wide outs.
Brendan Buffa (@bbuffa_WMU) covers WMU athletic and campus-related news for the Western Herald. Read