A small, quiet crowd of friends, family, agents and supportive teammates stood along the sides of the Buffaloes’ practice bubble Wednesday. Eight Colorado seniors began speed drills on the 50-yard line, between two bleachers of NFL scouts with stopwatches, ready for the annual Pro Timing Day.
Pro Timing Day is for seniors not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. It’s an opportunity for the players to have a home field advantage to comfortably showcase their talents by a number of tests, with the most important being the 40-yard dash.
Throughout the day, big eyes were on projected second round draft selection Paul Richardson. Already having been invited to the combine in February, where he ran a 4.4 second dash, Richardson did not run during the showcase Wednesday, but he did display his hands and route speed with some passing drills.
“Today went really well. You know, adjusting to this elevation was a little different, so that was a part of it, but I had fun,” Richardson said. “It’s just a different environment here – it’s more relaxed, that’s the biggest difference. At the combine, everything is real intense, you don’t know anyone, so you are just kind of keeping to yourself. Here, everyone knows each other and it’s more of a family feel.”
Richardson, the biggest offensive target of last season as a quick outside receiver, is the gap head coach Mike MacIntyre is looking to fill next year. He posted 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns alone in his break-away junior season in 2013.
“I am very excited to be one of those guys to put Colorado back on the map, so to speak,” Richardson said. “I enjoyed it, I appreciated it and I appreciate the community, the coaches and my teammates supporting me. I continually support them whether it’s with recruiting, whether it’s coming and making appearances or talking to the guys. I am going to be part of this forever.”
The day’s showcase was filled with mostly defensive players. One of those was back-to-back captain and inside linebacker Derrick Webb. His talent climaxed in 2013, as he hit 34 of his 88 total tackles in the final three games of the season. His best game of the year was the last, where he recorded 13 tackles against Utah.
“It was a great overall experience and a competitive environment,” Webb said. “It was a great opportunity for me to come out and showcase my skills.”
The complete roster for Wednesday’s showcase consisted of defensive tackle Nate Bonsu, offensive lineman Gus Handler, long snapper Ryan Iverson, defensive back Parker Orms, outside linebacker Paul Vigo and right defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe.
Uzo-Diribe, who has started for three of his four eligible seasons, had a good showing in the defensive position drills.
“Felt like it went solid overall for me, I reached the goals I wanted to in each of the drills and I felt had a good showing today in the position work,” Uzo-Diribe said. “[Today] means a lot, man. Not getting an invite to the combine or a senior bowl, I needed to come out here and make a name for myself. I feel like I did that today.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Gavin B. Griffin at Gavin.firstname.lastname@example.org.