NFL scouts arrive on Hilltop for Pro Day
Former SMU players participate for shot to play professional football
Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Monday morning was supposed to mark the first day of spring practice but due to intense thunderstorms, practice was canceled. Luckily for Aldrick Robinson and other SMU seniors, the weather cleared up in time for SMU Pro Day, which was held Monday afternoon at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
SMU Pro Day allowed Robinson and company to showcase their skills in front of scouts from across the NFL including the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers and others. The former Mustangs took part in 40-yard dashes, agility drills, shuttles and position drills.
"It felt good being out here today," Robinson said. "It was a little windy and we had kind of a bad weather day but I felt like I did good."
Most scouts on site were present to watch Robinson who is projected to be drafted anywhere from rounds 4-7. As a senior wide receiver at SMU, he recorded 65 receptions for 1,301 yards and 14 touchdowns. Robinson is a tad undersized at 5'9 184 pounds but could easily be an effective NFL slot receiver.
After an impressive NFL Combine performance in which he clocked in at 4.43 in the 40, and benched 225 pounds 17 times and had a 40-inch vertical jump, Robinson decided to bypass every thing at SMU Pro Day except the position drill portion.
"I felt like I had a good combine and my numbers were good," Robinson said. "I didn't want to come out here today and have worse times so I decided to stay with the good combine times."
During position drills, Robinson displayed the great route running and solid hands that NFL scouts came to see.
Robinson also fielded punts and believes he can make an immediate contribution to any NFL team.
"I think I can make a big impact with any NFL team I go to," he said. "I'm a good receiver and I can also play a part on special teams. I feel like when a team gets me, they will get someone who can contribute as a receiver and be a good kick and punt returner."
One of Robinson's biggest influences is former teammate Emmanuel Sanders, who set receiving records at SMU and was drafted in the third round of last year's NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders finished his rookie campaign with 28 receptions for 376 yards and two touchdowns along with 628 kick return yards as he helped lead Pittsburgh to Super Bowl XLV.
"Emmanuel [Sanders] was a hard worker and did everything right," Robinson said. "Just by looking at him work, you could see what he wanted to be. When I looked at Sanders I found out I wanted to go the NFL too so I just thought about what he did and did what he did to get here."
Robinson leaves SMU as the only Mustang with two 1,000 yard seasons and holds the school record for most touchdown receptions in single season.
"SMU was a fun experience," Robinson said. "It will be something I never forget. I made a lot of friendships, had good coaching and it prepared me for the next level."
Cornerback Sterling Moore is another possible NFL prospect that could fit the mold of former SMU cornerback Bryan McCann, who went undrafted last year but caught on with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. McCann's 2010 season included 15 tackles, an interception that was returned 101 yards for a touchdown and a 97 yard punt return for a score that earned him Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week.
Despite missing six games due to injury, Moore posted 24 tackles, one interception which he returned for a touchdown and 10 pass deflections. At Pro Day, Moore skipped out on all shuttle drills but ran a 4.55 in the 40 and also had a 34 inch vertical jump.
Also partaking in SMU Pro Day were seniors Youri Yenga, Pete Fleps, Chris Butler, Patrick Fleming, Matt Szymanski, Bennie Thomas and Mickey Dollens.
The 2011 NFL Draft is slated to begin on April 28 at 7 p.m. on ESPN and will run through April 30.