19 NFL teams attend Gopher 'Pro Day'


The University of Minnesota football team held its pro day for NFL scouts today. Representatives from 19 NFL teams attended, including much of the Vikings coaching staff.

Other teams that attended were Atlanta, Arizona, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

Former Gophers Jeremy Baltazar, Jake Filkins, Ra'Shede Hageman, Aaron Hill, Roland Johnson, Victor Keise, James Manuel, Martez Shabazz and Brock Vereen all worked out for NFL scouts.

Gopher defensive lineman Roland Johnson put on a show for scouts on the bench press. Johnson notched 40 reps at 225-pounds, which would have led all defensive players at the NFL Combine and would have been second overall.

"Actually I expected to get 50," Johnson told the Star Tribune, afterwards. "The record was 49, that was my goal."

Baltazar did 27 reps on the bench press and ran a 4.44 forty. Manuel also impressed with a 4.53 forty, 37-inch vertical and a 10.6 broad jump.

Hageman and Vereen, who impressed scouts with their performance at the combine, participated only in position drills.

The Star Tribune reports Vereen is expected to be a mid-to-late round pick, Hageman has a good chance to be the the first Gopher player selected in the first round since Laurence Maroney in 2006.

"I'm really just taking baby steps, embracing everything," Hageman told 1500 ESPN. "It's kind of overwhelming, but it's still letting me know to keep focusing and stay hungry. I have a goal in hand and I need to keep on reaching that."

Former Gophers Adam Weber, Traye Simmons and Troy Stoudermire were among several others that worked out in front of NFL scouts, including many standouts from some of the small colleges in the region.

One of those standouts, is Concordia St. Paul's Zach Moore. Moore is a 6'6, 285-pound defensive end. After an impressive showing at the NFL's Scouting Combine, Moore is looking to become the first player drafted from Concordia St. Paul, according to the Pioneer Press.

Concordia coach Ryan Williams told the Pioneer Press that 55 NFL personnel people from every team in the league came to St. Paul last season to observe Moore. Moore said at the combine he had formal or informal interviews with every team except Cincinnati.

The NFL Draft this year is scheduled for May 8-10.

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