On Tuesday, the Rutgers football team hosted its annual Pro Day, an event where the Scarlet Knights’ NFL prospects work out in front of team scouts. Among those who participated were Bo Melton, Isaih Pacheco, Olakunle Fatukasi, Julius Turner, Tre Avery and Jovani Haskins.
Melton could be considered the most intriguing prospect from Rutgers, as his 4.34 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine, fifth among all wide receivers, elevated him on many draft boards. The Mays Landing, New Jersey, native measures approximately 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 190 pounds.
Melton also participated in drills that showcased his speed and skills as a wide receiver. Senior quarterback Noah Vedral was among the quarterbacks throwing Melton his passes during this part of the workout. Here’s a video showcasing some of Melton’s work with Vedral.
Melton did not run a 40-yard dash on Tuesday due to his strong time in Indianapolis.
The impressive showing on Tuesday caps off what has been a productive offseason for Melton as his successful NFL Combine was preceded by a trip to the Reese’s Senior Bowl back in February.
“(Melton) can do a lot of things," said head coach Greg Schiano on Tuesday. "When I watch (Melton) with the ball in his hands, he's got running back-type skills, but he plays wide out. He's a very good returner as well. He was our best wide out.”
Right next to Melton on the field of the Busch campus Practice Bubble was Pacheco, who was participating in his own set of drills. Pacheco measures approximately 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 222 pounds.
Along with running back-specific drills, which can be seen in this video, Pacheco put together 27 reps on the bench press but, like Melton, did not participate in the 40-yard dash. This is because Pacheco ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which tied for the fastest time among running backs.
After his workout, the Vineland, New Jersey, native earned a private workout with the Denver Broncos next month.
“It was a great experience,” Pacheco said. “I’m just blessed to be here, and I want to thank God for waking me up today and allowing my brothers and I to be able to compete. I took every single drill and listened to the details, that’s what it is all about.”
Fatukasi stands approximately 6-feet-1-inch tall and weighs 234 pounds. The Butkus Award semifinalist and Third Team All-Big Ten member from last season ran a 4.8 40-yard dash on his first try before improving to 4.78 on his second try.
“The biggest thing I took out of (the draft experience) is that every day you just have to work. It’s the same thing every day, work on your (40-yard dash), your (bench press),” Fatukasi said. “People get tired of it, and people get bored of it, but you have to have a strong mindset to keep going.”
Turner, Avery and Haskins also participated in similar drills throughout the day. Haskins was working alongside Melton in receiver drills, as the 6-foot-4-inch, 252-pound tight end hoped to make his NFL dream a reality.
Schiano and the Knights have a long history of sending players to the NFL. During his tenure, 85 players have moved to the next level, including Super Bowl champions Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty and Sebastian Joseph-Day to go along with Cincinnati Bengals long snapper Clark Harris and linebacker Kemoko Turay.
“It’s great to see all these scouts and executives and coaches here today,” Schiano said. “Those of you who have been around know this had become quite a spectacle back in the day. That’s the goal: to get it back there. When you do, that means you have that number of NFL players.”
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