by Stone Harper
Some of the most important moments in a college student’s career revolve around job interviews. For members of Nevada’s football team, Pro Day is the ultimate job interview. Mackay Stadium was the scene for former Wolf Pack greats working out in front of NFL teams for the opportunity to improve their NFL draft stock. Some prospects performed well, while others did not.
The surprise of the event was cornerback Evan Favors. The often-injured cornerback only managed to play 11 games, and in the games he did play was fairly inconsistent. However, at Pro Day Favors was able to impress with his blazing speed, recording a 4.4 second 40-yard dash, which gives him a real chance at being a late-round pick or training camp invite.
“I think I did pretty well,” Favors said. “I feel like I gave myself a legit shot. This gave me a shot to showcase what I can do. Hopefully I raised some eyebrows with how smooth I was in the 40.”
Another prospect that was on full display was defensive end Brock Hekking. The 6-foot-4 internet sensation started off the season as Nevada’s most hyped player with media outlets projecting he could go as high as the fifth round.
However, when the season got underway Hekking lost some attention due to the play of teammate Ian Seau and draft expectations simmered down. At Pro Day, Hekking was able to bench press 28 reps of 225 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash at 4.68, not as fast as Hekking planned but enough to keep scouts interested.
“I felt pretty good,” Hekking said. “It was a good time, it was fun to be out here with everybody on the field for the last time.”
After starting at defensive end in college, Hekking will transition to a pass rushing linebacker and was able to impress with his positional drill. However, the main event of the day was Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo. The four-year starter has been projected to be a third-day draft pick for most of this season and has done nothing but impress during offseason workouts. At the NFL Scouting Combine Fajardo ran a 4.63 40-yard dash and was in the top 10 among quarterbacks in every drill.
Due to his impressive performance in Indianapolis, Fajardo chose to not participate in any drills and focused solely on throwing. Fajardo impressed, completing 50-of-55 passes, which included a few drops.
The most impressive part of the signal caller’s workout was that he worked from under center showing scouts his improved footwork. A knock on him coming out of Nevada is that he only spent time out of the Pistol whereas most NFL offenses require a quarterback to work from under center.
“It was very important for me,” Fajardo said. “My workout today was probably 85 percent under center just to show the scouts that I can be coachable. I focused my whole offseason under center stuff, if you turn on the tape I was 100 percent shotgun so they can get their shotgun work and then I showed them what I can do under center today.”
Fajardo’s workout was led by his quarterbacks coach Steve Calhoun and focused on throws that would be asked of any NFL quarterback. With the draft a month away prospects will be making the final touches on their craft and then wait until draft day to hear their names called.
“For me, I just wanted to get my foot in the door,” said Fajardo “Whether I get drafted or not just getting the opportunity to play is what I’m leaning on. I know whoever drafts me or picks me up won’t regret it, I’m going to work hard and try and be a starter in the NFL.”
Stone Harper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @StoneHarperNVSB.