Current and former Rams were running for their lives Wednesday. Well, their football lives, anyway.
Fourteen one-time Rams showed their abilities at the CSU Pro Day Wednesday afternoon, testing their speed and strength in front of NFL scouts from the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns, among others.
While the majority of those participating posted impressive running times and higher bench press reps than expected, some, including former CSU lineman Adrian Martinez, were particularly impressive.
Martinez, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound guard, excelled at the bench press, completing 37 reps of 225 pounds. In addition, the California native unofficially posted a 5.14 second 40-yard dash time.
Martinez said he was pleased with his workout and expected the success he had.
â€œI think it went very well,â€ he said. â€œI had great times and everything went pretty well. I was expecting to do well at this, and I did.â€
Other standouts from the pro day included wide receiver Ryan Gardner, who led all participants with a 40-inch vertical leap and an unofficial 4.38-second, 40-yard dash. Gardner didnâ€™t see much playing time with the Rams during the season and said that makes this day all the more important for him.
â€œI felt like I could have done better on a few of the drills, but other than that, I was pretty content with my broad jump, my 40 and my vertical jump,â€ Gardner said. â€œHopefully the scouts will call me after seeing some of that stuff. I didnâ€™t play much during the season so Iâ€™m just hoping for a free agent call or something.â€
Gardner added that if he does get an invite to an NFL teamâ€™s preseason camp, heâ€™d make sure heâ€™d stay on the team, working his way up.
Shelley Smith, an offensive lineman and anticipated high round draft pick, didnâ€™t work out after turning in impressive numbers in the NFL Combine late last month. Smith did participate in one-on-one drills with other CSU offensive lineman.
Cole Pemberton also attended the Combine, but decided to fully work out once more for the scouts, this time on home turf. The offensive lineman improved in all categories including a 5.05 second 40 yard dash time and said he was more pleased with his workout this round.
Newly named CSU offensive coordinator Pat Meyer attended the event, helping NFL scouts run drills. Meyer said he thought most players had good performances, but added itâ€™s not all about a playerâ€™s workout stats.
â€œEveryone gets caught up in what you ran in the 40,â€ Meyer said. â€œThe big thing is that they (the scouts) watch film, because ultimately it doesnâ€™t come down to numbers. It comes down to who is a player and who they think fits their system.â€
The 2010 NFL draft is scheduled for April 22-24.
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.