TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State hosted its annual pro day Friday as 12 seniors made their last push at securing a chance for an NFL job. Here are some notes, quotes and observations from the day.
— Twelve seniors participated in the event: Safeties Kevin Ayers and Keelan Johnson, linebackers Charles Beatty and Brandon Magee, cornerback Deveron Carr, punter Josh Hubner, running backs Cameron Marshall and James Morrison, wide receivers Jamal Miles, A.J. Pickens and Rashad Ross and offensive lineman Brice Schwab. They were joined by former Sun Devil linebacker Shelly Lyons, who last played in 2011.
— Four of ASU’s 2012 seniors declined invitations to participate: Linebacker Brandon Johnson, offensive linemen Kyle Johnson and Andrew Sampson and defensive end Toa Tuitea. Sampson’s absence was a little surprising given that he started 34 games at ASU, but it sounds as if he doesn’t plan to pursue football professionally.
— Magee, ASU’s best prospect in the draft, felt he improved a bit on his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. He had a little more time to train while still battling an elbow injury that limited him at the Combine.
“It was really frustrating,” Magee said of preparing for the combine at less than full strength. “I knew I could do way better than I did at the Combine, so I did that today. I’m happy with it.”
The quantifiable improvement came in the 40-yard dash. Magee was told he clocked as low as 4.53 seconds and as high as 4.59 seconds Friday, a nice improvement from his combine time.
“Better than that 4.74 you guys were talking about for the last two weeks, huh?” Magee joked.
Magee said he’s still less than 100 percent and probably won’t be for about a month. He resumed lifting weights Monday but didn’t do any weightroom activities Friday. He plans to film those when he can and send tape to teams.
— Justified or not, 40-yard dash times always get the most attention. The numbers can often be a bit deceiving, especially when timed by hand as they were at Friday’s pro day. So there’s your disclaimer. Now, here are a few of the unofficial numbers:
Rashad Ross, WR: The lowest time I heard for Ross was 4.30 seconds. The highest was 4.41. Most timers seemed to have him in the 4.3s The fastest receiver at the combined came in at 4.27 and the second highest at 4.34. A few teams figure to be interested in this kind of speed, likely as an undrafted free agent.
Jamal Miles, WR: Miles told me afterward he was told he clocked a 4.40. That time would have been good enough for fifth at the Combine. That kind of speed makes Miles an intriguing gamble for a team looking for a return specialist.
Deveron Carr, CB: Carr said he was told he registered a 4.39 on his first attempt and a 4.40 on his second. Those numbers would have been among the top six for cornerbacks at the Combine.
Keelan Johnson, S: Johnson clocked a 4.54 at the Combine last month. He was reportedly in the same range Friday, with one timer clocking him at 4.47.
Cameron Marshall, RB: According to unconfirmed reports, Marshall was said to have clocked in the high 4.4s to low 4.5s.
— Marshall weighed in at 211 pounds Friday, lighter than he was during most of his playing career at ASU. He admitted he thought he deserved an invite to the combine, but he clearly wasn’t dwelling on it and knew he had a lot to gain from pro day.
“I felt like I had a lot to prove today, and I thought I did a really good job,” Marshall said. I’ll have more on Marshall next week on FOXSportsArizona.com.
— More on Keelan Johnson: He didn’t seem happy with how his day went. He said all his Combine numbers were better than Friday’s. He might have benefited from not doing certain drills again, but it didn’t sound as if that had crossed his mind.
“I’m a competitor, so I wanted to come in here and prove my numbers,” Johnson said. “It didn’t happen.”
Johnson said pro day was less stressful than the Combine, knowing what to expect a little more. That might have made him a little too comfortable, though it still seems like Johnson has at least a shot to get drafted in the late rounds.
— A number of former Sun Devils now playing professionally also stopped by, including running back Ryan Torain, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, wide receiver Gerell Robinson and wide receiver/current graduate assistant Rudy Burgess.
— Other faces at Friday’s pro day: Former ASU head coach and current Raiders scout Larry Marmie, recently hired defensive line coach Jackie Shipp, co-defensive coordinator Paul Randolph, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ball and a large contingent of current ASU players.