SPRINGFIELD -- Missouri State's annual football pro day at Plaster Field on Friday morning proved to be successful as 13 NFL teams sent representatives to evaluate the eight former Bears and four others chasing their professional dreams.
A pair of MSU players, Jermaine Saffold and Chris Douglas, stole most of the attention. Saffold had the best 40-yard time of the day at 4.36 and also registered a broad jump of 10-feet, 3 inches. Douglas, who showed up in remarkable shape, turned in a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash after spending most of his post-graduation time working out at a professional training facility.
Former Bears Stephen Johnston, Caleb Mueller, Jimmie Strong, Willie White, Terian Washington and Antoine Wilkinson were also evaluated today. Two players from Evangel University, including former Bear Sam Guillaume, also participated along with representatives from Southwest Baptist University and Missouri University of Science & Technology.
Scouts from the Bills, Colts, Jaguars, Chiefs, Giants, Eagles, Bears, Packers, Panthers, Buccaneers, 49ers, Steelers and Seahawks evaluated the pro hopefuls in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, shuttle run, three-cone drills, position skill tests and other speed drills after an early-morning evaluations in the weight room.
The NFL Pro Day series puts NFL staffs on the road throughout the month of March to scout talent up close and personal on college campuses. The evaluative events give NFL Combine participants an opportunity to improve their times and marks, while providing a venue for under-the-radar players to demonstrate their skills and make a name for themselves prior to the April 26-28 Draft.
Both Saffold and Douglas indicated they will try to improve marks in certain events at the March 23 pro day in St. Joseph at Missouri Western State University.
Tight end Clay Harbor was the star attraction at MSU's inaugural Pro Day in 2010 when he improved on his NFL Combine time in the 40-yard dash and parlayed his on-campus performance into a fourth-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, offensive lineman David Arkin upped his stock at Pro Day and jumped to a fourth-round selection by the Dallas Cowboys on draft day. Players like Kolby Hurt and Jake Duron also took full advantage of the MSU pro day in 2011, turning enough heads at Plaster Field to garner free agent contracts with the Saints and Jets, respectively.