UCLA’s outside linebacker Akeem Ayers put together a better showing at his Pro Day on Tuesday than at the Scouting Combine last month according to reports.
Ayers is considered to be the top linebacker available when the Giants draft at 19th overall. The Giants’ greatest need is at linebacker and below is how Ayers did according to three reports.
However, offensive line and defensive line might be better value at 19. ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have the Giants going offensive line in the first round. The Giants can always go linebacker later in the draft.
National Football Post: “Ayers improved his 40-yard dash significantly today at his Pro Day workout from the NFL scouting combine with clockings in the 4.69 to low 4.7 range, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
Ayers ran a 4.84 at the combine.
Today at the UCLA campus, Ayers bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times and posted a 34 1/2 inch vertical leap.
The 6-foot-3, 254-pound all-around linebacker has excellent film, but doesn't test particularly well. However, teams are extremely high on Ayers, including the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Los Angeles Times: “Ayers improved on the disappointing 4.8-second, 40-yard dash time he ran at the NFL combine, recording times between 4.7 and 4.76. He also went through agility drills for linebacker and defensive linemen.
Whether that was enough to prop up his draft status, which was believed to be slipping toward the second round, remains to be seen.
"I wanted to show that I am a better athlete than I showed at the combine," Ayers said. "The combine wasn't the type of player I am. I didn't want to settle on what I did there."
Ayers said he was prepared for the combine, but "it was more a body recovery thing. It wasn't that I hadn't worked hard."
Orange County Register: “After pro day, there might be a few more teams interested in Ayers. He ran an unofficial 4.76 and 4.78 in the 40, with some in attendance clocking him as low as 4.69.
It was a critical day for the linebacker, who ran disappointing 4.8s at the combine and has seen his stock fall to the bottom of the first round. Ayers also improved his marks in the vertical jump and bench press.
"I always knew I was a better athlete than what I did at the combine," Ayers said. "At the end of the day, turn on the film, watch me play, see what I can do as a football player, which is what I'm going to be doing on Sundays with whichever team drafts me."
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