Grady Shines for NFL Scouts on Pro Day
March 19, 2014
SPRINGFIELD -- Temperatures were cooler than usual for Missouri State's fifth annual football Pro Day at Plaster Field on Wednesday (March 19), but the point was abundantly clear by the end of the session -- Anthony Grady has NFL potential.
The Bears' 6-foot-7, 289-pound senior defensive lineman from Texarkana, Ark., was evaluated in the 40-yard dash, three-cone drill, position skill tests and other speed drills after an early-morning evaluation in the weight room in Plaster Sports Complex.
"I've been training in Atlanta where it's 80, so I was a little tight in the hips as far as the weather goes," Grady said of the 35-degree temperatures in Springfield on Wednesday morning. "But I thought I did pretty good.”
Bears assistant coach Sean Coughlin, who coordinates the MSU event each year, said Grady's efforts were solid overall with an exceptional performance in the three-cone drill which he called "NFL Combine quality."
Former Bears Chris Douglas, Sybhrian Berry, Martin Montgomery, Tevan Ferguson, C.J. Randall, Howard Scarborough, Spencer Emerson, Art Rucker and Jeremiah Plowden, as well as players from other local colleges, also were evaluated. Douglas signed a free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills after his original Pro Day in 2012 and said he is ready for his return after fighting through a knee injury.
"I feel great," said Douglas. "You have to come back faster each year. I feel I'm in great shape, I'm healthy and my times are improved, so I just want that chance to get back in an NFL camp."
Scouts from the Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs were on hand for this year's Missouri State Pro Day.
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 May 8-10 Draft and subsequent free agent signings.
The Bears held their inaugural Pro Day in 2010 when All-America tight end Clay Harbor 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. In 2011, offensive lineman David Arkin upped his stock at Pro Day and jumped to a fourth-round selection by the Dallas Cowboys on draft day. Four other former Bears – Jermaine Saffold (Browns), Kolby Hurt (Saints), Jake Duron (Jets), Chris Douglas (Bills) and Randy Richards (Chargers) -- all turned enough heads at Plaster Field over the last three years to garner NFL free agent contracts with their respective clubs. Richards eventually landed a spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad where he spent the entire 2013 season, while Arkin (Dolphins) and Harbor (Jaguars) remain on active NFL rosters.
Ninth-year head coach Terry Allen expects 36 lettermen and 70 squad members to return when the Bears open spring drills on March 27. Missouri State's annual Maroon and White spring game is slated for April 26 at 1 p.m.