Lost in the mess of the basketball season ending yesterday was Boston College Eagles football’s annual Pro Day for NFL scouts to observe our local talent.
By “local” we mean lots of Boston College guys were present and trying to impress the team representatives who came to watch them practice. (Note: Matt Ryan was also present, which can never be considered a bad thing.)
Most eyes were trained on Andre Williams, the 2013 Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman finalist who figures to be Boston College’s best bet to get selected at Radio City in May. Prior to Pro Day, NFL analyst Gil Brandt said the following of what he’d be looking for:
Andre Williams has very good running ability but needs to show he can catch to be drafted on the second day. He was one of my overlooked standouts from the combine, but at his pro day I want to get a closer look at his catching ability coming out of the backfield.
To that end, we also heard this on Wednesday:
BC RB Andre Williams said he met with a sports psychologist to work on catching the football. He's juggling to work on hand-eye coordination
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) March 12, 2014
So, what was the verdict for Williams and the other Eagles showing off their skills, like Chase Rettig and Matt Patchan, to name a few?
Word is that Williams’ 40-yard dash time was even faster than his performance at the Combine and he showed promise with regards to catching the ball. That’s something that he was not called upon to do at all for the Eagles in 2013, as his legs did all the talking and he had no receptions at all. That, however, is a big part of the NFL offensive game for a number of teams, and it demonstrates versatility. If Williams is improving as he has shown, then he will become a more attractive prospect to NFL teams.
Notably, Alex Amidon was present at Pro Day. Word is that he has been considering a career change to become a Navy SEAL, but his presence certainly can’t hurt.
In general, it’s nice to see some buzz around players that are part of our program and to see them get a chance to succeed at the next level. Regardless of official draft status, a majority of these young men will get their shot in training camp via other means. With any luck, these Eagles will stay firmly planted on the radars of NFL teams.