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Wisconsin football: NFL Draft Combine and Pro Day recap

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Multiple former Badgers performed well for NFL scouts in Indianapolis and Madison.

NFL: Scouting Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’re fully into NFL Draft SZN, as we’ve passed the Draft Combine and are now in Pro Day SZN.

Just a couple of days after they participated in the NFL Combine, Logan Bruss, Leo Chenal, Jake Ferguson and Jack Sanborn were back in Madison in front of scouts from all 32 teams, plus one XFL team, along with some of their former teammates.

Before we get to the local Pro Day, let’s take a look at how the four Badgers who performed at the NFL Combine fared.

NFL Combine
Logan Bruss speaking to reporters at the NFL Draft Combine.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Logan Bruss

Height: 6050”
Weight: 309
Hand: 10 3/4”
Arm: 33 1/8”
40 Yard Dash: 5.32 seconds
Vertical Jump: 31”
Broad Jump: 9’4”
Pro Agility: 4.55 seconds
Three Cone: 7.57 seconds
Bench Press: N/A

Bruss’ workout checks out for about what we all expected. Bruss is a good functional athlete without high upside twitch. Bruss has tackle experience in college, but projects as a guard in the NFL, and his athletic profile coincides with that projection. Modest times/results for all events but no real standout event.

Leo Chenal

Height: 6026
Weight: 249
Hand: 9 3/4”
Arm: 31”
40 Yard Dash: 4.53 seconds
Vertical Jump: 40.5”
Broad Jump: 10’8”
Pro Agility: 3.94 seconds*
Three Cone: 6.84 seconds*
Bench Press: 34 reps*

*results from Wisconsin’s Pro Day

Chenal absolutely blew up the Combine, posting some eye popping numbers in every event he participated in. Especially when adjusted for his weight, Chenal’s numbers are some of the most impressive in the history of the position. He followed up the combine performance with more eye-popping numbers from the typically friendly home-field stop watch in Madison, along with his 34 reps of 225 which were expected for the muscle bound linebacker.

As we see here, Chenal hits a full 10/10 on RAS (Relative Athletic Score) which is very similar to the old Nike SPARQ rating, but is a good tool to use to gauge a prospect’s weight adjusted athleticism.

Jake Ferguson

Height: 6046
Weight: 245
Hand: 9 1/2”
Arm: 32 5/8”
40 Yard Dash: 4.81 seconds/4.71 seconds*
Vertical Jump: 31.5”/34.5”*
Broad Jump: 9’10”
Pro Agility: 4.48 seconds
Three Cone: 7.03 seconds
Bench Press: 15 reps

*results from Wisconsin’s Pro Day

Ferguson was never going to make his money at the next level because of his athleticism, but he tested respectably enough that it’ll never be a liability either. His three cone time is impressive for a tight end, and his ability to change direction quickly comes through in his route running when he’s able to create separation and break defenders off. A willing blocker, the 15 reps isn’t great, but again, he’s not a dominator, rather a position blocker, so that’s just fine.

Jack Sanborn

Height: 6014
Weight: 239
Hands: 9 5/8”
Arm: 30 1/2”
40 Yard Dash: 4.73 seconds
Vertical Jump: 34.5”
Broad Jump: 9’6”
Pro Agility: 4.05 seconds*
Three Cone: 6.81 seconds*
Bench Press: 20 reps

*results from Wisconsin’s Pro Day

Not to sounds like a broken record, but Sanborn is never going to be an elite athlete. He doesn’t win due to his sheer, natural athleticism. He wins due to his football savvy, instincts, and preparation. That said, he performed admirably in Indianapolis, and the remaining events he did in Madison, performed well there as well. The biggest thing for a player like Sanborn is to not raise any red flags with his athletic testing, and he accomplished that.

PRO DAY

Notable performances:

FB John Chenal

Although he plays a more prominent position, it’s clear Leo didn’t get all of the athletic genes in the family. John put up some impressive numbers for fullback, in particular the 37” vertical jump. The 29 bench reps were also a sight to see, which led right into his big brother’s 34 reps. Chenal is one of the top fullbacks in this year’s draft.

DL Matt Henningsen

Henningsen was unable to participate in the 40 due to a hampered hamstring, but participated in everything else, and blew scouts in attendance away. For an athlete near 290 pounds, a vertical jump of 37.5” and a broad jump of nearly 10 feet (9’11”) would have both been near the top of the boards at the Combine. Henningsen’s weight adjusted athleticism is very impressive, and he’ll find an opportunity at the next level because of it.

CB Faion Hicks

Hicks, a fifth year senior corner, tested very well on Wednesday. A valuable part of the #1 defense in the country, Hicks could have some NFL interest as an undrafted free agent, and he put himself in a good position to do so with his performance. At 5-foot-10 even and 183 pounds, Hicks ran fast (4.38 second 40), was explosive (10’1” broad and 37” vert), and performed well in the shuttles (3.94 pro agility and 6.78 three cone). Hicks’ size will likely limit him to in the slot, but his athletic profile won’t be what holds him back at the next level.

S Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson was a four-year starter for the Badgers at free safety, though had a very injury ravaged career. Athleticism and talent were never Nelson’s issue, who often flashed ball skills and closing burst when he was on the field. Nelson was arguably the most impressive tester on Wednesday, as he impressed scouts in every event.

He ran his 40 Yard Dash in 4.38 seconds, he had a sub seven second three cone, a sub four second pro agility, and had a broad jump of 10’6” and nearly a 40 inch vertical (39.5”).

Other notes

  • A Miami Dolphins’ scout put the offensive linemen (Bruss and Seltzner) through their workouts.
  • A Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ scout put the linebackers and defensive backs (Burks, Sanborn, Chenal, Hicks, Nelson, Wilder and Cone) through their workout.
  • Badgers’ graduate assistant coach Keller Chryst (nephew of Paul), a former 5-star recruit at Stanford, wowed those in attendance during the offensive skill portion of the workout, prompting a reminder from Badgers’ WR coach Alvis Whitted: “Y’all are here to see the receivers, not Keller,” which draw some laughter.