Linebacker Carlos Fields from Winston-Salem State
, one of 16 players who worked out in the wind, rain, freezing rain and snow.
Fields and former teammate Donnie Owens, a defensive lineman, did their best to draw the attention of 22 NFL scouts. They’re long shots to be drafted in May but hopeful of signing as rookie free agents after the draft.
“This is our shot,” Owens said. “As D-II guys, we don’t have the luxury of all the TV games or any of that, so Carlos and I realize what’s at stake. We didn’t get a lot of exposure at the D-II level, so these pro days are even more important to us.”
Players went through a variety of drills on Wake Forest’s artificial-turf practice field, including the 40-yard dash, pro shuttle drill and three-cone drill. They also bench-pressed 225 pounds in the weight room and had their broad and vertical jumps measured.
Owens (6-3, 310) had 26 repetitions on the bench press, and Fields (6-2, 235) had 17.
“I think my high at Winston-Salem State before today was eight, so I improved a lot,” said Fields, a two-time CIAA defensive player of the year.
Fields, one of the fastest linebackers in the CIAA in recent seasons, didn’t get the chance to play in any all-star games, so the pro day might have been his only shot at impressing scouts.
“There’s been a few scouts that have talked with me,” he said. “The Green Bay Packers, the Chiefs, and the Panthers seem like they are interested, so that’s been good. I’m just trying to keep a good attitude and keep smiling, and hopefully I’ll get a shot.”
Fields said there is some pressure to perform, but it didn’t seem as if he let it consume him. He said he thought he ran the 40 in 4.4 seconds, but he didn’t know his official time.
“I’m trying to enjoy the moment, but I know it’s a big moment for a lot of us,” Fields said. “We’ve all been training pretty hard for this day.”