Stanford seniors showcase talents to NFL scouts at Pro Day


Photos by Renee Abu-Zaghibra/ The Skyline View

Stepfan Taylor completes catching drills in front of scouts.

On March 21 Stanford senior football players participated in Pro Timing Day.

Pro Timing Day is for the players who are eligible to enter into the NFL draft to showcase certain drills and their talents in front of prospective scouts from NFL teams. All 32 NFL teams were represented at the Stanford Pro Day along with many of the athletes’ families, friends and teammates.

In the early part of the morning the players went into their training facility with scouts, coaches and a guest for the vertical jump, broad jump and reps. Then around 11 a.m., they walked to a practice field where they warmed up then began the 40 yd dash, 10-split and other exercises the scouts would ask them to perform in.

All 12 seniors were in attendance to participate; Harold Bernard, Terrence Brown, Alex Debniak, Zach Ertz, Jamal-Rashad Patterson, Sam Shwartzstein, Terrence Stephens, Drew Terrell, Chase Thomas, Levine Toilolo and Daniel Zynchlinski.

Zach Ertz (tight end) and Stepfan Taylor (running back) were the key to Stanford’s offensive success. During the 2012 season (including the Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin) Ertz had 69 receptions, 898 yds and 6 TD; Taylor had 322 ATT, 1,5430 yds and 13 TD.

Ertz had a breakout season with his stats and was even nominated for the Mackey Award , which is given to the nation’s best tight end. “I’ve been working like this since I was a freshman,” said Ertz. “I always wanted to be the go-to guy at the end of the game. I mean my mentality didn’t change this year and it won’t change in the future.”

Another key to their success on the field was their defensive line. They held their opponents to 241 points in all 14 games while outscoring them with 390 points overall. Alex Debniak and Chase Thomas were both keys to the success of the defense.

Debniak’s stats from all 14 games, including their post season bowl victory are 24 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles. “…I’ve always considered myself the best athlete,” said Debniak. “…I was really pleased that I could come out and show really well in position drills. I think I definitely helped myself today.”

Thomas’ stats from all 14 games, including their post season bowl victory are 71 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. “Our defense is one of the more complex defenses in the country in terms of the different blitzes and packages we had,” said Thomas. “That really does get you prepared in terms of your football knowledge.”

NFL draft is scheduled to begin on Thur. April 25 and run until Sat. April 27 and will air on ESPN.