Cameron Goode made the biggest impression at Cal’s Pro Day on Wednesday, but whether that was enough to convince an NFL team to draft him remains to be seen.
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound outside linebacker caused a ruckus when he measured 39 inches in the vertical jump, and the fact that he improved that by nearly two inches in a just a week’s time testifies to the training Goode is putting in . In addition, his broad jump of 10 feet, five inches was the best among the 13 former Cal players who participated in this skills showcase for NFL scouts.
None of the 13 was invited to the NFL Combine, so it’s possible none will be drafted, but safety Elijah Hicks, Goode, linebacker Kuony Deng and quarterback Chase Garbers seem to have the best chance of getting drafted, probably in that pecking order. Defensive lineman Luc Bequette, linebacker Marqez Bimage, wide receiver Trevon Clark, wide receiver Kekoa Crawford, offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso, running back Marcel Dancy, defensive back Josh Drayden, defensive lineman Lone Toailoa and tight end Jake Tonges were the other ex-Cal players who participated.
Garbers probably got the most attention because he’s a quarterback, and he performed well in the vertical jump (32 inches), broad jump (9 feet, 4 inches), and threw most of the passes accurately in the passing session.
“As a quarterback you always want to throw it well, and I think I exhibited that pretty well today,” he said. “I think a big thing is accuracy.”
Otherwise the focus was on Goode.
The theme of the Cal players hoping to be taken in the NFL Draft April 28-20 is versatility, and Goode exemplifies that. It’s uncertain whether Goode’s size and skill set fit any defensive NFL position, which may hurt his draft status di lui, but his versatility di lui may help him in his bid to make an NFL roster.
“Initially a lot of [NFL] guys were looking at me on the edge, rushing the passer, ”Goode said in the video atop the story. “A lot of people are still looking at me that way. [But] the NFLPA [Collegiate Bowl] was a cool experience. Got to play off the ball, different stuff, different than I’m used to, more coverage. A lot of teams said it was good to show that versatility. “
Showing scouts a 39-inch vertical jump was good to show too.
“That 39-inch vert kind of shocked some people,” Goode said. “Got a lot of attention from that.”
Goode wasn’t surprised, though, having seen steady improvement in that event.
“I kept PRing [personal record], every week I would jump one and half to two inches, ”Goode said. “I jumped two inches since I did it last week.”
Goode credited being a little lighter and his work on explosiveness for the improvement.
He also wanted to impress scouts with his speed and his fastest recorded time in the 40-yard dash on Wednesday was 4.58 seconds, which is good although Goode hoped for more.
He timed 4.29 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and 6.91 seconds in the cone shuttle and managed 17 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press.
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Deng needs to perform well in these showcases for scouts because he does not have a lot of game film since Cal played only four games in 2020 and he played only one game in 2021 before missing the rest of the season with an ankle injury that required surgery in October.
“I had that tight-rope surgeryrepairment of the joint where they put that little metal wire in your ankle, ”Deng said.
He is counting on his versatility to attract NFL general managers.
“I feel like there’s no one like me in the whole draft,” he said. “I can play all four linebacker positions in an odd [three-man] front, at the three in an even [four-man] front. Want me to put on 10 pounds and play D-end, I can do that. I think I’m a rare breed of versatility. “
He wasn’t so concerned with his times and measurements as much as demonstrating that he is healthy and athletics.
Hicks was unable to demonstrate anything physically. He did not participate in any of the outdoor skill events because he sustained a broken foot in the practice leading up to the Senior Bowl in late January.
“It’s a Jones fracture in the right foot, ”Hicks said. “They put a screw in it, and I’ll be good to go very soon.”
Versatility is an asset for Hicks too. He was a starting cornerback for three season and a starting safety for the last two (the 2020 season did not count against college eligibility). Hicks like the safety spot, because it keeps him closer to the ball, but he figures being able to play corner or nickel is an asset.
Below are some other noteworthy statistics from participants of Cal’s Pro Day.
And finally the broad jumps of Kekoa Crawford and Valentino Daltoso: