WMU football showcases 13 players at 2022 pro day, declines to release test results

KALAMAZOO, MI – Few job interviews thrust candidates into the spotlight like college football pro days, when every rep on the bench press, inch in the broad jump and millisecond in the 40-yard dash can bolster or undermine an athlete’s shot at the NFL.

At Western Michigan’s 2022 pro day on Monday, at least 35 scouts and assistant coaches from 30 NFL teams congregated in the Bill Brown Football Center and Seelye Athletic Center to watch 13 Broncos make their case for a roster spot.

The annual event is an observed holiday for head coach Tim Lester, who considers pro day to be just as important, if not more so, than national signing day because it shows prospective recruits that playing in Kalamazoo can put them in the NFL.

“Our goal is to develop players to give them this chance, and obviously the pro teams don’t have to show up,” Lester said. “I think we had 35 to 38 scouts or total members here from 30 teams, so we had a couple of wideout coaches, we had a couple quarterback coaches … Our guys had a chance to have a very important interview, the one that they ‘ ve been waiting for for a long time, and I think they did well, so it’ll be an exciting next couple of months for these guys. “

Unlike Lester’s previous five pro days, WMU declined to release results from the 13 Bronco participants this year, with a program spokesperson saying the team did not electronically time the running and agility drills, and that each NFL scout hand-timed the drills, creating inconsistencies with the final times.

The program also declined to release more concrete results from the bench press, broad jump and vertical leap.

The football program did release player measurements Wednesday, and those can be found in the table below.

Athlete Position Height Weight Hand size Wingspan
Brett Borske YOU 6-foot-6.1 265 pounds 9.5 inches 82.125 inches
Mark Brooks OL 6-foot-5.7 304 pounds 9.75 inches 78.75 inches
Mike Caliendo OL / C 6-foot-4 301 pounds 9.4 inches 77 inches
Therran Coleman CB 5-foot-11.4 195 pounds 9.5 inches 75.5 inches
Kaleb Eleby QB 6-foot-0.5 206 pounds 9.375 inches 75.5 inches
Ali Fayad DL 6-foot-1.5 248 pounds 9.875 inches 77 inches
Wesley French OL 6-foot-4.7 307 pounds 10.125 inches 81 inches
Kainoa Fuiava DL 6-foot-2.7 316 pounds 9.625 inches 80.5 inches
Ralph Holley DL 6-foot-0.6 297 pounds 9.125 inches 77.375 inches
Jaxson Kincaide RB 5-foot-7.4 186 pounds 8.75 inches 66 inches
Skyy Moore WR 5-foot-9.6 191 pounds 10.25 inches 74.5 inches
Bryce Nunnelly WR 6-foot-0.3 189 pounds 9.125 inches 72.125 inches
AJ Thomas LB 6-foot-2 214 pounds 9.625 inches 78.375 inches

During the positional drills, the team’s two headliners – wide receiver Skyy Moore and quarterback Kaleb Eleby – showed why they’re under consideration for the 2022 NFL Draft, which begins April 28.

The 6-foot-1/2, 206-pound signal caller showed off a powerful arm, rarely underthrowing receivers on fly routes the sideline and slinging the ball with precision on deep outs across the field.

“I think the thing that’s most impressive with Kaleb is his arm strength and his accuracy,” Lester said. “Those are two really important things, and I thought today, he was on target. Where the ball is located when it comes in is a huge deal in evaluating quarterbacks, too, so watching him today, I thought he was extremely accurate with the ball, hitting the front shoulder and allowing the guy to turn the corner, so I thought his timing was pretty good. Obviously, the moment he breaks his hands, he can throw it better than anybody.

“They like his feet. His feet di lui weren’t so good when he got here. We’ve been training them for years, so he’s called me multiple times in the last couple months. I’m proud of his footwork of him and all the work we’ve put in, and people are noticing that. “

Quarterback coaches from Houston and New England were on hand to observe Eleby, who could become WMU’s first quarterback drafted into the NFL.

NFL Network analyst Lance Zierlein projects Eleby to be a priority undrafted free agent, while Pro Football Focus ranks him as the 252nd-best player available, which would put him in the seventh and final round.

“I’m only going to continue to get better,” said Eleby, who has been training in Mobile, Ala., With QB Country founder David Morris. “I felt like I had a good performance at the (NFL) Combine; I felt like I had a better performance here, and so on and so forth. Just continuing to get better each and every day; that’s all you can ask for. “

While Eleby appears to be a borderline pick six weeks ahead of the draft, Moore has solidified his spot, with the only question being how early he’ll hear his name called.

The 5-foot-10, 191-pound pass catcher opened eyes by running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at the NFL Combine, which prompted the Pittsburgh native to perform only position drills on Monday.

“I felt like he was going to be a 4.4 guy, and when the screen said 4.39, I was jumping up and down because I was happy for him,” Lester said of Moore’s 40-yard dash at the Combine. “You never know with the turf and with the laser. We have a laser; it’s not to the level of that laser, so guys can sometimes lose a tenth (of a second), so I was really just hoping he ended up in the 4.4s, and the fact that he ran a 4.39, I think, will be really good for his draft stock. “

NFL receivers coaches from Philadelphia, Cincinnati and the New York Giants were on hand to watch Moore, and judging by his post-pro day meeting with the Giants that lasted at least 30 minutes, he is collecting a lot of interest.

Pro Football Focus ranks Moore as the sixth-best wideout in a loaded draft class, and lists him at No. 33 overall on its big board, which would make him the first pick of the second round.

Ryan Wilson, of CBS Sports, projects Moore to the Dallas Cowboys in the second round at No. 56 overall in his latest mock draft.

A quarterback and defensive back in high school, Moore is a relative newcomer to the wide receiver position, and his ability to pick it up immediately bodes well for his growth.

“The thing about Skyy is just he’s an all-around great football player,” Lester said. “He’s always under control; he runs smooth routes. I think that’s the thing that surprised people the most just watching him run in and out of cuts, and then they see his di lui (40-yard dash) time di lui, and they realize how fast he is…

“I think there were two or three wide receivers coaches here, which is always a huge sign. Scouts are always going to be at this thing, but when the coaches decide to come out, it’s normally a good sign for what’s going to happen here in a month or two. “

Rounding out the WMU athletes taking part in the Broncos’ pro day were offensive linemen Mike Caliendo, Mark Brooks and Wesley French, defensive linemen Ralph Holley, Ali Fayad and Kainoa Fuiava, tight end Brett Borske, cornerback Therran Coleman, running back Jaxson Kincaide, linebacker AJ Thomas and receiver Bryce Nunnelly.

Fayad, the reigning Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, showed off his strength with 28 reps on the bench press, but at 6-foot-1.5 and 248 pounds, he lacks prototypical NFL size at defensive end, where he played at WMU.

But NFL teams value pass rushers more than ever, and Fayad said some see him moving to outside linebacker at the next level.

“Multiple teams see me at either 4-3 defensive end with a hand in the ground, or a 3-4 outside linebacker, as long as they get to see me rush the passer, that’s what they want me to do,” he said .

Holley, who was listed at 285 pounds on WMU’s 2021 roster, weighed in at 297 pounds at pro day, and given the burst and quickness he has shown as a four-year starter, he likely helped his NFL prospects on Monday.

“I was looking forward to showcasing my power and my get-off – things that have been essential to my game play since I’ve been at Western,” Holley said. “My explosiveness and just playing north and south and getting into the backfield, that’s a big part of my game, and I just wanted to show that explosiveness today.”

“I think I did really well in those two areas,” Holley added of his power and get-off. “I think I showcased a lot, especially in some of the short-yardage testing and the explosiveness, just with my vertical, and with the position drills, too, I think I showcased them pretty well.”

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