For a month, Alexander Mattison had a little motivation in the back of his mind.
The former Boise State running back took part in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and on March 1, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds. Wanting to show that he had the speed to be drafted, it was a disappointing time, 20th of the 22 backs who ran.
At Boise State’s annual pro day Tuesday, with dozens of former teammates watching, he was all smiles. And for good reason — according to unofficial times provided by Boise State, his top time of his two attempts was 4.52 seconds. That would have tied for 10th at the combine.
“Felt good, felt fast, felt explosive,” Mattison said. “... I think it was a big thing for me to make sure I go out and prove I’m faster than that time at the combine. It was something in the back of my head, training the whole time.”
Mattison and 10 other Broncos from last season’s team took part in pro day, trying to make the most of their opportunities to impress NFL scouts, who represented 28 teams. Otherwise happy with his combine performance, Mattison also took part in position drills, including catching passes from the Broncos’ other combine invitee, quarterback Brett Rypien.
New Orleans Saints running backs coach Joel Thomas, a former University of Idaho player, helped run the drills in which Mattison and Skyler Seibold participated. Mattison, who has already visited the Bears, is optimistic more will lie ahead.
Rypien, who only threw Tuesday, said he has a few visits lined up as the draft approaches April 25-27. He’s hoping to become the first Boise State quarterback drafted in more than 40 years.
“I don’t control anything, but I’d like to think ... I’ve shown enough to put myself in a good position to get picked,” Rypien said.
Throwing to Mattison, Seibold, and receivers Sean Modster and A.J. Richardson, Rypien wanted to show he had arm strength better than some have perceived. He started to quell those doubts, tying for tops at the combine with a 59 mph throw.
“I had some very difficult throws put in there for a reason,” Rypien said. “... I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand well all day. Overall, very, very pleased.”
Though the two Broncos who took part in the combine are the most likely to be picked, pro day meant a prime opportunity for the others to showcase themselves. Cornerback Tyler Horton, a two-time All-Mountain West first-teamer, did not take part in an all-star game or the combine, so his work was geared toward pro day.
“It puts that chip on your shoulder, like, I deserve to be there, but at the end of the day ... you want to use that fuel at pro day,” Horton said.
Linebacker Jabril Frazier, who has the size and pass rush ability many teams want, has battled injuries his entire career. He had three surgeries in one day after the 2016 season, and had his knee cleaned up after last season.
A slight hamstring tweak prevented him from running the 40 or doing agility drills, but he felt he fared well in position drills and put up 22 reps in the bench press, a strong total with his long frame.
“I feel like I proved today after the knee surgery ... I’m still doing what I want to do,” said Frazier, who noted that he has talked to the Packers, 49ers and Seahawks.
The other Broncos had some solid results, including a blistering 11.24-second 60-yard shuttle by Modster, which would have been tops at the combine, regardless of position. Defensive end Durrant Miles had a very nice day, posting 24 reps on the bench, a 34-inch vertical and a 113-inch broad jump.
“It’s huge, showing guys that I’ve been under the radar,” said Miles, who added that he’s spoken to multiple teams. “... I jumped higher than I had been during training by about an inch and a half. I was like, ‘Heck yeah, let’s go.’”
Tuesday was the sort of day that will come only once for most of the Broncos who just finished playing, and those watching still on the roster. And it wasn’t lost on those on the field.
“It’s been an amazing process; to be able to even have this opportunity is a blessing,” Mattison said.
PRO DAY RESULTS
40-yard dash — CB Tyler Horton, 4.72 seconds; LB Tony Lashley, 4.8; RB Alexander Mattison, 4.52; DE Durrant Miles, 4.81; WR Sean Modster, 4.57; WR A.J. Richardson, 4.58; RB Skyler Seibold, 4.83; P Quinn Skillin, 4.78
20-yard shuttle — Horton, 4.41; Lashley, 4.25; Miles, 4.3; Modster, 4.06; Richardson, 4.32; Seibold, 4.31; Skillin, 4.44
60-yard shuttle — Horton, 12.29; Lashley, 12.08; Miles, 11.95; Modster, 11.24; Richardson, 12.03; Seibold, 11.77; Skillin, 12.04
3-cone drill — Horton, 7.06; Lashley, 7.15; Miles, 7.14; Modster, 6.67; Richardson, 7.06; Seibold, 7.06; Skillin, 6.97
Vertical jump — LB Jabril Frazier, 30.5 inches; Horton, 31; Lashley, 30; Miles, 34; Modster, 34.5; Richardson, 33.5; Seibold, 32; Skillin, 35.5
Broad jump — Frazier, 110; Horton, 115; Lashley, 108; Miles, 113; Modster, 110; Richardson, 110; Seibold, 112; Skillin, 119
Bench press (225 pounds) — Frazier, 22; Horton, 13; Lashley, 24; Miles, 24; Modster, 15; Richardson, 11; Seibold, 29