March 19, 2016
By Matt Winkeljohn | The Good Word
There was more sweating than usual in job interviews Friday for 11 former Yellow Jackets even though they dressed lightly for Georgia Tech’s pro day.
With 47 scouts representing 29 NFL teams clicking stopwatches and jotting down notes, Bryan Chamberlain, Jamal Golden, Errin Joe, Tyler Marcordes, Chris Milton, Patrick Skov, Demond Smith, Adam Gotsis, Broderick Snoddy, D.J. White and Synjyn Days worked out in before potential future employers.
Milton didn’t sweat the idea that he might not match the blazing 4.35-second time he clocked recently at an NFL-sponsored regional combine in New Orleans. The cornerback wanted to prove it was no fluke so he ran once more in the Brock Indoor Practice Facility.
Multiple NFL team officials timed him in the mid-4.3s again.
“More scouts were here so whoever didn’t see it, I wanted to let them see it and try to get as much publicity as I could,” Milton said.
The former Jacket projected to be drafted highest did the least Friday.
Gotsis is still rehabilitating after surgery four months ago to repair a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament. The defensive tackle bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times for scouts, and otherwise spoke with several team officials – including Falcons head coach Dan Quinn – and cheered former teammates.
“One thing for me was to tell guys to relax and enjoy it,” Gotsis said. “Tyler Marcordes came out and I think shocked everyone with the way he was moving around at 247 (pounds).
“All teams have got to do is turn on his special teams film and they’re going to see a guy that’s going to go down there and make the tackle every time.”
Marcordes, a linebacker, did not deep snap for the Jackets but showed those skills Friday to make himself more appealing as a special teamer.
Tech head coach Paul Johnson, much of his staff, athletics director Mike Bobinski and several former Tech players — including Michael Johnson, Izaan Cross, Brandon Watts, Emmanuel Dieke, T.J. Barnes and Omoregie Uzzi — were present.
“It’s great for our guys to come back and support them,” said Johnson, the head coach. “They’re great sounding boards for these guys with what it takes to get there and stay there…
“It’s a chance to get out and do some drills and show some athleticism. Certainly you can open some eyes if you run a good time and do some things athletically, and you get exposure in front of a bunch of teams and that’s good.”
Days has been through this process before. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys last spring. He was released before training camp began, however, and is looking for another shot.
“I feel like I did very well. I feel like I improved,” he said. “I’m almost 10 pounds lighter. I was 230 last year, 221 now . . . Last year, I kind of jumped at the first opportunity. Hopefully, a few teams took some interest in me.”
Safety Demond Smith pulled a hamstring running the 40, and his workout was cut short, and running back Patrick Skov was unable to run the 40 because he has a hamstring injury. The transfer bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times, though, and worked through several other drills.
“It’s all about enjoying the day and enjoying the process,” Skov said. “I tried to muscle through the rest of it. I talked to a lot of [the teams] at the NFLPA [all-star] game.”
Johnson fields questions from NFL teams about the Jackets’ prospects.
“D.J. will have a real chance, and so does Chris Milton. Hopefully Jamal will get a chance. I know [Smith] worked really hard preparing for this, and it’s disappointing to see him get hurt like that . . . You know, a lot of people have asked about Chris.
“Clearly, getting hurt set him back some, but whoever gets Adam Gotsis is going to get a great football player and a great human being. He’s going to work as hard or harder than anyone can work, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play for a long time.”