Pro Day notebook: Butler, Montgomery and other former Cyclones take another step toward the draft

Former running back David Montgomery practices throwing and catching March 26 during Pro Day at Bergstrom Football Complex.

Noah Rohlfing

The NFL Draft is only one month away.

With that in mind, there was a lot riding on Tuesday’s Iowa State Pro Day for some former Cyclones. 

For those like Brian Peavy, Willie Harvey Jr. and Kyle Kempt, who weren’t invited to the NFL Combine, this was their best shot to show NFL scouts what they have to offer outside of individual workouts and team meetings. 

For David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler — both of whom were Combine atendees — Pro Day was another chance to prove what they showed in Indianapolis wasn’t a fluke, and to speak with more NFL teams. 

Butler declares he’s the best reciever in the draft

Confidence is key in skill positions at the NFL level, and Hakeem Butler has that confidence in spades. 

When asked who the best receiver was in the NFL Draft after declaring teammate Brian Peavy the best cornerback available, he didn’t mince words. 

“Hakeem Butler. He goes to Iowa State,” Butler said.

Butler is Iowa State’s all-time leader in receiving yards and ranks second all-time in receiving touchdowns, behind only Allen Lazard. Butler’s stock rose after a 4.48 in the 40-yard-dash at the Combine, with mock drafts putting him in the first-and-second round range. 

Butler was seen going through an individual workout with a Cardinals scout after running his routes, and he said it was all about him learning to be a better receiver. He also discussed workouts he recently had with former NFL receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson was a receiver of similar size and length, and Butler has received comparisons to the future Hall of Famer.

“He’s just a good dude,” Butler said. “He was one of my favorite players growing up.

“When you’re a big receiver, you don’t find a lot of tall receiver coaches, and just to have one for a couple days, it was a good deal.”

Montgomery improves on Combine 40-yard-dash time

David Montgomery’s 4.63 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine didn’t necessarily preclude him from being a 2nd-or-3rd round pick — the first Iowa State running back drafted since Troy Davis.

But the 4.57 time he ran Tuesday certainly won’t help his case to interested teams. Montgomery — who was seen talking to Philadelphia and LA Rams scouts after his drills were completed — improved by six tenths of a second from his February numbers. 

Montgomery wouldn’t say how many teams he’s spoken to.

“I’ve lost track,” Montgomery coyly said. 

In three years at Iowa State, Montgomery had 2,916 rushing yards at 4.7 yards per carry and added 71 receptions for 582 yards. 

Peavy opens up on injury

It was widely known that Brian Peavy was playing through injury in his final season with the Cyclones. Matt Campbell said as much before the Drake game at the end of the season. 

On Tuesday, Peavy finally revealed what he was dealing with, and let’s just say it wasn’t a bruise or a sprain. 

“In fall camp I had a torn pec,” Peavy said. “I ended up playing through it. I’m feeling great.”

Peavy also said the injury healed on its own and he wouldn’t need surgery. He added that he had a talk with coach Matt Campbell before the season, and Campbell let Peavy make the decision to play through the injury or undergo surgery and end his senior season before it started. 

Obviously, Peavy chose to play, and he said he has received positive feedback from NFL teams on his game tape. 

“It’s been good feedback,” Peavy said. “I heard a lot about my film and making plays on the field, high-character guy and a leader.”

The NFL Draft will be held April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. Live coverage will be available from the ESPN family of networks and NFL Network.