Cyclones showcase skills at Pro Day


Ryan Young/Iowa State Daily

E.J. Bibbs makes a cut during a drillĀ at Pro Day on Tuesday at the Bergstrom practice facility.

Alex Gookin

For a group of former ISU football seniors, Tuesday was the final time they would take the practice field at the Bergstrom Indoor Facility. But surrounded by NFL scouts equipped with stopwatches, clipboards and video cameras, it may have been the first time the practice field felt more like an interrogation room.

Running through individual drills with 27 NFL teams taking notes on each movement the players make, Pro Day is the last opportunity for players to impress teams before the NFL Draft starts on April 30.

“It’s kind of like a job interview,” said former ISU defensive end Cory Morrissey. “You’re potentially getting a job or not, so I think I was a little more nervous today.”

Morrissey, along with tight end E.J. Bibbs, offensive lineman Tom Farniok, receiver Jarvis West, running back Aaron Wimberly, linebacker Jared Brackens, long-snapper Spencer Thornton and offensive lineman Jacob Gannon participated in the event. A handful of smaller college players also participated, including former Iowa running back and Morningside College standout Brandon Wegher.

Bibbs, one of the top tight end prospects in the 2015 Draft according to, had a solid day, recording a 4.86 second 40-yard dash, which would have been the eighth best time among tight ends at the NFL Combine. Bibbs didn’t run at the combine while still recovering from a knee injury.

“The knee is feeling great, actually. Better than it’s ever felt,” Bibbs said.”[Pro Day] was kind of different [than the season] but I got used to it and I’m just happy it’s all over now.”

Another former Cyclone that impressed was West, who used speed to impress scouts. His 40-yard dash time of 4.36 would have been the sixth fastest time of any NFL Combine participant and his vertical of 38.5 inches would put him in the top 10 vertical jumps by wideouts.

But fighting size, players like West, Farniok and Morrissey hope their performances on the field were enough to impress scouts as they finish the school year in hopes of signing with a team.

“There’s only seven rounds, so I don’t know if [I’ll be] a free agent, late-round, that area,” Farniok said of his NFL hopes. “A million things are going to change between now and May 2.”

In the meantime, the players will work hard to keep in shape with many planning to continue working out with ISU strength and conditioning coach Clayton Oyster and staff through the end of the school year.

With the big day behind them, it’s a waiting game to see if this year’s group can follow in the footsteps of former ISU football players like Jake Knott and Jeremiah George, who both were at the Bergstrom Facility to watch the group, and make an NFL roster.

While the work won’t stop between now and the draft, a day full of drills may give some an excuse for a day off.

“It’s hard for me to take a day or two off, but I think I might have to with the way my legs feel right now,” Morrissey said.