Kentucky Pro Day Preview: Will Levis pandemonium highlights event

On3 imageby:Adam Luckett03/23/23

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The 2023 NFL Draft is one month away. Kentucky football will host its annual pro day on Friday at the Nutter Field House as 11 former players will workout for a plethora of NFL organizations.

Most will be there to get eyes on one man. Will Levis will be the center of attention as the NFL Network and SEC Network are sending broadcast crews to Lexington to cover the event. With over 90 media credentials issued, we are expecting the wildest Kentucky pro day in recent memory.

KSR will have boots on the ground in Kentucky’s indoor facility for full coverage. Live updates will be posted on Twitter, KSBoard, and we will end the day with a rapid reaction video on KSR’s YouTube channel. But before getting to the event, we need to set the table.

KSR’s pro day preview will go over how to consume the pre-draft event and what to watch for as players will participate in athletic testing and on-field workouts.

How to watch

In recent years, Kentucky’s pro day has been put behind an ESPN+ paywall while NFL national media has stayed away from Lexington. That won’t be the case this season.

We have Will Levis to thank for that.

The SEC Network will be live with former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. The NFL Network will also be on-site going live at 1:00 p.m. ET. Behind their NFL+ paywall, David Carr, Stacey Dales, and Ian Rapoport will all be in Lexington covering the event. Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah will add studio analysis from Los Angeles.

Pro day is not open to the public, but there will be options on how to consume the event this season.

Participant list

Only four Wildcats received invites to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Those participants will be joined by seven more players at Kentucky’s pro day. This is a very big event for those still needing to record athletic testing data.

  • Tyrell Ajian (DB, 5-11, 204)
  • Colin Goodfellow (P, 6-2, 230)
  • Jacquez Jones (LB, 6-0, 228)
  • Will Levis (QB, 6-4, 229)
  • Tashawn Manning (iOL, 6-3, 327)
  • Chris Rodriguez Jr. (RB, 6-0, 217)
  • Matt Ruffolo (K, 5-11, 200)
  • Keidron Smith (DB, 6-2, 203)
  • DeAndre Square (LB, 6-1, 225)
  • Carrington Valentine (DB, 6-0, 193)
  • Jordan Wright (OLB, 6-5, 243)

Pro day schedule

Things will start bright and early with some stretching before the athletic circuit testing begins at the Nutter Field House.

  • 10:30 a.m.: Measurements
  • 11:15 a.m.: Vertical, broad jump, bench press
  • Noon-2:00 p.m.: 40-yard dash, short shuttle, 3-cone, 60-yard shuttle, position drills

The television broadcasts will start to pick up when the action begins. Expect to see some 40-yard dash results before shifting over to position drills when all eyes will turn to QB1.

All eyes on No. 7

Why are the NFL Network and SEC Network in Central Kentucky this week? Everyone wants to see the first-round quarterback.

After national media outlets made stops in Columbus and Tuscaloosa earlier this week to watch C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young throw, all eyes in the draft community will be on Kentucky tomorrow as Will Levis gets prepared for his second throwing workout of the draft season.

The Carolina Panthers are already busy at work getting to know more about Levis.

Accuracy, timing, and overall pace when going through different branches of the route tree will be what pro player personnel folks will be watching closely as Levis participates in a controlled environment event that should show off some of his immense arm talent.

Testing opportunities for 3 draftable prospects

Both Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Carrington Valentine were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but each was a limited participant in the athletic testing circuit. Despite playing well at the NFLPA Bowl and Senior Bowl, Keidron Smith did not receive an invite to the biggest pre-draft event of the calendar.

Kentucky’s pro day presents a big stage for each.

Rodriguez only completed the bench press (19 reps at 225 pounds) and Valentine only participated in the vertical jump (39″) and broad jump (10’8″). While some good numbers, NFL teams will want to see some more from the prospects in a draft that is fairly deep at both tailback and cornerback.

Friday will also be essential for Smith. The Ole Miss transfer will only be a fit for zone-heavy defenses, but there is plenty on tape to like about the 6-2 cornerback. As long as the testing numbers are solid, Kentucky should see both its starting cornerbacks from 2022 go off the board in April.

One big chance for remaining prospects

Jacquez Jones and Jordan Wright were both participants in the NFLPA Bowl. However, neither was invited to the Senior Bowl or the combine. The super seniors have one final shot to make a last move before the draft arrives.

The same goes for Tyrell Ajian and DeAndre Square. Friday will be a big moment for each.

A good performance may not lock up a draft slot but could help quickly get them a contract once teams start signing undrafted free agents immediately after the draft ends.

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