ORCHARD PARK, NY –– The Buffalo Bills AdPro Sports Training Center felt less like of a homecoming for UB football seniors and more like every player for themselves as they try to continue their football careers.
Representatives from 31 of 32 NFL teams were in attendance as the Los Angeles Rams were the only team not represented. Anthony Johnson and Tyree Jackson drew in attention after their combine performances but over 10 Bulls and local players were hoping scouts would notice their athletic abilities, too.
Still, the biggest news of the day was Johnson’s 40-yard dash time.
Johnson did not run it at the combine two weeks ago due to a sore ankle that he suffered at the Senior Bowl in January.
Johnson has been looked at as a top receiver in the class but without his 40 time, teams would not know the speed of the projected early-round pick. The Spectrum clocked in his times at 4.41 and 4.43 but consensus from other scouts in attendance says he averaged closer to a 4.50 in the dash.
All times are unofficial and were taken by hand.
The Spectrum also recorded defensive end Chuck Harris with a high of 4.56, cornerback Cameron Lewis at 4.48 and cornerback Tatum Slack at 4.41 as well.
Tim Roberts, who graduated UB in 2018, returned to action and ran a 4.50 as he continues to pursue his NFL dream after receiving an invite to the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp last season.
Jackson did not run the 40 or participate in any drills other than throwing and showed his athletic abilities to scouts at the combine. Jackson, under the direction of quarterback consultant Jordan Palmer, made 54 throws and attempted to show off improved mechanics. Mechanics were the number one criticism of Jackson at the combine.
Palmer has previously trained Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen.
No official stats were kept but The Spectrum recorded Harris with the top bench press at 22 repetitions and Lewis having a broad jump of 10’4”.
Linebacker Khalil Hodge, who has the most tackles of any player in the NCAA the last three seasons, ran the 40 only one time and had a 5.03, according to our times.
Center James O’Hagan had the slowest times with an average of 5.65 but should not be a concern since he is an offensive lineman.
Bulls players now await the NFL draft that will take place April 25-27 as they hope to continue their football careers.
Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at Nathaniel.Mendelson@ubspectrum.com.