With no pro day, App State NFL Draft prospects hope their film will be enough

Dan Davidson, Former Sports Editor

With the 2020 NFL Draft underway, several Mountaineers are preparing to take their first step into professional careers. 

For many NFL-hopefuls, pro day workouts are crucial for showing NFL scouts what they have to offer. However, the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of App State’s pro day. With no way of formally working out in front of scouts, several App State prospects are forced to hope the film from their careers will be enough to earn them a spot in the league. 

“For the most part, it took away pro day, which doesn’t allow us to improve our stock for the NFL draft. Our stock is what it is from the season,” offensive lineman Victor Johnson said. 

Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year Darrynton Evans and Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Akeem Davis-Gaither each earned invitations to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, allowing them to perform physical and mental tests in front of coaches, general managers, and scouts from every NFL franchise. 

Meanwhile, other players such as linebacker Jordan Fehr, safety Josh Thomas and offensive lineman Victor Johnson are left to hope that their past productivity and play on the field will be enough to convince a team to pick them.

“It just makes it a little more difficult for guys at App to be seen in person by the scouts because they’ve seen our film, just not in person,” Thomas said. 

Fehr and Thomas each received All-Sun Belt second team honors, while Johnson earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt first team in 2019. Both Johnson and Fehr participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which is a post-season college football all-star game for draft-eligible players.

With no option to be seen in person before the draft, the players had to workout and prepare from home so that if the opportunity to play for a team arises, they would be ready. 

“I’m working out everyday and trying to stay in shape. A lot of conditioning and a lot of lifting weights,” Thomas said. “Just everyday trying to do something to make sure I’m ready when the season starts.”

As the draft continues, several Mountaineers will be waiting by their phones in hopes of receiving the call. At this point, all they can do is wait. 

“I’m feeling pretty good about it. I talked to a couple teams, so I’m not sure what it’s going to be still,” Johnson said. “I know just as much as everyone else does.”