Four teams at SDSU football Pro-day to check out Zenner, other SD prospects

By ROBERT MYERS Sports Writer

NFL scouts from the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings all turned up at SDSU’s Pro Day on March 25 to watch Jack Sherlock, Justin Syrovatka, Melvin Taveras and Zach Zenner show off their skills beside other South Dakota based prospects.

Beginning at 9 a.m. the scouts put athletes through a round of basic skill tests including the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 40-yard dash, 20- and 60- yard shuttles, and three-cone drill.

Deciding to rest on his NFL Combine accomplishments, Zenner only participated in the shuttles and the three-cone drill. 

“I feel like those [combine numbers] were a pretty good representation of what I can do,” Zenner said. “So I came out here and just did what I felt I could improve on which were those shuttle drills.”

The others meanwhile took their chance to shine. Melvin Taveras impressed in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.49 seconds. Had Taveras participated in the combine his time would have ranked fourth among safeties and tenth among cornerbacks.

“Melvin’s fast and he had a really good day today,” Zenner said. “I’m proud of him. He’s worked really hard to do what he did today.”

Taveras also matched the fourth best three-cone drill at the NFL Combine. His 60-yard shuttle time would have been second best. Taveras said he felt he did well in the drills overall, though he did have a couple dropped passes that he regretted not holding on to in the position drills. 

So far Taveras has drummed up a couple phone calls, including one from the New England Patriots, but his test results might just attract a few more teams.

“I’m going to be training every day and hopefully get that call,” Taveras said. 

Sherlock also competed in the skill tests. He finished the morning with a 4.76 second 40-yard dash, but said he ran a 4.62 at a combine over the weekend. While 4.76 seconds ranks him among the top defensive ends at the combine, his 4.62 seconds time ranks in the top-15 linebacker times at February’s NFL Combine.

Sherlock, like the others, went on to participate in drills specific for his position. The only defensive lineman participating, Sherlock enjoyed the focus being on him.

“I hate to sound selfish, but all the attention was on me,” Sherlock said. “So they saw how I moved and how my hips were so I think that also worked to my advantage.”

Sherlock hasn’t been overwhelmed with phone calls to this point, but he does plan to work out for the Bears in the coming weeks, and as Zenner said earlier this year, all it takes is for one team to take interest in a player. Like his teammate Taveras, Sherlock seemed to have helped his case on Wednesday.

“I’ve just been here every day in this gym taking advantage of this indoor facility – just getting all the stretches in, just doing the usual and not taking any time off,” Sherlock said.

Another hopeful, Syrovatka showed off his leg practicing field goals and kickoffs. Much like he showed kicking for the Jacks, Syrovatka was solid inside 45 yards.

Out of all the SDSU prospects, Zenner seems the closest to a sure thing of having his name called during the three-day NFL Draft set to begin on April 30, but he’s not letting it get to his head.

“If you know me, you know I’m just going to be hanging out [during the draft],” Zenner said. “I’m going to have my phone on, but I’m just going to be hanging out. I’ll probably watch the first round like I do every year, but besides that probably not.”

In the coming weeks, Zenner and Sherlock will spend their time training in Brookings while Taveras returns home to California as they all hope to get that draft day call.