COLLEGE PARK — Scouts and coaches from 30 NFL teams arrived at Cole Field House Wednesday to watch former University of Maryland football stars show what they can bring to the next level.
Wide receiver D.J. Moore and cornerback J.C. Jackson, who are expected to be selected in next month’s NFL Draft, put on another show at Maryland’s pro day to follow up their performances at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Moore and Jackson did not run the 40-yard dash Wednesday after running respective times of 4.42 and 4.46 seconds at the combine. Moore, a possible first-round selection, participated in pass-catching drills and didn’t miss a ball. He told reporters he is working on improving his routes, and scouts have told him to come out of his breaks more quickly.
Wednesday also marked Will Likely III’s return to campus. After his 2016 senior season was shortened by a torn ACL, the former Terrapin cornerback and return specialist went undrafted last year and spent training camp with the New England Patriots before being cut.
Likely said he was only about 80 percent healthy at Maryland’s pro day last year.
“This year I was back to normal, or actually more than back to normal,” Likely said. “I feel like this was my real pro day.”
Likely added he did not watch any football last season, even Maryland football, because he was “strictly focused” on returning to full strength and getting back to his career.
While Likely is a free agent and any team can sign him, clubs will have to wait their turn in the draft for Moore’s services. Moore met with 20 or 22 teams at the combine but has not had any one-on-one workouts since then. He said he has visits with the Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers scheduled in April.
Moore said NFL fans have started to message him on Twitter when a mock draft projects him to their team. One recent NFL.com mock draft had the Washington Redskins pick Moore at No. 13 overall, for example.
“A lot of teams that come out with a draft board, all their fans just start hitting me up,” Moore said.
Jackson met with the Patriots Wednesday after pro day. He already had a meeting with the New Orleans Saints under his belt and has the Oakland Raiders next on Monday.
Jackson and Moore would often face each other in practices during their time with the Terrapins, and Jackson said it’s benefited them both.
“He made me who I am today, man. We made each other better,” Jackson said. “Every day in practice, D.J. and I (were) going at it. I’d call him out, he’d call me out and we’d compete.”
Every NFL team except the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers was represented at the first pro day held in Cole Field House’s new indoor facility. Thirteen Terrapins besides Jackson, Moore and Likely also performed for the congregated personnel.
Among them were linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr., who led the Terrapins in tackles (90) and sacks (3.5) last season; Cavon Walker, a Washington native from Friendship Collegiate Academy who made 11 starts on the defensive line in 2017; and kicker Adam Greene, who was Maryland’s starting kicker in 2016 but lost a position battle to Henry Darmstadter last year.
A Buffalo Bills special teams coach worked Greene out extensively, and the kicker showed off his leg strength practicing kickoffs and making a 51-yard field goal.
Having known many of the players in the building since they were freshmen together, Greene spoke to the character of the Terrapin prospects.
“I can tell you that every single one of the guys that are here are just down-to-earth, awesome, amazing guys. They’re hard workers, they bring a sense of leadership to the team and to anyone who’s really involved, and that’s huge,” Greene said. “It was great to be able to be with them one last time representing Maryland until we all go our separate ways.”
Describing the difference between combine workouts and a campus-based pro day, Moore implied he also enjoyed the familial aspect of the morning.
“Here is just home so it’s just more comfortable. We had everybody back under one roof, so that was a positive thing,” Moore said. “But it’s no different. You still have to show up.”