The University of Virginia on Monday held its pro day the other day as Eli Harold and Max Valles were among those on display to all 32 teams.
Pro days offers NFL Draft prospects a more comfortable situation than the NFL Scouting Combine to showcase their talents, as they’re surrounded by old teammates at facilities they’ve been using for years.
That was the case earlier this week for pass rusher Eli Harold and several other University of Virginia products in Charlottesville, Va.
Harold – who is projected to go in the late first-round by both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN – benched 225 pounds 24 times and recorded a 34.5-inch vertical leap.
Combine that with the 4.6 second 40-yard dash he ran in Indianapolis, and Harold’s hoping his stock continues to remain among the highest entering the draft.
But he’s also not letting it inflate his confidence too much, either.
“It’s noise,” Harold told the media about the draft conversation. “I feel like ever since I was a kid, a lot of people used to speak highly of me. Remain humble. I’m just trying to do what I’ve done my whole life. I’m going to be the same person no matter whether I got in the first round or the fourth. I’m going to be the same person at the end of the day.”
Between the end of the college season and the public workouts, Harold worked with former New England Patriots strength and conditioning coach Tom Shaw on coverage drills.
While he may still play defensive end at the NFL level, some have considered he make a move to outside linebacker.
If he does convert, Harold’s making sure he’s got a good start on learning coverage techniques.
“I did D-line stuff, but I did more stuff that I’m not comfortable with,” he said. “I was working with NFL DBs doing DB drills after I got done D-line stuff. I feel like that helped me out a lot to show my athleticism. Working on that a lot, it just felt natural when I got to the combine and [at my pro day].”
In three seasons at Virginia, Harold recorded 75 tackles – 36.5 for loss – and 17.5 sacks.
Max Valles, meanwhile, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.84 second and recorded a 36-inch vertical leap.
In 22 games as a Cavalier, Valles, the youngest prospect in the draft at 20 years old, recorded 32 tackles and 13 sacks.
While some associate Valles as a raw prospect, the 6-foot-5, 251 pounder believes the best is yet to come.
“I’m only going to get better,” Valles said. “I still haven’t really grown to my full potential. I feel like my ceiling’s very high. I’m definitely going to get much better.”