Fargo, N.D. - For two former University of North Dakota football players, Monday provided a chance for them to be center stage and impress NFL scouts with their athleticism and smarts.
Former Sioux defensive lineman Ty Boyle and linebacker Ross Cochran spent their morning in Fargo where they were two of eight graduated seniors from area colleges and universities on hand to participate in a pro day at the FargoDome.
Boyle and Cochran worked out and took the Wonderlic Test for representatives from the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Philadephia Eagles and New York Jets.
The eight participants at the pro day ran the 40-yard dash and 60-yard shuttle and were measured in both a vertical and standing broad jump. The former collegians were also charted to see how many continuous repetitions they could do on the bench press with a weight of 225 pounds.
The tests were not just relegated to the field, the participants also had to complete the Wonderlic Test. Players are given 12 minutes to complete the 50-question exam, which measures a players' IQ.
"It was a cool experience," Cochran said of the morning workout. "There was a lot of pressure on us, but I thought it went really well."
As for the Wonderlic Test, Cochran said it started out pretty easy, but got much harder as the questions moved along. "I think I would have aced it if we had more time, but that is part of the challenge."
Cochran, who had 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Sioux in 2010, enjoyed the atmosphere, saying it was pretty sureal. Region scouts from those five teams were armed with stop watches and note pads, while cameramen were filming each and every drill, so footage could be passed along to other teams not in attendance.
"All of a sudden, it would get real quiet in there, almost like a library-type setting," Cochran said. "Then, all eyes would be on you and it was time to perform."
Boyle, who has been training in Pittsburgh for the last two months in preparation for today, wanted to improve on some of his 'measurable' numbers that scouts go over with a fine-toothed comb. The two-time, All-Great West peformer had 38 tackles as a senior.
"For the past two months, today has been my main focus," Boyle said. "The goal was to open some eyes and improve my numbers and I was able to do that. You only had one or two chances to do the drills and get them right. The speed they put you through everything was pretty frantic. You just had to show up and give it your best."
Both Cochran and Boyle, who were second team All-Great West honorees as seniors, have signed with agents to help build their professional profiles. Those men will be equally important to the Sioux duo as they continue to work towards the ultimate goal of landing a job in the NFL.
Cochran, who is being represented by Chris Murray of Imani Sports (Minneapolis, Minn.), said his goal for today was to get more exposure. His agent felt like he met that goal.
"Today puts Ross on the radar, if he was not already," Murray said. "Scouts will have to go back now and study him on flim and when they do, they will how productive of a football player that he was at North Dakota."
Cochran measured at 6-foot-1, 250 pounds for the scouts and was timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.71. He also was impressive in the bench press, getting the 225-pound bar up 22 times. He actually did 27 reps, but five were disallowed for not extending his elbows.
Another measurable that stood out for Cochran was his 37.5" vertical leap. He also posted a broad jump of 9-feet, eight inches.
"Ross is a sleeper, an under-the-radar type guy, but he is really tough on film," Murray added. "He has an innate football sense and that stands out on film. Teams are going to have to go back and re-write their charts on Ross after today. At his weight, the numbers he posted were impressive."
Cochran will get another chance to impress a NFL team on April 16 when he will conduct a private workout for the Chicago Bears.
For Boyle, whose numbers from the pro day were not readily available for this story, he said it's time to go back to Pittsburgh after a couple of days in the area and continue to train for the NFL Draft, which starts with the first round on April 28.