AUBURN, Ala. – Colby Wooden was happy with how Pro Day went. He got to showcase his skills for all 32 NFL teams in attendance. He got to be part of the first Auburn Pro Day at the new Woltosz Football Performance Center. And he got to be back with his old teammates.
His only regret?
“I wish I would’ve taken a picture with Cam,” Wooden said. “I do wish that.”
The Cam he was referring to was none other than Cam Newton, Auburn’s former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who was back on campus Tuesday to throw to his younger brother, Caylin Newton, and the other wide receivers and tight ends at Pro Day.
“I didn’t get to throw with Cam, but his energy here was good,” Auburn running back Tank Bigsby said. “Just having an Auburn legend in the building. Seeing him out there competing at the age he is and what he’s already accomplished, it made me want more.”
Bigsby was one of the standouts from Pro Day as he ran an unofficial time of 4.45 in the 40-yard dash, improving on his time from the NFL Combine.
“It went great,” he said. “Being here with my teammates again, it did a lot to me. It made me feel that joy again. Two months without being on the team, it felt kind of weird. But I feel like me personally, I had a great workout. The guys around me had a great workout.”
Wide receiver Shedrick Jackson also turned heads Tuesday. He ran an unofficial time of 4.25 in the 40-yard dash and hit 38.5 inches in the vertical jump. Jackson was not invited to participate in the Combine, so this was his chance to impress the scouts.
“It was a great feeling to finally have all that hard work finally be put on display,” Jackson said. “I’ve been working really hard.”
In all, Auburn had 14 draft-eligible players work out at Pro Day – including Newton’s younger brother who spent two seasons at Auburn before playing at William & Mary in 2022.
The group was made up of Bigsby, Jackson, Newton, Wooden, Marcus Bragg, Marquis Burks, Anders Carlson, Brandon Council, Derick Hall, Morris Joseph Jr., Eku Leota, Owen Pappoe, John Samuel Shenker and Kilian Zierer. All with the same dream. To play at the next level.
On Tuesday, they each took one step closer to achieving that dream.
More importantly, they got to do it back at Auburn alongside their former teammates.
“It was fun to finally see all the hard work pay off,” Pappoe said. “We’ve been grinding for the last four months. To come back to Auburn and be able to perform, it was an honor.”
“Really good day,” added Hall. “Any time I have an opportunity to come back here and step on this field in this new complex, it’s special to me. It’s special to have an opportunity to work out on this field and also try to fulfill my dreams by doing that. I came out and had a really good day, put my best foot forward. Now the rest is up to the teams and GMs.”
Hall, Pappoe and Wooden only took part in the individual position drills Tuesday after posting impressive numbers at the NFL Combine last month. Pappoe, in particular, led all linebackers at the combine in the 40-yard dash (4.39) and the bench press (29 reps).
Pappoe’s bench press mark was matched Tuesday by Council who did 29 reps – the highest total among those who participated in Auburn’s Pro Day.
“I tried to get 30,” Council said. “I was one rep short, got 29. I was trying to push it to 30. But that was probably the highlight of my day.”
Shenker put up 27 reps on bench and ran a 4.53 unofficially in the 40-yard dash. He also caught passes from a former NFL MVP in Newton.
“It was awesome,” Shenker said. “The legacy (Newton) left and his time here, it was a really special moment to do that with him. He’s also trying to get a spot, too. It was really cool.”
Shenker confirmed that Newton’s “still got it” after Tuesday’s workouts.
All 14 participants at Auburn’s Pro Day will now wait until the NFL Draft to possibly to hear their name called or get that phone call from a team wanting to sign them. The draft will take place April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.