2019 NFL Draft: Takeaways, standouts from Villanova Pro Day

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 01: Rob Rolle #4 of the Villanova Wildcats celebrates after the game against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field on September 1, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Temple Owls 19-17. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 01: Rob Rolle #4 of the Villanova Wildcats celebrates after the game against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field on September 1, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Temple Owls 19-17. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Villanova Wildcats held a pro day on March 25 for several players to show out in front of NFL scouts. Several potential 2019 NFL Draft prospects showed out at the event.

On March 25, the Villanova Wildcats football staff hosted a pro day for their players at the Novacare Complex to show off in front of multiple NFL scouts and front office members ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. Billed as a basketball school, the former Villanova Wildcats players were on a mission to show out in front of NFL personnel, and they did just that.

With top Villanova 2019 NFL Draft prospect, All-American left tackle Ethan Greenidge, sidelined following shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum he suffered during the season, it was his bookend on the offensive line who proceeded to be one of several players to steal the show.

Senior right tackle Brandon Hitner began the day dominating the weigh ins. Hitner measured in a hair over 6-6 with an impressive 305-pound frame that can easily hold an additional 15-20 pounds down the line.

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Aside from his projectable body, Hitner quickly put scouts on notice with some impressive testing numbers. Hitner posted a more than solid enough 40-yard dash time (5.16 seconds, unofficially) and bench number (23 reps, despite an awkward pause around rep 18) for a man of his size.

Then there was the explosive numbers that included a 32.5-inch vertical and 115.5-inch broad jump, that really demonstrated the potential upside that Hitner boasts athletically. Both numbers would have placed him top five amongst offensive lineman participants at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

He continued that momentum into position drills, where former Oakland Raiders general manager and now Miami Dolphins senior personnel executive Reggie McKenzie put him and fellow Wildcat teammate Louie Csaszar through drills, focusing on change of direction/movement ability. It was a day of checked boxes for the right tackle, who also has had experience inside at offensive guard during his Wildcat career.

Hitner was not the only Villanova wildcat who posted impressive numbers on the day. Defensive back Rob Rolle measured in at a shade over 6-1 and 195 pounds, both of which eclipsed his listed numbers while a member of the Wildcats.

Rolle matched my expectations as an athlete, smoothly hitting necessary thresholds in all of his athletic testing. He posted two 40-yard dash times with identical 4.47-second runs. He had the highest vertical I saw all day, skying to an impressive 36 inches.

He also posted a more than solid 124.5-inch broad jump, and put up 15 reps on the bench at 225 pounds. Rolle’s 40-yard dash (eighth), vertical jump (tied for eighth) and broad jump (eighth), all would have been amongst the better marks in the group of safeties who participated at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

One fun thing about pro days is, from time to time, you will get participants from other schools invited to test their skills in front of NFL scouts. One player who made the trip with his fellow teammate Brad Mayes, was University of Lehigh All-American running back Dom Bragalone.

Bragalone began his afternoon in a big way by winning the weigh in with a huge exclamation point. He measured  in at 5-10 and some change and 233 pounds, boasting a powerful frame that screamed more linebacker than running back at first glance.

He then proceeded to test what running backs of fifty pounds less would envy. Bragalone posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.41 seconds, jumped 35 inches in the vertical, posted a 3-cone time of 6.88 seconds and blazed a 4.22-second 20-yard shuttle.

Those numbers would have finished second, 10th, first and fourth at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, respectively. The building was buzzing for the numbers Bragalone was posted. More than a scout or two also mentioned that he had put up 33 reps on the bench at a regional combine the week prior.

There were many notable performances and impressive numbers accomplished, great looking prospects and potential, but at the end of the day three young men stole the show. Hitner, Rolle and Bragalone firmly put their names out there for NFL Scouts to make sense of in the ever changing NFL climate. All they can do now is wait, see and hope.

Additional Workout Notes

Villanova offensive lineman Louie Csaszar measured in nearly 6-2.5 and 306 pounds. He recorded 15 reps on the bench press, 5.50/5.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash (1.93-second 10-yard split), 99 inches in the broad jump and 24 inches in the vertical jump.

Villanova slot receiver Jarrett McClenton checked in at 5-6.5 and 156 pounds. He posted five reps on the bench press, 4.65/4.70 seconds in the 40 yard dash (1.63-second 10-yards split), 120.5 inches in the broad jump, 33.5 inches in the vertical jump and 6.89 seconds in the 3-cone. McClenton demonstrated great ability to get in and out of breaks, with exceptional change of direction.

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Widener standout defensive linemen Vince Char was in attendance for the pro day. Char posted solid numbers all day, while demonstrating a great desire and energy throughout every drill. After posting some impressive numbers at the Division 3 level, I am in search of all Widener film I can get my hands on and have an interview scheduled with Char soon to discuss his college/draft experience.

By my count there were about 15 NFL teams represented at the 2019 Villanova Pro Day.