Tevin McDonald had a near-perfect workout partner as the former Edison High began the process of improving his NFL Draft stock.
It helps when your brother, ex-USC standout and current St. Louis Rams safety T.J. McDonald, went through it all just a couple of years ago.
The McDonalds were together again Wednesday, including dad and former All-Pro defensive back Tim McDonald, at Fresno State’s Pro Day.
Tevin McDonald signed with UCLA out of high school but finished at Eastern Washington. He could have worked out for the scouts in Cheney, but said he decided to do so back home to have family and friends on hand.
Ahead of the big day and last month’s NFL Combine, Tevin and T.J. worked out together in Boca Raton, Fla.
If the numbers are any indication, it has paid off. Tevin McDonald’s 40 time was 4.63 at the combine but 4.55 at Pro Day.
“I’m happy with that,” McDonald said. “I think I had a good showing. I gave it all I had today and I trained hard for today. I ran well and talked to a lot of scouts and they told me I worked out good today, so I’m excited about that.
“It was a great experience. A lot more of a home-feel than the combine. A lot more comfortable, if you will, at this event. Great weather out here today. I was excited to be back home and be able to perform in front of family and people who I have love for.”
McDonald will take a little break to “reboot,” but already has a pre-draft visit lined up with the Oakland Raiders on April 13.
And his older sibling is ready to keep pushing. Dad can help, too. Tim McDonald starred with Arizona and San Francisco during his NFL career, coached his sons at Edison, and has gone on to a college and NFL coaching career that includes stops at Fresno State and currently on the staff of the Buffalo Bills.
T.J. McDonald said he was happy to help out his sibling.
“My little brother’s been going through his process, and it’s a long process for him,” T.J. McDonald said.
“You’ve got all the results from the training and things you have to fix for the Pro Day. We worked on those things … starting with his 40, and I think he did better with that today and also (in the) field drills.”
After visiting with the Raiders, Tevin McDonald is hoping to meet with more teams before the April 30-May 2 draft in Chicago.
“Being a student of the game … play-maker, an instinctive player,” he said of what he believes are his attributes. “A guy who loves the game that’s going to be the same person every day. Guy who’s versatile. A defensive back who can play safety, play corner, nickle, slot. Just an all-around defensive back.”
Wichmann draws interest
Ex-Fresno State offensive guard Cody Wichmann went from his Pro Day workout into a meeting with representatives of the Atlanta Falcons, and the first-team all-conference selection could attract more attention while following a path similar to that of ex-teammate Austin Wentworth.
Wentworth had a solid Pro Day a year ago and ended up signing immediately after the draft with Minnesota, where last season he played in seven games. Wichmann put up some numbers of his own that rival those turned in by linemen at last month’s combine.
His bench press number was down (he did 20 reps at 225 pounds), in part due to a shoulder cleanup after the season. But he ran the 40 in 4.95, had a broad jump of 8 feet, 10 inches and a vertical leap of 27 inches. At the combine, only one offensive lineman ran a sub-5.0 40 — Ali Marpet out of NCAA Division III Hobart College.
The broad-jump number would have tied for 12th among offensive linemen and the vertical for 25th.
“He did a pretty good job,” Fresno State offensive line coach Cameron Norcross said. “He ran well, changed direction well. From an athletic standpoint, he has always had that stuff. He looks good. He’s carrying the weight he has real well. I thought he moved really well.”
Smith, Harper do well
Wide receiver Josh Harper, another of last season’s Bulldogs seniors, improved on his 40 time. He was clocked at 4.50 compared to his combine time of 4.64. He also improved on his vertical jump (33.5 compared to a 32).
“From the numbers I’ve heard I’ve improved a lot,” Harper said. “I’m satisfied with that. I feel good.”
Derron Smith also left satisfied. The three-time All-Mountain West safety ran the 40 in what one scout had at 4.59 and another at 4.51 and he did well in other drills. He showed no lingering effects from a hernia surgery.
“I’m still getting better,” Smith said. “Showcased a little footwork, ball skills. That’s what I feel like I bring to a team: good ball skills. Hopefully coaches like what they saw.”
Smith took a trip to Indianapolis in early April to visit with the Colts and also had a workout with the Cincinnati Bengals.
More Bulldogs numbers
Cornerback Curtis Riley recorded a high jump of 38.5 inches and a broad jump of 10-9.
Outside linebacker Donavon Lewis had the best showing on the bench press, putting up 28 reps at 225 pounds. Earlier, he pulled up in his first and only 40-yard effort with an apparent quad injury.
• In all, 13 former Fresno State football players showcased their abilities and all 32 NFL teams were represented.
• Former Buchanan High and Fresno City quarterback Lance Orender, who went on to star at D-II New Mexico Highlands, also participated.
• Raiders defensive backs coach and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson was among the NFL representatives.
• Bulldogs alums (and in some cases current pros) also were out in force including Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers), Isaiah Burse (Denver Broncos), Marcel Jensen (Jacksonville Jaguars), Ben Jacobs (Carolina Panthers), Kenny Wiggins (San Diego Chargers), Tristan Okpalaugo (Toronto of the CFL), Travis Brown (Ottawa of the CFL), Isaiah Green and Stephen Spach.