Morris Claiborne had one individual goal for his performance in front of the NFL scouts and coaches at LSU’s Pro Day.
The star cornerback and Thorpe Award winner wanted to lower his 40-yard time from what it was at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month.
Claiborne accomplished that as he ran a 4.39 on Thursday, shaving more than a tenth of a second off the 4.5 he ran in Indianapolis.
“I started jumping around when I heard 4.3,” Claiborne said. “I really wanted to most improve my 40 time. I had a good time at Indy, but it was not what I wanted to run.”
Claiborne, who had never played cornerback until he came to LSU in 2009, was a two-year starter at the position. Claiborne, who is bypassing his senior season, finished his Tigers career with 95 tackles, 11 interceptions and 12 pass breakups.
“It would be great if I go in the top five,” Claiborne said. “That would show we have a lot of talent here at LSU. I talk to Patrick all the time. He has been through (draft process). In fact, he just went through it. He just tells me to stay focused.
“It’s been rough. I’m taking it one day at a time. I am getting close to reaching my goal. It’s all coming true. I just have to keep working.”
Defensive tackle Michael Brockers also has been projected as a possible first-round draft pick next month. Like Claiborne, Brockers wasn’t satisfied with his performance at the NFL combine. He was far more pleased with what he accomplished at LSU.
“I improved on just about everything from the combine,” he said. “I didn’t do too well there. Nerves got to me a little bit. It was a new environment. I was comfortable here. I wowed some coaches.”
Brockers ran a 5.15 40 at LSU—more than two tenths of a second better than his time at Indianapolis. He did 21 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press. Brockers had done 19 reps at the combine. His vertical jump improved from 26 inches to 30.
“My stock was up there before the combine,” said Brockers, who had two years of college eligibility remaining. “Then, my stock was at a standstill. Hopefully, I opened some eyes today. No particular team is talking to me more than another. My ability to play the 3-4 or 4-3 gives me good value.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazer were among the coaches and scouts who showed up to watch the former LSU standouts perform.
Wide receiver Rueben Randle is another Tigers underclassman to put his name in the draft. Unlike Claiborne and Brockers, Randle is not widely rated as a potential first-round pick, but is trying to work his way up.
“My individual workouts at the combine were good,” Randle said. “But, my numbers there were not that good. I was excited that I lowered my 40 time today. That was my main focus. The coaches here today gave me good feedback. I have gotten better after the combine.”
Randle had a 4.42 40 time Thursday. Last month, he ran a 4.55 at the combine. Randle said that he believes he is making a push to get into the first round.
“I think my stock is going up because guys are just continuing to watch film of me,” Randle said. “I am just working hard. As a kid, I always wanted to be a first-round draft choice. It would be a dream come true if I am one.”