Chicago Bear scouts won’t have to travel far to take in the pro day workouts of Wisconsin Badger players. Though they will be in the heart of enemy territory while they are there.
Seven Badger players who were invited to the NFL Combine are tentatively scheduled to work out. A few fit into the draft needs of the Chicago Bears and will be followed closely by MMI leading up to the draft.
Among those who will be in attendance:
Outside linebacker Johnathan Cassillas who at 6-foot-1 228-pounds could be drafted to help out the depth at linebacker. Cassillas was one of the top performers in the bench press at the combine for linebackers with 24 reps at 225-pounds. Cassillias did not participate in the other workout drills at the combine due to injury so this would be his chance to showcase himself to NFL scouts.
Cassillas may choose to wait for another later date for the Badgers given that he is barely two months removed from arthroscopic knee surgery he had to repair cartilage.
The talk on Cassillas is that he’s a very quick linebacker whose speed stands out on film. He’s a three time All-Big-10 honorable mention who has the speed to make plays side line to sideline even against very quick backs trying to take it to the outside. He is a tweener, safety type backer who may be better suited as a weak-side player in the NFL. That being said the Bears covet speed and tackling ability in their LBs more than size so he just may be a fit for a later round selection.
Running back P.J. Hill who many felt could have helped his draft status by returning for his senior season will also be looking to improve his stock. Hill is a stout down hill runner who measure 5-foot-11 236-pounds. Hilll is a bruiser who is stronger between the tackles and has enough wiggle to get out of trouble. The scouts say he is hardly agile though and may end up drafted in the 6th to 7th round range.
The two players likely to get the most attention from scouts would be offensive guard Kraig Urbik and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy. Urbik is precisely the type of player the Bears covet. A lunch pail type of kid who could develop for two or three years behind some of the veterans and then be a good starter in the years after Roberto Garza and Olin Kreutz move on.
Urbik performed well at the combine for a player of his stature. What is his stature exactly? Well he’s not the ideal athlete, may not be the strongest, not the fast, not the most impressive guy out there. But when it comes down to needing a kid who will get the job done the 6-foot-5 328-pounder may be just the guy.
He simply grew up on football, loves to play the game, loves to hit, is mean, is nasty, plays through the whistle and is well coached from the ease at which he can be coached. Badger lineman have earned the reputation of being well coached professionals who go out and do their jobs. Urbik is another in a long line of solid Badger O-Lineman who will likely be a solid pro.
As with most Badger players Matt Shaughnessy is a tough kid who loves to fight in the trenches. Not a fast player with a great burst but because of his length and size could project well as a strong side DE in the draft. He uses his hands well and fights through blockers giving all out effort through the whistle. A high motor guy who could surprise at the pro day today. A good 40-yard dash time and overall workout would help boost his stock back up.
As usual MMI will have a complete wrap up of all pro day activities from the University of Wisconsin. Stay tuned for updates that will come later Wednesday night.
Tags: 2009 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears Draft, Chicago Sports, college pro days, football, Johnathan Casillas, Kraig Urbik, Matt Shaughnessy, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, P.J. Hill, Sports, Wisconsin Badgers, Wisconsin Badgers football, Wisconsin pro day