For many college football players, the dream of graduating and heading to the NFL is a powerful one. The Villanova Wildcats have sent a good number of football players into the professional ranks over the years, and every season it seems as if the scouts are showing up to kick the tires on a few prospects. This season, the Wildcats' held a pro-day in late March to invite the NFL personnel in to run drills and take a closer look at the graduating seniors -- and to let them know if they may have a future in the sport.
Most of the stories coming out of that pro-day in the local media have centered on small-school players from Division II and III schools that the Wildcats' staff allow at their pro-day as a courtesy. However, there is one Main Line story that is emerging from the event -- it seems that starting Center Ross Hall has performed well enough to get an invitation for a closer look from the Philadelphia Eagles.
That news comes via the twitter account of Jeff Jankovich, an NFL Agent with VMG Sports -- the firm that also represents both Ray Ventrone and his brother Ross, who both made it to the NFL from Villanova as undrafted free agents. Jankovich will be representing Hall in any negotiations with NFL clubs.
At the Villanova pro-day, Hall reportedly recorded 22 reps on the 225-pound bench press, a 25" vertical and an 8'3 broad jump. His arms measured 33" and hands 9". The top bench press at the NFL's main combine event was 29 reps, recorded by Andy Gallik (Boston College), while Hall's number was comparable with the other three Centers who participated in that event. His vertical was also very good for a nearly-300-pound lineman.
The workout at the Eagles Novacare Complex doesn't mean that Hall is likely to be drafted by the NFL franchise. It is part of the process that every NFL team does leading up to the draft (and after it), to evaluate talent and rate players they may be interested in via the draft and post-draft free agency. The invitation does, however, bolster his chances of finding himself on an NFL roster this summer, as even the undrafted signees tend to get interest pre-draft in the form of these workouts.
While most NFL Draft boards won't list the Villanova prospect, DraftDaddy.com makes an excellent effort to review players from outside the elite ranks of college football -- and has rated Hall sixth among the "Small School Sleepers" at Guard or Center. At 6'4" and 294-pounds (his official weight and height from the pro-day), Hall has the size and strength for the position, and his work protecting the ball and his quarterback over the last few seasons have been very important for the Wildcats.
The Eagles' workout will be on Thursday.