SOUTH BEND — Miles Boykin has second-round aspirations. Julian Love knows he's not a track athlete. Drue Tranquill is meeting with some high-end teams.
For the former Notre Dame players who did testing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month, Wednesday's Pro Day in South Bend was more about reaffirming their draft stock to the 32 NFL teams in attendance. That doesn't mean it wasn't important to the players involved to do better than they did at the Combine.
BOYKIN ON RISE
Boykin had one of the better Combines in NFL history for a wide receiver, running the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds, recording a 43.2-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 11-foot-8. The latter two were some of the highest recorded numbers in Combine history.
"I think everybody in this organization was not surprised at all. I've been doing it really since I've been here. But I knew the numbers I was going to post before I left," Boykin said. "The Combine performance I put up hasn't been done by a receiver in over 10 years. … I'm unique. (Teams) haven't really seen anyone like me, per se."
There was also a video posted on social media of the current Notre Dame locker room going crazy when Boykin dominated the 40-yard dash. It led to Boykin breaking the rules at the Combine, technically.
"I was on my phone when I wasn't supposed to be at the Combine. So I ran the 40, I saw it and I was like, 'Man, I love those guys,'" Boykin said. "The hard work that I put in with those guys and the amount of love I have for them and the amount of love they have for me, you can't fake stuff like that. So that was one of the coolest moments that I had."
Boykin chose not to participate in the 40, vertical jump or broad jump at the Pro Day but did catch passes in front of the 48 NFL personnel in the building. The 6-3, 220-pound receiver has heard projections between Rounds 2 and 4 for where he might go in this April's NFL Draft.
"I like two," Boykin quipped.
Running things like the 40-yard dash is not something Love is built to do. He chose to run it again anyway at the Pro Day after running it in 4.54 seconds at the Combine. In his Pro Day run, Love clocked in at 4.45 seconds, an improvement from a month ago. He also improved on his three-cone drill by 0.9 of a second as well.
What Love was most excited about, though, was showcasing his playmaking abilities during the individual position workouts. This allowed Love to show off his football abilities — abilities he hopes lead him to being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
"I was able to showcase my hands, which are very natural. I ran well, and I competed," Love said. "I just wanted to showcase the position drills, being able to learn, talk to the coaches, get the feel for football."
Love has watched film with about half of the teams he's visited with, which he said is "bread and butter. That's football." He's hoping the tape says more about his value as a football player than his testing numbers.
"You don't want a guy who can just play man (defense) or Cover-2. You want a guy who could play it all and learn it all. That's what I am," Love said.
GETTING BACK TO FOOTBALL
The two-time Fighting Irish captain didn't do much at the Pro Day, only participating in the linebacker drills with Te'von Coney. Tranquill had a great Combine, though, measuring at 6-2 and 234 pounds, running the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds and doing 31 reps on the bench press.
"I think it went well. There were a couple of drills at the Combine where my times were certainly better than the number I put up, but I think at the end of the day, we're happy," Tranquill said. "We got top 10 in every drill. Just taking it a day at the time."
Tranquill said he met with the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions on Tuesday, the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday and had meetings with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints in the coming weeks.
After weeks of training for non-football drills, Tranquill is excited to be getting back into football shape.
"I guess they're supposed to show how you move in a football way, but outside of the change of direction, you really don't do it on a football field," Tranquill said. "Certainly a change of pace in the training, but I think all of the guys are relieved to have it done and can focus on playing ball now."
Austin Hough can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 325. Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinHoughTGN