Texas A&M Football 2023 Pro Day Recap: Devon Achane, Antonio Johnson, Jaylon Jones impress in front of NFL Scouts

Texas A&M took a brief moment in their 2023 spring football program to welcome some guests to the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band Drill Field. Personnel from all 32 NFL teams descended upon College Station for the Aggies’ 2023 Pro Day, which featured a handful of former players led by running back Devon Achane and defensive backs Antonio Johnson and Jaylon Jones.

With the NFL combine in the books, A&M’s Pro Day marked the latest opportunity for the Maroon and White’s draft prospects to showcase their skills in front of scouting personnel.

For some, it was an opportunity to strengthen their resume, and for others, it provided a chance to improve on their performance at the combine. Prospects were given the opportunity to test in a number of on-field workouts and drills, including the broad jump, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill, and bench press

Let’s recap how the Aggies’ trio of prospects performed on Tuesday, in anticipation of hearing their names called in next month’s draft.

Achane showcases versatility and speed in front of scouts

There was some early speculation as to whether Achane would run the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day after clocking a 4.32 time at the NFL Combine. But the former Aggie probably believed he cemented himself already as one of the fastest prospects in this draft. Achane passed on running the 40 again, instead opting to complete the three-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle instead, finishing with a 7.05 and 4.3, respectively.

In running routes and going through a number of running back drills, Achane worked primarily with Dallas Cowboys run game coordinator Jeff Blasko and New York Giants running backs coach Jeff Nixon. For an NFL team looking to get an all-purpose back that’s capable of playing on all three downs, Achane confidently displayed that versatility on Tuesday.

Achane hinted that he may play multiple positions once he makes the leap to the NFL

In the aftermath of running routes and catching passes from NFL personnel, Achane also hinted at potentially lining up at multiple positions once he heads to the pros:

“I am able to do a lot – running back, receiver, special teams…I bring a lot of energy, but also, I can put points on the board at every position that I play. So I am very different in that way. In this league, you’ve got to be able to not just run the ball…you’ve got to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield.”

It’s safe to say that Achane has the right mindset in showing off his versatility to play multiple positions on offense. When you look at the likes of Tyreek Hill and Deebo Samuel, both have their strong suits of speed or strength, but they’ve proven to be a threat no matter whether they’re lining up in the backfield or on the outside.

If those are the types of players that Achane is hoping to mimic, it’s safe to say he should be a productive addition from the start to the team that drafts him.

Aggies featured Johnson across the defense, and at multiple positions

Johnson completed the broad jump and the 20-yard shuttle, recording a 9-foot-6 and clocking a 4.3, respectively. While his broad jump fell a few inches short of what he logged at the combine, defensive scouts should come away impressed by his ball skills and knack for making plays across the field.

The defensive back was featured in a variety of positions at all levels of the defense, from blitzing off the edge to providing run support inside. Head coach Jimbo Fisher was vocal about the edge that Johnson brings:

“Not many safeties can play the second level, down in the box, and be physical, but then have the ball skills to play on the top end and the third level. The safeties that go high like himself are the guys – you will see, I call them coverage guys and then tackle guys. He has the ability to do both.”

Jones boosted his stock with a better 40-yard dash time than his NFL Combine mark

Jones likely gave his stock a significant boost after bumping up his 40-yard dash time to 4.4 at Pro Day, which is an improvement over the 4.57 he clocked at the combine. He also finished with a 7.00 in the three-cone drill and a 4.3 in the 20-yard shuttle, versus a 6.88 and 4.3 in those respective events at the combine.

Jimbo was also keen to mention that Jones should likely carve himself a role on special teams as well:

“And with Jaylon, I think he will be a special teams guy because he is so long and physical. Those things, whether you are covering a kick or blocking a kick, he has size. Size matters.”

At 6-2 and 200 lbs, I think Jones’ length and size will make him a prospect that will be high on teams’ draft boards come April. When you go up against the likes of a DK Metcalf or Davante Adams, having a defensive back like Jones that can leverage their length when battling for a ball should be an asset when trying to scheme against a pass-happy league.

Former Aggie football players, and A&M graduates, were embraced by the Maroon and White football program on Tuesday

In another great display of what it means to be an Aggie, former football players, and A&M graduates Connor Blumrick (tight end), Camron Buckley (wide receiver), and Clifford Chattman (safety) partook in the event. Each of them participated in the standard drills like the broad jump, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, and three-cone drill, among others.

Just as nice as it was to see them on the field, the way they were embraced by the program was even sweeter. In speaking with the media, Jimbo shed some light on why there was never a hesitation in letting them partake in the event:

“I am never going to deny someone an opportunity. A kid leaves and you get mad? Why would you do that? These guys gave their heart and soul here, they wanted to go somewhere else – they are 18 and 22 year olds. Help them prolong in their life and do what they do. I hope all of those guys had a good workout today, and it was great to see them all.”

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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire