FOOTBALL: Four former Cardinals work out at Pro Day

Bengals scout attends workouts

Four former Ball State University players got one final chance to make their case to the NFL for an opportunity to extend their careers.

Ball State held its annual Pro Day at Scheumann Stadium on Thursday afternoon, with defensive end Brandon Crawford, defensive tackle Drew Duffin, linebacker Spain Cosby and safety Alex Knipp taking part. A dozen players from nearby colleges like Butler University and Anderson University also took part.

The players went through the same drills as they would at the NFL Combine which finished Tuesday in Indianapolis. But unlike their combine participants, those working out at Ball State harbor no expectations of getting drafted, and can only hope for a training camp invitation.

"I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket," Duffin said. "Right now I'm in the process of looking for a professional job."

The only NFL team at Pro Day was the Cincinnati Bengals. Director of Football Operations Jim Lippincott said he was looking for explosiveness Thursday.

"I'm looking for good change of direction, for strength," he said.

However, Lippincott said he thinks too much emphasis is placed on the workouts, instead of on how someone plays the game.

"Honestly, I think a lot of the things we do here are overrated," he said. "I've already seen most of them play on tape, so I have an idea of what they do."

That is good news for those that worked out Thursday. Unlike the combine and many Pro Days across the country, Ball State held their's outside where the wind could play a factor. The players ran their 40-yard dash into a light headwind, and some non-Ball State players struggled with their footing when changing direction.

In all, Knipp said he wanted to perform better, but was happy for the chance.

"I just tried my best," he said.

Now, the players will have to wait until April 24 when the NFL Draft is complete to see if they get a chance to make their dreams come true. Last year, three Cardinals were signed as undrafted free agents.

Duffin hopes for a similar chance, and thinks enough NFL scouts have seen him play at Ball State for it to happen.

"You get great exposure here with the national spotlight," he said. "Now I've got to focus on school."


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