A quick look around the Internet will show you which former Arizona football players are likely to get drafted to the NFL in April. Quarterback Nick Foles, receiver Juron Criner and cornerback Trevin Wade, all projected to be selected as high as the second round in the draft by various websites, were even invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Defensive back Rob Golden, linebackers Paul Vassallo and Derek Earls and running back Keola Antolin are listed on various websites as possible late-round draft picks.
David Douglas, a former UA receiver, was nowhere to be found — at least, until Monday when Arizona held its Pro Day.
In front of scouts and personnel from nearly every NFL team, Douglas stole the show from his more highly touted counterparts, running a blazing unofficial 4.45 second 40-yard dash, putting up 20 bench press reps of 225 pounds and recording a 36.5 inch vertical jump, according to Foles.
“I thought I had a good day,” Douglas said. “I feel like I performed well in everything, it went well playing with Nick and all in all it was a good day for me.”
The 6-foot-1 receiver from McKinney, Texas, turned more than a few heads on Monday, and might have played his way into the NFL Draft. Former UA quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo, who conducted the workouts on Monday, said the Wildcats might not have utilized Douglas as much as they could have when he played for Arizona.
“David did what we asked him to do while he was here, I think today he showed that we didn’t ask him to do enough,” Scelfo said. “David made some money today.”
Now that Douglas has firmly placed himself on the NFL radar, the fact that people have been overlooking him in terms of his NFL prospects gives him a chip on his shoulder.
“It’s definitely a motivational factor, I mean (Criner, Wade and Foles) deserve all the attention, those guys are great players and you have to give them credit, but it’s just something that motivates you,” Douglas said. “Not being invited to the combine, there’s nothing you can do about all of that. I just focused on coming out here and doing the best at the Pro Day I could. I felt like I trained hard and it paid off and I had a pretty good day.”
Even though people outside of the Arizona locker room might just be discovering Douglas’ freakish athleticism, it’s not as if this is the first glimpse of Douglas the public has had.
For the last two seasons, Douglas was the Wildcats’ second-leading receiver behind Criner in a passing offense that was ranked sixth in the nation in 2011 and eighth in 2010. Over the last two years, Douglas has averaged 58.5 catches, 590.5 yards and 4.5 touchdowns. He had the best game of his career in 2011 when he caught 10 balls for 156 yards and two touchdowns against Utah.
Foles, who has been training with Douglas in the weeks leading up to the Pro Day and is currently staying at Scelfo’s house with Douglas, said the performance his friend put on for Monday came as no surprise to him. In fact, he believes Douglas could have done even better.
“I knew he was going to do that, he helped (himself) a lot, it was huge,” Foles said. “His vertical was 36.5, but he’s really a 40-inch vertical, I don’t think he was warm. Go type in David Douglas on YouTube, there’s a dunk with him just messing around. He’s not even warm and he just goes up under his legs and slams it. The guy is a frickin’ athlete.”
Douglas put the NFL on notice with his performance on Monday. “They all saw what I did,” Douglas said in regards to the scouts in attendance.
Prior to Monday, the only website to even rank him was CBSsportsline.com — a site that ranks every prospect. CBS had Douglas ranked 739 overall, and as the 104th best receiver prospect. Only about 224 players get drafted.
But after Monday’s performance, it’s safe to say that Douglas’ stock is on the rise.