Zach Mettenberger underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL just a few months ago. On Wednesday, he wowed scouts with his quick recovery, donning shoulder pads and a helmet to throw dozens of passes during a Pro Day workout in front of representatives from every NFL team.
The workout, which was orchestrated by former Miami Dolphins head coach and Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator Cam Cameron (who now serves as LSU's OC), wasn't an easy one, I'm told. While Mettenberger elected not to compete in measureable drills, he surprised onlookers with his willingness to throw while on the move, completing several passes after rolling to his right.
The 6-foot-4, 229 pound Mettenberger boasts impressive arm strength, though he clearly tired as the workout went on. His accuracy wasn't ideal either, especially on shorter passes.
Given the fact that his injury took place in LSU's final regular season game, however, the fact that he's advanced enough to compete at all likely endeared him to some of the big names who attended the workout, including head coaches Chip Kelly (Eagles), Sean Payton (Saints), Rex Ryan (Jets), Mike Tomlin (Steelers) and Mike Zimmer (Vikings). A number of general managers were also on hand including Ruston Webster of the Titans, Jerry Reese of the Giants, Rick Spielman of the Vikings and Mickey Loomis of the Saints.
Mettenberger reportedly met with representatives of the Oakland Raiders last night and has plans to visit with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions next.
While the strong-armed quarterback certainly was the star attraction Wednesday, his talented former teammates also drew plenty of interest.
Wideout Jarvis Landry helped his cause early by shaving over two-tenths of a second off of his Combine 40-yard dash time with an unofficial 4.58-second showing. Unfortunately, he followed this up with several uncharacteristic drops during the positional workout.
Fellow pass-catcher, Odell Beckham, Jr. was the exact opposite, electing not to perform during measureable drills after a impressive Combine session but starring during the positional workout as both a receiver and returner.
Johnson enjoyed a solid positional workout after electing not to participate in measureable drills. Ferguson, on the other hand, helped his cause by shedding 15 pounds from his Combine measurement of 318 pounds and looked good with a 40-yard dash time of 5.08-5.11 seconds, according to LSUSports.net's unofficial Pro Day score card.
Unfortunately for Ferguson, he didn't show a great deal of explosiveness otherwise, registering a relatively average 29.5" vertical jump and 9'3" broad jump on Wednesday. He was also clocked at 7.94 seconds in the 3-cone drill, a time which would have beaten only Notre Dame's Louis Nix III among the 16 defensive tackles who tested in this drill in Indianapolis. The former Irish nose guard, for the sake of comparison, weighed in at 331 pounds, 29 pounds heavier than Ferguson.
While Ferguson's workout wasn't eye-popping, he did demonstrate his health, which some questioned after he missed the Combine workout due to a right ankle injury.
Running back Jeremy Hill enjoyed a solid workout, shaving nearly .15 seconds off of his Combine 40-yard dash time (4.66) with efforts ranging from 4.52-4.55 seconds.
While LSU's current stars were the focus, a number of former Tigers were on hand to take advantage of all the NFL eyes in attendance. Defensive end Sam Montgomery and quarterback Jordan Jefferson were among the ex-Tigers working out.