VIDEO ABOVE: Hailey Hunter takes us inside a local pro day at D1 Jackson, with facility GM and former Ole Miss/Redskins WR Mike Espy. **Note – story was filmed before Mississippi’s shelter in place order**
MADISON, Miss. (WJTV) — With most Pro Days cancelled among COVID-19 concerns, the D1 Jackson training facility is helping local draft hopefuls get on the radar of NFL scouts.
“There’s no pro day, there’s no combines – so how does a kid get a job interview at the next level?,” D1 general manager Mike Espy said. “The next step is actually filming the pro day. I have five athletes here today and their agent is going to be sending them to perspective NFL teams across the country. Keenan Barnes from Austin Peay, he went to Madison Central. I have a wide receiver from West Alabama named Christian Saulsberry. I have DJ Montgomery, wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. And with the NFL Draft coming up you know these scouts obviously they want to have their eyes on them, but they can’t do that right now so we want to take the athlete to them.”
Espy had a video team film every test from the best possible angles so scouts can see everything for themselves.
“We’re going to film is so they can see the entire thing,” Espy said. “From the forty yard dash we are going to back up the angle so they can see the entire forty – so that if they want to time it themselves they can do that. We’re going to do that with every drill so we’re going to have our clocks send in our times but the point of the video is so they can see it for themselves.”
Leaving your chances to hope is not Espy’s recommendation. The way he sees it, if you aren’t at least trying to send in anything, you’re already one step behind.
“Going down with this shelter in place, I’m not going to tell you to go to a facility. But listen man, get your mom, your brother, your sibling whatever go out and film yourself at a field in the yard doing the drills. Make sure you have the metrics of it exact, and send it. Otherwise I’m going to take it like this – if you’re not sending anything in you’re not trying. If I’m a scout – trying goes a long way, as opposed to a guy just banking on a scout knowing him or something like that.”
The NFL Draft kicks off April 23rd.