Former Jackets ready to impress at pro day

Former Georgia Tech running back Synjyn Days' powerful running style earned him an invitation into the Medal of Honor Bowl. He is making good use of the opportunity, attracting the attention of NFL scouts. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former Georgia Tech running back Synjyn Days wants to make a lasting impression NFL scouts at Tech’s pro day Friday morning. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former Georgia Tech B-back Synjyn Days is ready to run fast.

“I feel well,” Days said Thursday, the day before he’ll perform NFL scouts, coaches and executives at Tech’s pro day. “I feel as strong as I’ve ever felt and as fast as I’ve ever felt. It should be a pretty good day. I’m pretty sure all my teammates will do well, too. I know we’ve been putting in a lot of hard work.”

Days will join former Yellow Jackets Isaiah Johnson, Zach Laskey, Shaquille Mason, Quayshawn Nealy and Darren Waller at the pro day, to be held at 10 a.m. at the Brock Football Practice Facility. It will be broadcast online on ESPN3.

Since a strong showing at the Medal of Honor Bowl in Charleston, S.C., Days has been training with area pre-draft trainer Chip Smith. He said his weight is 230 pounds, down 10 pounds from the end of the season. Included in his workouts have been sessions at the SwimAtlanta pool in Norcross. Days will pass on using any remaining eligibility with Tech’s swim team.

At a recent workout, Days and his fellow NFL aspirants shared the pool with a group of elite swimmers.

“Some of us tried to race them,” he said. “Let’s just say it didn’t go as good as we thought.”

Days believes he can run the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds, which would be a head-turning number. At the NFL draft combine in February, of the 37 running back prospects who ran, only four ran under 4.5. Days said he saw an online evaluation of him that said he was a 4.8 runner.

“I’ve never been a 4.8 anything in my life,” he said. “It’ll be fun. I’m excited.”

Days said he wants to do 30 reps of the 225-bound bench press. That would match the highest total at the combine for running backs.

Waller will stand on his combine results – including a 4.46 in the 40 (tied for 16th among 42 receivers), a 37-inch vertical leap (tied for 10th among 37 receivers) and a 125-inch broad jump (tied for sixth among 37 receivers) – and only catch passes. He will catch passes from former Connecticut quarterback Chandler Whitmer, who is doing his pre-draft training in the Atlanta area.

“We’ve been thrown six times in the past couple weeks,” said Waller, who did his pre-combine training in Arizona but returned to Atlanta after that.

Waller said that he worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Saturday and has another workout lined up with Cincinnati next Tuesday. He was recently also called an NFL draft sleeper by Andy Staples of SI.com.

Mason has three private workouts lined up, and is ready to perform.

“I’m feeling good,” he said Thursday. “I’m ready to go out and show what I’ve been working on.”

Mason has been asked by multiple teams if he can play center. He has been working with former Falcons offensive tackle Todd Weiner to learn the position and develop his pass-protection skill set.

“It’s going pretty good,” Mason said. “It’s not as hard of a transition as I thought it would be.”

Some of Mason’s goals for Friday: a 40 time in the 4.9 range, 30-plus inches in the vertical jump and 30 reps on the bench press.

Beyond that, “really, I just want to show I’m comfortable in my pass sets and just check off all those boxes,” Mason said.

Waller, Mason and Days mentioned another former Tech football player with an intriguing plan – former Tech center Jay Finch. Finch worked out at the pro day last year, putting up great numbers. He drew interest from scouts, but was not drafted or signed as a rookie free agent. Finch has been training and will apparently work out as a tight end for scouts.

(“Hello, my name is Jay Finch, and I’m here for the part of ‘NFL tight end.’”) (I don’t think it works like that.)

It’s an interesting thought. Finch, as his combine performance last year indicated, is a good athlete, and he would be presumably a much better blocker than most prospects. He’s a little shorter than you’d want, but there’s no harm in giving it a shot. He’s got a supporter in his former right guard.

“He’s got a good chance because Jay is very athletic,” Mason said. “With training and learning the position, I think without a doubt that he can get a shot.”


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