Auburn, Ala.--Jonathan Palmer showed up for Auburn’s NFL Pro Day wearing a cast on his hand, a souvenir from a postseason all-star game practice in January.
However, despite not having the full use of one hand, he was able to do a lot of testing for National Football League scouts and the versatile former Auburn lineman says he is pleased with what happened. “I have a hard cast on it so I really can’t feel it so it wasn’t a big problem.
“The Pro day went real well,” Palmer tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “We worked hard, but we are not strangers to hard work.”
Palmer and fellow offensive linemen Ben Grubbs and Tim Duckworth were extensively worked out by scouts after they did their combine style tests on Monday.
Palmer, the starting right tackle last fall for the Tigers, weighed in at 6-4 1/8, 326 pounds and began the testing with two solid runs in the 40-yard dash that were clocked in times from just over 5.0 to the 5.2s. “I have been working out with Tom Shaw in Orlando,” Palmer says. “He did a good job of training me and I was able to go out there and run good times.”
The cast prevented him from bench pressing, but he was able to do drills such as the standing broad jump (eight feet, two inches) and the vertical jump (24 1/2 inches) before getting into the offensive line technique drills the NFL scouts watched very closely.
“I talked to a few of the pro scouts and they said they were impressed with what they saw,” Palmer says. “I would say everything was above average for me so I am pleased. I think my 40 times were good and my drills were good.”
Jonathan Palmer was AU's most versatile offensive lineman in recent years.
Palmer played center and guard for the Tigers in addition to tackle. He likely projects inside as a center or guard at the pro level, but even Palmer himself isn’t certain about that.
One thing he is certain about is the support from his former high school and college teammate, Marcus McNeill, who is coming off a very impressive rookie year with the San Diego Chargers. The two stay in touch and Palmer says, “We mainly talk about life. He is very confident in what I can do. He just tells me to go out there and make sure I do it to the best of my ability and everything will be okay.”
Palmer plans to take a brief rest after his Pro Day experience and then get right back into training as he continues to work in hopes of hearing his named called by an NFL team in the draft that is scheduled for April 28-29th this year.