Offensive line group stands out at Pro Day as former Horned Frog inspires NFL hopefuls
Offensive linemen aren’t usually the superstars in either college football or the NFL, but with four of the Horned Frogs’ five starters from its 11-win Alamo Bowl Championship team working out for all 32 NFL teams Friday at TCU’s Pro Day, it became quickly apparent that the bulk of the scouts’ attention was turned their way.
“I think you have three full-time offensive line coaches here, not just scouts taking numbers, which is usually a tell-tale sign of who they think the best guys are in the group,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “Matt Pryor, Patrick Morris, [Joseph]Noteboom, [Austin] Schlottman, all of the offensive linemen have a chance to get into an NFL camp just because they’re a smart group.”
Even though none of them are surefire first or second round selections in April’s draft, there’s a chance a number of TCU’s blockers could come off the board as the draft progresses.
“Program’s first and second round draft choices take care of themselves as a general rule,” Patterson said. “They progress because of their athletic ability. That’s what Pro Day is for: there are a couple guys everybody comes for and then you want a couple guys to surprise, where the scouts say I didn’t know he could do that.”
The offensive lineman that surprised Friday was center Patrick Morris who jumped 35-inch vertical and ran a five-second flat 40-yard dash.
“I don’t think guys thought he would do something like that for a center,” Patterson said.
Another stand out is Joseph Noteboom, one of two TCU players along with running back Kyle Hicks that received an invite to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
“The combine went well so all I did here at Pro Day was the position drills,” Noteboom said. “I showed scouts that I’ve been working on getting my pads low, my strength, pro-style offense. I’ve heard I need to work on pro-style offensive blocking with my pads lower since our offense at TCU was a spread, up-tempo attack.”
The senior has not missed a game since redshirting during the 2013 season, as he played in all 13 games as a back-up in 2014 and then he started at right tackle spot for all 13 games as a sophomore before starting the final 27 games of his career at left tackle, protecting quarterback Kenny Hill’s blindside.
“I’ve always loved the NFL, so it’s always been on my radar but it didn’t really kick in that I could make it until I started my redshirt sophomore year,” Noteboom said.
His workout numbers at the NFL Combine in March shot him up draft boards as he ran one of the fastest offensive line 40-yard dash times at 4.96 seconds. He followed up that performance by flashing his versatility at the Senior Bowl, an invite-only showcase for college football’s top seniors.
“Noteboom’s stock has gone up because at the Senior Bowl he played right tackle, left tackle, and center: you can plug him in at a few spots,” Patterson said. “It’s about where you can fill a role for a team.”
Noteboom said he is expecting to go on Day 2 of the draft.
“My agent and others have projected me to get drafted primarily in the third round, some fourth round, hopefully, round three,” Noteboom said.”
Wherever he winds up, Noteboom said he will heed the advice of Collins and former TCU offensive tackle Halapoultivati Vaitai who started at left tackle for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles so that he too can make a career for himself at the next level.
“All of the pro guys just talk about how you have to know the playbook, that’s the number one thing: no mental mistakes,” Noteboom said. “It’s the number one thing you can’t do or you’ll get cut. I just have to know my playbook.” Read More