Manny Wilkins has been silent through all the prospect hype at season’s end and through the combine because of an extensive rehab, but has roared his way onto the scene with a very impressive pro day held at Arizona State University’s campus.
Wilkins day started with the weigh in and measurements including the vertical jump, broad jump, and the all important 40 yard dash.
Coming off knee surgery on his right knee and not fully recovered, the wearing of a brace hindered his agility in the drills. With that, it was very impressive to see Wilkins come out and show the one thing he has always had that cannot be measured with a measuring stick or timer and that is the size of his heart.
Manny does not lack confidence in himself as he answered the question of his expectations going forward to the draft he said
“I’m going to get an opportunity, I know I will. I think I have enough tape that proves that I can do this and play this game at a high level. I think I have the leadership to lead men. I love this game and I’m very fortunate this game has brought me so much.”
The pro-day moved on to his pass drills and that is where his born leadership skills were on full display.
Usually a quarterback’s pro-day is run by a QB coach, to tell a guy what throws to do during the drills, but Manny was his own coach and commanded his own pro-day.
Having his best wide receiver N’keal Harry and his starting tailback Eno Benjamin running routes sure made it more comfortable for him, as the huddle was ran as though it was a game as Manny deligated the routes and the depth he wanted and broke the huddle like a NFL huddle with a unison clap.
It was masterful, as his passes were pin-point accurate on every ball the first half of the session, and didn’t have one ball hit the ground until close to the end of the drills. Even on the misses Manny was in control saying, “lets run that again I will drop that right in” and he did jut that.
The wideouts made plays for him as he cheered them on during the drills, yelling out to them each by their jersey numbers they played in as teammates all season for the Sun Devils. “Good catch 1” referring to prospect N’keal Harry and “good route 3” and so forth.
There were a couple of impressive catches with one being by Harry of course, an over the head one handed left hand grab, and an amazing high reach one hand grab and roll over by Jelan Harvey. Each guy with a determination to perform their best for themselves and for their quarterback.
Scouts and managers were amazed as they yelled out in awe of the performance, for a pro-day at ASU 27 out of 32 teams sent representation including GM John Elway, John Lynch were on hand paying close attention to all of the prospects.
I truly think Manny may have just played himself in the equation to possibly be a late round draft pick, and I can see him running a RPO style offense behind a veteran for 2 to 3 years.
One thing is for certain he does not lack anything when it comes to leadership and passion and heart, those are the ingredients that usually translate to success in the NFL, just ask Doug Flute.