South Carolina pro day didn't go as planned for Beaufort's Devin Taylor

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comMarch 29, 2013 

South Carolina Pro Day Football

Former Beaufort High School defensive end Devin Taylor runs the 40-yard dash during South Carolina's NFL football pro day in Columbia, S.C.

RAINIER EHRHARDT — Rainier Ehrhardt -- The Associated Press

Devin Taylor was confident in most of his numbers from the NFL Combine in March.

All that was left at South Carolina's pro timing day Wednesday was to again show off his speed in the 40-yard dash, try to improve his bench press repetitions and participate in position drills for scouts. But the former Beaufort High School standout and Gamecocks defensive end strained his hamstring during his second attempt at the 40-yard dash and chose to postpone position drills for another day.

His 40 time released with South Carolina -- 4.88 seconds -- surprised his agent, David Sullivan, when he was told Thursday. Taylor ran a 4.72 at the combine and some teams hand-timed him in the 4.6s, Sullivan said.

He planned to check with scouts who watched South Carolina's pro day to compare numbers.

"The 40 time (4.88) seems odd," Sullivan said. "...There was really no urgent need to do a 40 at pro day. We planned on having Devin run the 40, just because it's something I know is a strength. We thought 'Why not do it again?' "

Taylor managed 16 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds, up from 14 at February's combine. His first attempt in the 40 appeared to go smoothly, but in the second, he briefly veered outside the orange cones before correcting.

Taylor's next steps are private workouts with teams leading up to the NFL draft, which starts April 25. Sullivan said he was in talks with three teams for possible workouts in Columbia.

During the combine, Taylor sat for formal interviews with five teams -- Detroit, Miami, New England, Oakland and Seattle. Other teams have inquired about having Taylor work out at their facilities, Sullivan said.

If Taylor's schedule allows, he'll return to Virginia, where Sullivan is based, to work with Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith and 1st String Sports Training. Taylor began working with Smith after the Gamecocks' bowl game and returned to Virginia after the combine, after a brief stint in Atlanta.

Smith has worked with Taylor on advanced technique -- how to use leverage, use his hands and read an opponent, among other things.

"He was really impressed with Devin the day he first met with Devin and started working with him," Sullivan said. "I would love to keep Bruce Smith involved as long as possible, because of who he is and what he knows and what he can help teach Devin."

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