- Eric Martinez
TCU's 2022 Pro Day Recap
The TCU football program hosted the Pro Day for NFL Scouts to work out four Horned Frogs. Talented players, cornerback TJ Carter, safety La’Kendrick Van Zandt, offensive lineman Obinna Eze, and long snapper Antonio Ortiz all participated in individual events to showcase their skill set for all 32 teams represented by the NFL.
An impressive combine-like performance came from cornerback TJ Carter. He showed up and showed out with a 37-inch vertical jump, a 3-cone time of 7.21 seconds, a Shuttle drill of 4.15 seconds, and an impressive 4.57-second 40-yard dash. With a huge need to find talent at that position, NFL teams paid close attention to TJ’s skill set and being able to understand the level of intensity needed to join an NFL team and their defensive sets. The chatter from the NFL scouts was all about the vertical jump coming from safety La’Kendrick Van Zandt. His explosion was impressive enough to make most of the NFL scouts to cheer on his performance. The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder exploded on his second jump for a 39.5-inch vertical. When healthy, Van Zandt is as consistent and explosive at strong safety as anyone in the NFL draft pool. Lineman Obinna Eze was invited to workout at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year. He did not participate in the Bench Press, Vertical, or any other workout except the 40-yard dash. He matched his 5.17-second 40-yard dash that he accomplished in Indianapolis on Friday. He was consistent with his time, and scouts were impressed that he kept a parallel speed that they had scouted at the combine. Obinna Eze is being ranked as the 14th best available offensive tackle. TCU’s long snapper, Antonio Ortiz, impressed NFL Scout’s at a prior Snapping Camp, presented by Kohl’s. Antonio was 1 of 3 athletes with a perfect score during the Kohl’s Pro Combine. NFL Scout’s came to see Antonio Ortiz’ workouts. He already had the interest of many teams by being selected to participate in the Hula Bowl and the NFLPA Bowl.
TCU continues to be a major contributor to the NFL Draft. With the emergence of the defensive back needs in the NFL, TCU had their starting safety drafted last year at number 43 overall, Tre’von Moehrig, by the Las Vegas Raiders. First year TCU Head Coach Sonny Dykes stopped by the Pro Day to check in on the players that were preparing for the NFL Draft. He explained that it is a very rare occasion that he is attending a Pro Day without much information on each player. He was hired earlier this winter after leading the SMU Mustangs Football team to a successful season. “It’s every player’s dream to play at a collegiate level. Once you reach that level, and have the ability to play this sport professionally, it becomes a level of focus and discipline to reach and play at that next level.”