Georgia Tech concluded its annual pro day over the weekend with a number of former Jackets providing some very impressive showings in front of scouts from around the NFL. Perhaps the best day of all was had by former B-Back Synjyn Days, who took full advantage of his second shot at Tech's pro day; both his 40 time of 4.51 and his 24 reps on the bench press turned plenty of heads. Speaking of exceeding expectations in the bench press, B-Back Patrick Skov blew away the competition with an amazing 31 reps, a figure which would've led his position at the NFL Combine. That is even more impressive when you consider that Skov had five early reps disqualified because he failed to completely lock his elbows. Had those counted, his 36 would have led all participants at the combine across all positions.
Synjyn Days' impressive performance very well could've been the last push he needed to gain some serious traction among NFL executives; the big back is expecting to receive a call or two from various front offices in the coming days. Days did originally sign as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys following last year's draft, but never saw the field for the team before being released. Perhaps his phenomenal showing this year -- one which included cutting his 40 time by over a tenth of a second, from just over 4.60 to just over 4.50 -- will be enough to get him onto some radars. It's unlikely that any team would view Days as a feature back, but I could certainly see him carving out a role similar to the one that former Duke star Juwan Thompson has found with the Denver Broncos as a change-of-pace, bruising type. Best of luck in the coming weeks to Synjyn!
One final interesting point on Tech's pro day was the presence of Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and "general manager" Thomas Dimitroff along with eight other assorted staff members. The Falcons have been criticized in recent years for their reluctance to draft (or seemingly to even consider drafting) talent from within the state of Georgia, but are clearly trying to reverse that trend this season. The team has already been strongly linked to Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd and has expressed serious interest in seeing more from both Georgia Tech and UGA players following the schools' respective pro days last week. Whether drafting from within the state would be be a sound strategy remains to be seen, but giving it a shot certainly can't hurt for the Falcons.
Tonight's NIT game versus South Carolina very well could be like looking in a mirror for Georgia Tech -- the Jackets and Gamecocks share quite a few similarities on the court. It all begins with physicality and defense, trademarks of both Tech's Brian Gregory and USC's Frank Martin. For that reason, a high-scoring game is not to be expected. These two teams will likely grind it out and continue playing the same brand of basketball that they've played all season and really since the beginnings of the eras of their respective coaches. I'd argue that another similarity between the two programs is that both should be plenty hungry, albeit for different reasons. Tech is a team that starts four seniors, none of whom have accomplished much in the way of postseason accolades. That is reason enough to give a massive effort to extend their careers. On the other side, South Carolina won 24 games yet was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament. I get that they played a weak schedule in a weak conference, but a 24-8 mark should probably be enough. They'll want this game just as much as Tech will.
Do you have any last minute predictions for tonight's game?