With draft approaching, Longhorns fight for their NFL dreams


Charlie Pearce

Cornerback Carrington Byndom is one of many Longhorns hoping to get drafted to the NFL this year. 

Drew Lieberman

Texas held its Pro Timing Day on Wednesday, and, with representatives from all 32 NFL teams in attendance, it was one of the last opportunities for the team’s seniors to show off their skills and impress scouts before the draft on May 8-10. 

For defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat and wide receiver Mike Davis, it is not a question of whether they will have an opportunity to realize their NFL dream but, instead, a question of when they will hear their names on draft day. 

For the other Longhorn draft hopefuls, the question is a little more up in the air.

Cornerback Carrington Byndom impressed scouts with his blazing 4.37 40-yard dash time, a showing that should definitely help his case in the later rounds of the draft. Byndom hopes that his name is called during the draft but is prepared to work for an NFL roster spot if he goes undrafted.

“Just trying to make it on somewhere — that’s my goal.” Byndom remarked, “I can only control what I can. I can’t control where people draft me or call me. So I just got to try to get a shot and try to make it in some kind of way and, once I get there, show them what I’m capable of.”

Defensive tackle Chris Whaley was shooting up draft boards before suffering a season-ending injury against West Virginia in November.  Whaley appears to be about a month ahead of schedule in rehabilitating his knee but will have to overcome both his injury and skeptics in order to realize his dream. 

“I’m willing to fight,” Whaley said. “I’ve had to for a long time. Coming from running back to [defensive] tackle, I had to fight for that job. So the fight is nothing new.” 

Defensive end Reggie Wilson came to Texas as a heralded recruit whom almost everyone wanted out of high school. But, because of Texas’ glut of NFL caliber talent at the position throughout his career, Wilson never made much of an impact on the field. Still, he remains positive, encouraged that he can fight for his dreams as they now rest solely on his performance. 

“At the end of the day, if I go out and don’t perform, then I have nobody to blame but myself,” Wilson said. “That’s how I look at it.”

Offensive guard Trey Hopkins, who hopes to be the first Longhorn offensive lineman drafted since 2008, is relieved to know that, if the NFL doesn’t work out, he has work in physical therapy as a back-up plan. “That’s one good thing,” Hopkins said. “I have a plan for outside of football. But football is definitely what I want to do right now.”