Pumphrey Works Out for NFL Scouts

Aztecs star gets his turn at the Scouting Combine

San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey creates an interesting dilemma for NFL scouts.

The kid has crazy talent. He’s the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history (not including Ron Dayne’s bowl games). But he’s, by professional football standards … let’s go with diminutive. Pumphrey is only 5-foot-8 and weighs 176 pounds soaking wet, not the kind of frame that typically holds up well in a collision sport like football.

But man, the kid is elusive. So his ability to show something a little extra for NFL scouts is extremely important. His first chance to do that came on Friday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Friday.

Pumphrey only did five reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, far and away the lowest total of all the running backs at the workout. But he is not a power guy. What the pro football types were looking for was burst and a little shimmy in the open field and that’s what Pumphrey showed them.

He actually showed of better speed than most expected, running a 4.48 time in the 40-yard dash. That was tied for the 4th-fastest time in the class with Stanford star Christian McCaffrey. The Aztecs back also showed great lateral movement, drawing positive reviews from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock during the live broadcast.

Pumphrey struggled a bit catching the ball with a few passes sailing over his head and one bouncing off his hands. At the next level he will be expected to catch the ball out of the backfield because although he did run between the tackles at SDSU it will be a lot harder to do that in the National Football League than it was in the Mountain West Conference.

Pumphrey did meet with the Cowboys at the Combine. Dallas is looking for a “change of pace” back to pair with rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott.

A pair of Pumphrey’s offensive linemen also worked out on Friday. Guard Nico Siragusa and tackle Daniel Brunskill were on the field. Siragusa could be the first Aztec drafted this year. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.35 seconds, not bad for a guy who weighs in at 319 pounds. Siragusa excelled in the power department, putting up 28 reps on the bench press and unleashing a 110-inch broad jump (an event that shows lower body explosiveness).

Defensive back Damontae Kazee will have his Combine workout on Monday.

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