Vanderbilt seniors Casey Hayward and Sean Richardson will look to enhance their National Football League prospects this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Hayward, a cornerback out of Perry, Ga., and Richardson, a safety from Linden, Ala., are among 59 prospects from defensive secondary positions expected to test their skills at the important scouting combine. They will be among the last of more than 300 prospects to test before an array of NFL coaches, scouts and administrators.
While Hayward and Richardson await an interesting week with NFL personnel, several other 2011 Vanderbilt seniors are gearing up for the program's Pro Day on March 23. Among those expected to participate in Pro Day are defensive end/linebacker Tim Fugger, offensive lineman Kyle Fischer, quarterback Larry Smith, tight end Brandon Barden, defensive lineman T.J. Greenstone and receiver Udom Umoh.
The Combine marks Hayward's second opportunity to impress NFL teams since he tied the Vanderbilt school record for career interceptions with a pair of picks in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. In late January, Hayward capped a superb week of workouts in Mobile, Ala., by contributing an interception at the prestigious Senior Bowl.
Numerous draft experts rank Hayward among the top five cornerbacks in the upcoming draft. If he tests well in the 40-yard dash and agility workouts, Hayward could move higher and place himself in the mix for becoming a first-day selection.
For the 6-2, 218-pound Richardson, the Combine offers a chance to solidify his position among the nation's top safeties. The three-year Commodore starter has been training with 10 other invitees in Southern California.
"I'm looking forward to just going to Indianapolis and performing as well as I can," Richardson said. "I want to meet as many (teams) as I can, maximize my potential and move up the draft board."
This marks the second time in the last three years that multiple Vanderbilt players have attended the Combine. In 2010, cornerback Myron Lewis and offensive lineman Thomas Welch participated in the event. In recent years, the high mark for Vanderbilt player participation came in 2008 when four Commodores attended the Combine.
Activity Schedules for Hayward & Richardson
The two Commodores face four busy days upon arriving in Indianapolis. This Saturday, they'll register and go through a battery of hospital pre-examinations and X-rays. Official measurements, medical examinations, psychological testing and media interviews start Sunday and extend into Monday. On Tuesday, both will showcase their talents in Lucas Oil Stadium during a series of timing, agility tests and skill drills.
Watching the Combine
Keeping track of Hayward and Richardson at the Combine is available on television and the Internet.
The NFL Network will provide live coverage throughout the Combine, which starts Wednesday with offensive line, kicking and special teams prospects. The network's in-depth coverage of the defensive back corps starts Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. CT, and continues into the evening.
Thorough online coverage of the Scouting Combine begins Wednesday at NFL.com.
Other former Vanderbilt players attending NFL Combine since 2000
2012 Casey Hayward (CB), Sean Richardson (S)
2010 Myron Lewis (CB), Thomas Welch (OL)
2009 D.J. Moore (CB)
2008 Earl Bennett (WR), Curtis Gatewood (DE/LB), Jonathan Goff (LB), Chris Williams (OL)
2006 QB Jay Cutler (QB)
2005 Jovan Haye (DT/DE), Justin Geisinger (OL)
2003 Hunter Hillenmeyer (LB)
2001 Matt Stewart (LB), Jimmy Williams (CB), Jamie Winborn (LB)