Never before has a Stony Brook football player been selected in the NFL Draft—ever. Yet when the Seawolves took to the indoor practice facility at All Star Arena in Coram for Pro Day, they may have very well earned that chance.
Leading the way were standout wide receiver Adrian Coxson and tight end Will Tye, both of whom posted workout times rivaling, if not beating, those of the top-performing players at the NFL Combine just a month and a half ago. In a league where speed means everything, their workouts could play a huge role in how the next month plays out.
Coxson, who trained with former Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Qadry Ismail at the Arena Club in Bel Air, Maryland in the months leading up to Pro Day, put on an impressive running display for six scouts, including one from the New York Jets, in the 40-yard dash.
“We had six and that’s all we needed,” Coxson said. Times of 4.33 and 4.42 seconds were impressive enough, but according to Ismail, multiple people at the finish line using approved stopwatches clocked the second and slower run at 4.28 seconds, which would have matched the top time of any player invited to the combine. Coxson not just hitting but exceeding his goals shows the pay-off that has come from working with Ismail.
“It was just more so continuing to go over the technical things of running the 40 that we’ve been going over for the past three months,” Coxson said, mentioning that over time it has gotten better and better, and more so a matter of, “getting it down and getting comfortable with it.”
After his performance at Pro Day to go along with a career in which he totaled 1,425 yards and 11 touchdowns, Coxson earned private workouts with NFL teams ahead of the draft.
“Next week I have the Jets and Giants, I have the Ravens and I should be getting a few more,” the third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association team selection said, adding that all the hard work he has done paid off. “It was more so just taking my time just to do what I’ve been doing in practice with Qadry for the past three months and just plan it all and just put it down for one day, which is Pro Day.”
With blazing times, a player rumored to be signed as a free agent after the draft may now have caught some eyes to warrant a selection towards the end of the selection process.
“I’ll tell you what, I am over the moon excited for him, because everything that we felt he needed to do, he just went out and did it,” Ismail said about his pupil. “He stuck to the plan that we had set forth and man, that was an A-plus-plus performance.”
As Ismail, who played for 10 years in the NFL, made specific note of, it was arguably most impressive that Coxson was not only able to run the 40 yards in 4.33 seconds the first time, but that he came back and on some clocks, at least, ran even faster.
“That’s muscle efficiency at its finest,” Ismail said. “He just dominated the day, caught every pass thrown his way. Dominated the day is how I would describe it.”
In case the point did not come across from a man who was a track star in college himself, Ismail made sure that everyone knows how special Coxson’s moment was.
“Wow, just dominated the day,” he said. “I cannot emphasize it enough. Dominated the day.”
Tye, a second-team All-CAA selection who transferred from Florida State, laid down equally if not more impressive times in the 40-yard dash, also throwing his name into the mix to sign or get his name called come draft day.
At the combine, the fastest time run by a tight end was 4.58 seconds, but Tye blew that out of the water with both of his Pro Day times. He finished in 4.47 and 4.50 seconds for his two attempts, making him the fastest tight end in this year’s draft class.
Though those times, like everything clocked at Pro Day, are unofficial, all teams with representatives in attendance spoke to Tye after the workout, with his wide receiver-like times grabbing plenty of attention.
The New York Jets, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos are the teams that will be holding workouts with Tye as of now, and he already worked out with the San Diego Chargers, according to DuWayne Upton, Tye’s agent.
In CBS Sports’ NFL Draft Prospects rankings, Tye is the No. 24 tight end in the upcoming draft, and No. 460 player overall, which will likely move in a positive direction after Wednesday’s performance.
The NFL Draft runs from Apr. 30 to May 2, after which teams are free to sign those who have not been selected.