Shepard, Ford excel at LSU's pro day

BATON ROUGE, La. -- There's a new wrinkle to the Russell Shepard saga.

The blue-chip, dual-threat high school quarterback turned underachieving college receiver was worked out by NFL scouts Wednesday during LSU's Pro Day at, of all places, defensive back.

"Never played there in my life," Shepard said. "About six teams asked me to work out there. I thought I did pretty good. Like they told me, it's added value."

Shepard gave NFL teams reason to look for places he might fit. He excelled during physical testing, joining a list of LSU players who had good days.

Shepard ran a 4.5 electronic 40-yard dash and also had a 38.5-inch vertical leap, results that do not suggest a player who struggled to get involved in LSU's offense in his four years and was so marginalized, he was not invited to the NFL combine.

He wasn't the only Tiger to test well. Running back Michael Ford ran a 4.44 40-yard dash and had a 39.5-inch vertical leap, both results slightly better than his combine results. Linebacker Kevin Minter ran a 4.67 40 and had a 34.5-inch vertical leap, both significant improvements over the combine.

"We were at home," Minter said. "Makes all the difference."

Here are some other notables:

  • Defensive end Barkevious Mingo did not participate in testing, but like former teammate Tyrann Mathieu got involved in position-specific drills.

  • Defensive end Lavar Edwards ran a 4.78 and hit 21 repetitions in the bench press, looking like the next LSU player who might be drafted after not starting for the Tigers.

  • Defensive end Sam Montgomery checked in five pounds lighter -- 257 pounds -- than the NFL combine, but still had a slower 40, running a 4.83 after running a 4.81 at the combine.

  • Safety Eric Reid ran a 4.50 40 after running a 4.53 at the combine.

  • Former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson, now playing for an Arena Football League team, ran a respectable 4.65 40-yard dash. Jefferson and Jarrett Lee took turns throwing passes to receivers and tight ends.

  • Running back Charles Scott, who last played for LSU in 2009, ran a 4.9 40 about a week after he was found not guilty on a sexual battery charge in suburban Baton Rouge a week earlier. Scott's LSU career ended with a knee injury.

  • Cornerback Tharold Simon cut his 40-yard dash time from 4.51 at the combine to 4.50. He again measured at 6-foot-2 after a college career where he was always listed at 6-3.

  • Defensive tackle Josh Downs had the most reps on the 225-pound bench press, getting the bar up 33 times. However, he ran a slow 40 (5.31).