Former Arizona Wildcats receiver Dan Buckner, trying to alleviate concerns about his speed, said he was “flying” Thursday at the team’s Pro Day on campus.
It just wasn’t for a full 40 yards.
Buckner said he had to slow down at the end of his sprint, feeling a little tweak in a hamstring, but hopes his performance was enough to give pro scouts something to think about in the later rounds of the draft.
“I pulled up at like the 30. I think they still clocked me at 4.6, so I must have been moving,” he said.
“Things could have gone differently, but they got to see 30 yards of full speed before I came up. I have never had any hamstring problems or anything. Maybe I was running too fast for my body and it didn’t even know what was going on and it said, ‘Hey, stop, slow down.’”
Buckner is one of the biggest receivers available in the draft, checking in at 214 pounds and just shy of 6-foot-4 on Thursday, according to one report.
He caught 61 passes for 773 yards and five touchdowns last season, slowed late in the season by a foot injury. He also missed workouts at the East-West Shrine Game in January because of a foot injury.
He is considered a fringe prospect to be drafted … but it all goes back to speed.
He has been training with Pete Bommarito at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami “just to show I’m not a big, stiff dude.”
“I think I catch the ball fairly well, but I want to be more than just a big, tall possession receiver,” he added.
Whether scouts think his 40-yard dash Thursday was incomplete remains to be seen. The hamstring problem didn’t sound serious enough to prevent another workout before the draft, April 25-27.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” Buckner said of not fully finishing the 40.
“Up to that point, I was having a pretty good day. Even through that, I think I still did pretty well. I think I ran faster than some guys still. But I wanted to put a blazing time down for them. Like I said, I don’t want to be the big, slow guy.
“I think my splits before that were pretty good, so they know I was going to put a pretty good time down.”