Like most NFL prospects, Tyler Starr had his highs and lows at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. His high was the three-cone drill, but his low was definitely the 40-yard dash. So at USD’s pro day at the Sanford Field House in Sioux Falls, Starr sought to improve that time and he did just that.
“I had a couple of things to prove and I think I got that accomplished," Starr said. "I improved my 40 time a little bit. You know, there was a lot of question behind that and I think after a couple of weeks of good work and Sanford and this facility and training helped me, it was a phenomenal outcome.”
Like his playing days at USD, Starr looked at his 40-yard dash time from the NFL combine, and attacked it with ferocious intensity. After registering a 4.95 in Indianapolis, Starr took three tries at the 40 in Sioux Falls, and unofficially cut his time down to a 4.8, a difference of more than a tenth of a second.
“It takes a little bit of weight off my back because I knew I was faster than a 4.9," Starr said. "I just didn’t feel comfortable at the combine and I just wasn’t myself running the 40 and the confidence wasn’t really there. But, after working with some technique stuff with the guys here at Sanford, we got what was working for me. We had all the technology here to back it up, I mean, we were working with high-speed cameras and we were making sure everything was a positive progression and it worked out for us.”
Starr participated in every other drill in Sioux Falls, except for the bench press, where he was content to let his 24 reps from the Combine speak for itself. As for whether he or his agent have been speaking to NFL teams, Starr says it’s tough to get a gauge on who’s actually interested.
“I think they like me as a player and as a person. I think I’m going to bring something positive to their team," Starr said. "It’s such a process and a lot of guys don’t even know until the day they get called or picked up as a free agent. So, right now, I’m just taking it day by day and I’m glad I’ve got the pro testing out of the way”
For the next 5 weeks, Starr will continue to work out and get ready for any possibility. Most projections have the linebacker going somewhere between the fifth and seventh rounds. But as long as he’s somewhere in the league this fall, he’ll be ready to contribute 100 percent.
“What I bring to the table for an NFL team is a four down player, a special-teams guy that’s going to get it done. I think, as long as I get a shot, I’m going to be happy,” Starr said.
Author: David Brown, MidcoSN