- Max Olson, Big 12 reporter
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When Malcom Brown hit the field, everyone else stopped to watch.
Brown, a projected mid-first round pick, was the star of Texas’ pro day as expected Tuesday. The coveted defensive tackle stood by his NFL scouting combine testing numbers but did perform positional drills run by three NFL defensive line coaches: the Colts’ Gary Emanuel, the Lions’ Kris Kocurek and the Bengals’ Jay Hayes.
“I came in, attacked the work, did my best job and whatever that gets me is where I’ll go,” Brown said.
The 6-foot-2, 319-pound defensive lineman is currently the No. 17 pick in mock drafts by both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. That pick belongs to the San Diego Chargers, though Brown said he doesn’t know where he’ll take pre-draft visits for workouts.
Brown did say he’s excited by the possibility of the Lions showing interest after losing Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins in free agency.
“It would be great,” Brown said. “I idolize myself after him. He plays really great and I’ll try to go somewhere to make an immediate impact.”
A year after having no players selected in the NFL draft, the Longhorns have several more standouts who will merit mid- to late-round consideration.
Jordan Hicks said he was out to prove he can be a three-down linebacker in his positional drills, and he already has visits lined up with the Texans and Eagles.
Running back Malcolm Brown improved his 40-yard dash from the NFL scouting combine, running an unofficial 40 in the mid-4.4 range on Tuesday after clocking 4.62 in Indianapolis.
“I want to be a four-down back who can run the ball, pass protect, catch the ball out of the backfield and, on fourth down, special teams,” Brown said. “That’s something I’m going to put my mind to and work as hard as I can.”
Cornerback Quandre Diggs was proud of his footwork in defensive back drills and is still trying to fight the perception that a 5-9 corner will have limited opportunities at the next level.
“Everybody is talking about slot corner but, you know, get on a team and let me play slot and I’ll show you I can play outside,” Diggs said. “I just need a chance, need a shot, and I think it’ll come in the draft. I think I’ll surprise a lot of people.”
Defensive end Cedric Reed did not participate in the pro day while he continues to recover from January surgery for a torn meniscus suffered during his senior season. He performed only the bench press at the NFL scouting combine last month. Receiver John Harris, who was not invited to the scouting combine despite a 1,000-yard season, likely raised his stock with an unofficial 4.5 in the 40.
Other Texas pro day notes:
Receiver Jaxon Shipley made a big impression on scouts with an unofficial 40 time around 4.45. With brother Jordan Shipley in attendance for support, the younger Shipley tested well and looked sharp catching passes from former Texas quarterback David Ash.
Nate Boyer, the Longhorns’ 34-year-old former Green Beret, is hoping to find an opportunity in the NFL as a long snapper. He bulked up 20 pounds to 216 and is hoping for at least a tryout after working out for scouts Tuesday. He was honorably discharged by the Army last month after 10 years of service, including spending the past two summers stationed in Afghanistan.
Tight end Geoff Swaim helped his chances on Tuesday with a strong testing day. Swaim, primarily a blocker in his two seasons in Austin, produced a 35 ½ inch vertical and a 40 in the 4.6 range. Defensive back Mykkele Thompson, who wants to prove he’s a tall corner at the next level, had a good day as well with a 40 time in the 4.4 range.
The coveted defensive tackle stood by his NFL scouting combine testing numbers but did perform positionalÃ