March 30, 2024   11 MIN READ

Terrapin Tracking

Eagles Contingent On Hand For Maryland Pro Day


COLLEGE PARK, Md– Representatives from all 32 teams trekked here Friday morning to oversee one of the final pro days of the 2024 pre-draft season at the University of Maryland.

An attendance of 51 NFL personnel, along with a sizable media contingent, began filing into the Jones-Hill House around 9 a.m.

The balcony overlooking the elegant indoor facility had an ample amount of coffee and breakfast pastries handy, but despite its cozy confines, one would be remiss to ignore the overarching feeling of anticipation and optimism looming.

I eventually ventured downstairs to the weight room, where most of the personnel on hand – and Maryland football teammates – gathered around the participants partaking in the vertical jump.

Howls and thunderous applause reverberated throughout the work space as teammates cheered.

From there, it was time to pivot to the bench press, where a huddle of impassioned Terrapins swarmed the area for a front-row seat.

Then came the main event on the field, beginning with the broad jump, followed by the 40-yard dash, short shuttle, three-cone and on-field position drills.

Beau Brade

GETTY IMAGES: Beau Brade was one of several former Maryland standouts who were showcased for NFL personnel.

The Maryland participants: G Gottlieb Ayedze, S Beau Brade, G Corey Bullock, DL Tre Colbert, OT Delmar ‘D.J.’ Glaze, C Aric Harris, WR Jeshaun Jones, OL Amello Moran, OL Mike Purcell, CB Ja’Quan Sheppard, P Colton Spangler, LB Gereme Spraggins, CB Tarheeb Still, QB Taulia Tagovailoa and DL Christian Teague.

To my eye, there were at least four Eagles representatives on hand to monitor the workout, including offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, outgoing vice president of football administration Jake Rosenberg, director of scouting Brandon Hunt, and Northeast area scout Ben Ijalana.

Trio Of Trenchmen

Brade was widely expected to be the main event going in, but it was the contingent of Glaze, Ayedze and Bullock who stole the show.

The unmistakable directives of Stoutland, who conducted the vast majority of the on-field work, bellowed through Jones-Hill House. Reps from the Cowboys, Ravens and Patriots also presided over some of the drills toward the end.

Stoutland instructed and taught, running the linemen through a battery of drills. Glaze, the highest regarded of the three, looked noticeably trim and fluid. He used his hands well and demonstrated nimble footwork.

Ayedze was also a delight to watch, as the Frostburg [Md.] State transfer has remarkably refined a tantalizing, albeit raw, athletic profile in short order.

For perspective, the mountainous lineman didn’t start playing football until his senior year at Northwest High School in Germantown, Md., and still managed to earn an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine. For his part, Ayedze noted he could improve his bend.

And just as the trio was virtually inseparable on the field, its bond is equally strong off of it.

“We’re all friends,” Ayedze said. “We all live together and all that. So, it’s a friendship but also a little rivalry going on. Always wanna do better than the other person. But it’s fun, being with your boys out here just working out and everything. So, definitely exciting.”

Both players are currently projected to come off the board early Day 3. Glaze, in particular, is a riser.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise, however, was Bullock, who weighed in at a svelte 307 – 33 pounds fewer than his listed playing weight.

In preparation for the pro day, Bullock was training in Ohio with former Saints offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley, who placed an increased focus on pass blocking.

Bullock looked fantastic, underscoring good bounce and aggression while delivering some audible pad-popping.

“I feel I’m a versatile lineman,” Bullock said. “A swing offensive lineman that could play guard and center for any team.”

It’s worth mentioning all three players were then summoned post-workout for a 90-minute meeting with personnel.

There are some who envision Glaze (6-5, 323) as a guard at the next level, though I’m thinking long-term swing tackle. Lean and explosive, Glaze certainly looked the part of a right tackle Friday, but his immediate future will be predicated on whichever team selects him.

“It’s pretty mixed,” Glaze said. “Different teams have different opinions. Some say tackle, some say guard. So, I would say it’s kind of split right now. It just depends on the team.”

But how comfortable would he be kicking inside upon request?

“I feel pretty good,” he continued. “It’s really the same, just inside happens a little quicker. So, just being ready for that. But overall, it feels pretty good.”

Sleeper CB

One of the main draws for me was Sheppard (6-2, 202), a lengthy, physical cover corner who I’ve long wanted to watch operate and converse with in person, as Sheppard was curiously deprived of an invite to the Combine.

Boasting a frame reminiscent of Titans cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, Sheppard looks the part of a perimeter bully and showcased his value to the scouts on hand.

He later told me he tweaked his hamstring during the 40-yard dash, with time ranging somewhere between 4.52-4.54 according to Sheppard, but it didn’t appear to hamper his position work.

Fluid and compact in his back pedal, and demonstrating his ability to flip his hips and run, Sheppard should have quelled any concerns over the short-area quickness and change of direction that sometimes plagues bulkier defensive backs.

There wasn’t much wasted movement. Sheppard also tracked the football extremely well downfield and attacked the ball at its highest point.

A Cincinnati transfer, Sheppard was drawn to Maryland for his final season due to a multitude of reasons, perhaps none more than an opportunity to play in front of his mother, who had moved to the area a year earlier, while Sheppard was still at Cincinnati.

A first-team All-AAC cornerback in 2022, Sheppard came to Maryland with considerable intrigue. He responded with a productive campaign, earning invites to participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl and Hula Bowl.

Sheppard also doesn’t lack for confidence, essentially a prerequisite for playing the position, comparing his trash-talking prowess to that of Jalen Ramsey, while noting that he models his game after Patrick Peterson.

“As a DB, you wanna talk talk trash so that the confidence level and competition is there from the start,” he said. “A quiet game is no fun, in my opinion. So, I like to get into it. Afterwards, we can shake hands.”

Among my top sleepers at the position, Sheppard has garnered some interest, citing upcoming visits with the Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers. He also has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers local day on the docket.

Whichever team is fortunate enough to land Sheppard will be getting a versatile playmaker who will provide an immensely physical element to a secondary.

“I’m a rangy person,” Sheppard said. “I can play everything on the backend. I can play from slot corner, to safety, to corner. Everything. I’m a very, very handsy guy. I like to put hands on a lot, so I like to press-man a lot. I know there’s a lot of fast guys out here, but that doesn’t really scare me because I know I can use my length and speed as well.”

Taulia Tagovailoa Scouting Report

Midway through Tagovailoa’s throwing session, a jolting blast of reggae music began emanating throughout Jones-Hill House. With a subset of attention fixated on Tagovailoa, the redshirt senior appeared loose and poised, largely seizing the moment and delivering most passes with touch and accuracy.

“Reggae music, that’s me,” he said following the workout. “I’m an island boy. So, I love that. Today, I feel like I showed them my arm strength. I think that was one of the biggest questions. Obviously, they know I can do a lot of things on the run. So, I wanted to show a lot of arm strength and movement, show them that I have control with my base in the pocket.

“Looking right, coming back left. Throwing digs, throwing comebacks, throwing deep shots and stuff like that. So, I feel I showed them that I have the arm strength.”

Tagovailoa, younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, enjoyed a banner Terrapins career in which he passed for 11,256 yards and 76 touchdowns. On the heels of a 2023 campaign in which he accounted for 3,377 yards and 25 touchdowns, Tagovailoa earned second-team All-Big Ten honors for the second consecutive year.

On Friday, Tagovailoa appeared calm, cool and collected with each snap, embracing one final moment with teammates. Boxes were checked off, in terms of his deep ball – he tossed multiple rainbows in-stride during the session – and his footwork and ball placement was on the money.

The one knock from my view was the lack of velocity and drive on the ball. The synergy between Tagovailoa and Jones, the sixth-year wide receiver, was particularly evident. When the session wrapped, the two veterans embraced with a hug, capping a long and winding ride.

When asked what his pitch would be to an NFL team, Tagovailoa was convincing.

“I know I’m a leader,” Tagovailoa responded. “I’m a hard worker. I earn the respect of people in the locker room, every locker room I went to. I’m a competitor and I love my teammates. I think the biggest thing is getting to build relationships with your teammates and you earning their respect. And I’m gonna give it my all in everything I do.”

GETTY IMAGES: Eagles OL coach Jeff Stoutland led OL drills at Maryland’s Pro Day.

Resilient WR

A chorus of cheers erupted following a particular 40-yard dash.

Running through the finish line was Jones (6-1, 188) – a Terrapin for over a half-decade – as the battle-tested sixth-year veteran seemingly helped his cause with a blistering testing time.

The widespread acknowledgement from teammates not only served as validation, rather it was another reminder of the arduous – and improbable – path Jones took to arrive at that moment.

The gesture was essentially a tip of the cap to show respect and adoration, which Maryland head coach Mike Locksley further articulated during his media availability.

“I couldn’t be happier for anybody than a Jeshaun Jones, and to see how he was able to work today,” Locksley said bearing a proud grin. “I mean, ran extremely well. He made himself some money, is what I told him. But for a guy that’s been through adversity – two major knee injuries, six years in college – leaves with three degrees and a chance to fulfill his dreams playing at the next level. That’s Maryland football.”

For perspective, Jones’ teammates elected him a team captain ahead of 2023 season. Admittedly one who typically leads by example, Jones wore another hat in his final season, undertaking a more vocal approach.

He alluded to the healthy culture fostered under Locksley, such as how the younger players on the roster pushed Jones, while Jones in turn embraced his role in building teammates up both on and off the field.

A Hula Bowl participant, Jones, who accrued 2,040 yards and 24 touchdowns over 151 career receptions while also providing added value on special teams, was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and isn’t likely to be among the players draft next month.

Pro days were designed for players like Jones. With pressure mounting, he delivered, showcasing smooth, detailed route-running and sure hands.

“I felt amazing out there. It’s just great to be in this position, great to have this opportunity. With everything I’ve been through and how long I’ve been here, not a lot of people get to have this opportunity. So, to be able to take advantage of it and make the most of it is all I can ask for.”

While Jones has a couple visits on the docket, the 24-year-old is looking forward to the rare lull later in April, where he can finally catch his breath. As for how he plans to spend draft weekend, the crafty wideout hasn’t yet come to a decision.

“Nah, not really,” he said. “My mom asked me this weekend. And she was like, ‘We’re gonna be right here on the couch.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know…’ I’m gonna have to do something to get my mind away from it. Maybe go to Dave & Busters or something. Just to kind of get away from it.

“I don’t wanna be sitting there watching and waiting; that’s kind of nerve-wrecking. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll figure something good out. And hopefully it all works out well.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

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