Matt Kalil maintains status quo at USC’s pro day
During a drill at USC’s football pro day, a Cincinnati Bengals coach delivered instruction Matt Kalil hopes to oblige: “Don’t let me push you off your spot,” the coach directed.
That’s Kalil’s aim these days, with several experts ranking the Trojans left tackle a top-five pick in April’s NFL draft.
Kalil opted not to risk diminishing his performance at the NFL combine in Indianapolis last month, declining to run a 40-yard dash or lift weights during Wednesday’s workout. He ran a 4.99-second 40 and lifted 225 pounds 30 times at the combine.
“I did well there, all I can ask for, so we came to a decision to do nothing but position work here,” Kalil said.
Kalil measured in at 6 feet 7, 309 pounds, and during drills he showed top-notch technique, bursts of speed, strength, quickness and power.
Scouts in attendance said Kalil’s work “confirmed what we knew.” Kalil said he expects to also visit teams for follow-up workouts as requested between now and the draft.
“I’m getting bigger, stronger and have been working hard on my technique, my craft,” Kalil said.
USC’s other possible first-round pick, defensive end Nick Perry, also didn’t run for time after a trip to the combine during which he said “I took care of business.”
Perry surged through one drill where he swatted down large padded cones. “It was OK, I could do better; there’s more left in me,” he said. “I just like to get off the ball; everything else will take care of itself.”
Defensive back Cary Harris (4.53) and wide receiver Brandon Carswell (4.56) ran the fastest 40 times. Harris last played at USC in 2009. Running back Marc Tyler ran 4.81, slower than he’d hoped.
Defensive tackle DaJohn Harris revealed that NFL doctors in Indianapolis found he has patent foramen ovale, a small hole in the heart that increases vulnerability to a stroke.
Harris said he since has been reexamined and came away with the assessment that he’s “good, 100% healthy.”
“I hope to be a mid-round — second to fourth — pick,” Harris said. “I hope I showed that to the guys.”
Defensive lineman Armond Armstead, who was not cleared to play last season by USC, was weighed and measured but was not allowed to work out.
The 6-5, 285-pound Armstead said he would go through drills for NFL scouts on April 9 at a location to be determined. He has hired an agent and hopes to be selected in the draft.
Armstead was briefly hospitalized last spring after experiencing chest pains. Armstead said he did not have a heart condition, but he has declined to speak publicly about the specifics of his condition. USC Coach Lane Kiffin and university officials also have declined to comment.
Armstead said he was not bitter toward USC, but added, “I wish had a senior year.”
Asked whether he expected his medical situation to be a hurdle in launching a pro career, he said, “Obviously, it can be a hurdle. I just need to get the right information out there. When teams hear the information, the truth, I don’t think it will be an issue.”
Times staff writer Gary Klein contributed to this report.
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