Larry English, Matt Simon Impress Scouts at Pro Day

Northern Star SportsContributor IMarch 30, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 23:  Defensive lineman Larry English of Northern Illinois runs during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 23, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

by Steve Nitz [Staff Writer]

Larry English has just been enjoying the ride.

Since the Independence Bowl, the former NIU defensive end has been in the process of getting ready for the NFL Draft on Apr. 25 and 26. The 2007 and 2008 MAC MVP spent a week at the Senior Bowl in January and worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February.

“I’ve been enjoying it,” English said of his experience the past couple of months. “I’ve been relishing every moment.”

Friday afternoon, English, as well as nine other NIU seniors—wide receivers Matt Simon, Britt Davis and Marcus Perez, offensive tackle Jon Brost, cornerbacks Bradley Pruitt, Melvin Rice and Chase Carter, linebacker Josh Allen and defensive tackle Alex Krutsch, worked out in front of 19 NFL teams at NIU’s Pro Day.

English ran the 40-yard dash, the 60-yard shuttle, completed the broad jump and also did position drills. English ran a 4.62 40-yard dash and said he improved on everything from the combine. His 40 time in the combine was 4.77.

“I think I helped myself,” English said.

English also has individual workouts coming up with the Patriots, Browns, Broncos and Giants.

English is considered one of the top prospects in this year’s draft and is a possible first-round pick. Draft Countdown has English going to Atlanta at No. 24 but Todd McShay of Scout’s Inc. and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN have both dropped English into the second round.

English, however, says he tries to avoid mock drafts and things he can’t control.

“I try to stay away from [mock drafts],” English said. “So many different things can happen in the draft.”

Along with the defensive end, Simon has been training since early January and has a chance to hook on with a team as an undrafted free agent. Simon’s 40 time was a 4.48. In addition to participating in the other drills, he ran routes with Dan Nicholson throwing to him.

“I’m real excited with everything and real pleased with how I ran,” Simon said.

Simon said a couple of teams have contacted him after Pro Day and may get a personal workout.

“Anything from here on out that comes I’m grateful for,” Simon said. “I’m happy for any opportunity that’s thrown my way.”