Oklahoma football: Former Sooners rep it for NFL personnel at OU Pro Day

Marvin Mims Jr. runs drills during OU Pro Day for University of Oklahoma football players at the Everest Training Center in Norman, Okla., Thursday, March 30, 2023.Ou Pro Day
Marvin Mims Jr. runs drills during OU Pro Day for University of Oklahoma football players at the Everest Training Center in Norman, Okla., Thursday, March 30, 2023.Ou Pro Day /

There was a lot of buzz and plenty of activity at the Everest Center on Thursday as 18 former Sooner players interested in extending their careers at the next level on display at OU’s NFL Pro Day.

Three former Sooners drew the most attention — WR Marvin Mims, RB Eric Gray and OL Anton Harrison — largely because they have the best chance of being selected during the first two days of the NFL Draft on April 27-29 in Kansas City, Mo.

TE Brayden Willis, LB DaShaun White and DL Jalen Redmond, also hoping to hear their name called during this year’s NFL Draft, also were among those going through on-campus workouts for assorted NFL GMs, coaches and scouts.

WR Marvin Mims

Mims was impressive and posted good numbers at the NFL scouting combine a month ago in Indianapolis. His 4.38-second 40 time at the combine tied for fourth best among the receivers group. Because of that, he only took part in the on-field drills during Pro Day. Notably, he did not drop a single pass.

Mims said he was torn before playing in Oklahoma’s Cheez-It Bowl game in December about whether to return for the 2023 season or declare for the NFL Draft. He gave it considerable thought and talked to his family and others after the bowl game. Ultimately, he decided the time was right for him to take the next step and turn professional.

In three seasons at OU, Mims caught 123 passes for 2,398 yards and 20 touchdowns. He averaged 19.5 yards per catch. He was a prized recruit out of Frisco, Texas, in the Sooners 2022 class.

Three months after playing his final game for Oklahoma, Mims looks back with no regrets about his decision to turn leave for the NFL.

Mims is projected as a potential second or third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

RB Eric Gray

Gray was one of the Sooner draft hopefuls who was invited to participate at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. He did not post a 40-yard dash time at the combine, however, so there was interest in his 40 time during the OU Pro Day. The 5-foot, 9-inch, 206-pound running back played two seasons for the Sooners after transferring from Tennessee.

Gray only ran the 40 once at Pro Day. He thought he had posted a 4.55 time, but that was an unofficial time because the Everest Center is not set up for laser time. Instead, he was credited officially with running a 4.62 40 time.

I wanted to show my speed,” Gray told reporters afterward, including George Stoia, a staff writer for Rivals. “I was kind of looking for a low 4.5 (40 time). And if I hit that, I was only going to run one.”

Gray enjoyed the best season of his career in 2022, rushing for 1,336 yards and 11 touchdowns and averaging 6.4 yards per carry, which ranked 14th best nationally. The Sooners lead running back from last season is projected to go somewhere between the third and fifth rounds.

OL Anton Harrison

Harrison, a 6-foot, 5-inch, 315-pound offensive tackle played three seasons at Oklahoma and most likely will be the highest draft pick from OU in the 2023 draft. The Sooner tackle is projected to go late in the first or early in the second round.

Like Mims, Harrison performed mostly on-field drills during Pro Day. He posted good numbers and showed out well at the scouting combine. One workout he did not complete at the combine, though, was the bench press. He did 24 reps at Pro Day this week.

Harrison will be offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh’s ninth OU offensive lineman taken in the NFL Draft in the past 10 years.

“One of the reasons I came here was Coach B, the track record he has, and I wanted to be part of that list,” Harrison told reporters at OU’s Pro Day.

LB DaShaun White

Pro Day was even more important for White than the other Sooner NFL Draft prospects. White was not invited to the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Therefore, Thursday was the one day he had to perform for NFL team representatives.

“Definitely put a little pressure on myself because I know without a combine invite, today was my opportunity to show what I wanted to show,” White said after he’d finished his drills.

At Pro Day, White performed in all the events he would have had he attended the combine. He ran a 4.66 40-yard dash, had a 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump, 33-foot, 5-inch vertical leap, a 7.39-second three-cone drill and did 12 reps in the bench press.

TE Brayden Willis

Willis did not run the 40-yard dash at the combine and was hoping to do so at Pro Day on Thursday. He was unable to, however, because he reportedly had tweaked his hamstring during training. The former Sooner tight end did perform in some on-field drills, though, and felt that his performance was good.

“I think I came out and made a little money,” he told the Rivals’ writer Storia.

Willis projects as a late-round pick in the NFL draft later this month.