NFL scouts get early look at Fresno St.’s best ahead of 2023 Draft

Ex-Bulldogs hoping to cash-in on NFL dreams had their chance to flash talent before scouts on Thursday.

Scouts from around 20 NFL teams traveled to Valley Children’s Stadium on Thursday to watch several former Bulldogs perform a variety of drills as part of their Pro Day. 

With their Fresno State careers now behind them, it was their last chance to impress the scouts on Jim Sweeney Field. 


The big picture: Quarterback Jake Haener and wide receiver Jalen Moreno-Cropper were the lone Bulldogs to be invited to the NFL Combine one month ago in Indianapolis. But 8 additional Bulldogs had their opportunity to shine onThursday at Valley Children’s Stadium. 

By the numbers: Safety LJ Early posted the best 40-yard dash time at 4.45 seconds, with wide receiver Zane Pope next in line at 4.55 seconds. Fellow wide receiver Nikko Remigio posted a time just behind Pope at 4.56 seconds. 

  • Haener and Moreno-Cropper did not run the 40-yard dash on Thursday. Moreno-Cropper was one of the fastest receivers at the NFL Combine with his time of 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. 
  • Pope had the best 3-cone drill time at 6.96 seconds, which would have placed him in the top 20 at the NFL Combine. Moreno-Cropper was the second fastest at the 3-cone with a time of 7.06 seconds. Defensive end David Perales was right behind at 7.1 seconds. 
  • Tight end Raymond Pauwels Jr. posted the best bench press numbers with 23 reps at 225 pounds, with Perales and Pope right behind at 22 reps and 21 reps, respectively. 

State of play: Haener and Moreno-Cropper worked their position drills at the NFL Combine and performed once again on Thursday as Haener flashed his arm talent for the scouts. 

  • The last connection for the duo came on a 50-yard deep pass to finish out the day. 

What they’re saying: While Haener did not speak with the media after the Pro Day concluded, Moreno-Cropper had a moment of appreciation for their connection on Thursday, with a look to the future. 

  • “I kind of had to take it in a little bit knowing that we might not be able to throw and catch with him, but hopefully we get drafted to the same team and do a Part 2 of Davante (Adams) and Derek (Carr),” Moreno-Cropper said. 
  • The receiver said he does not have a specific team in mind that he hopes to be drafted to, but he has had two quarterbacks that he would love to catch passes from: Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. 
  • Moreno-Cropper said he has talked to nearly every NFL team and he used the Pro Day to show his versatility. 
  • “Obviously coming from Fresno State sometimes you will get overlooked, but obviously we had big games here. Obviously we have talent here. So I think being able to just showcase my talent, obviously my speed was a big thing,” Moreno-Cropper said. “I think just coming out here showcasing my speed, catching the ball, running routes, being consistent was definitely one of my main goals.”
Related Posts