Star Lotulelei's draft position has stumbled as of late since the revelation of a potential heart problem last month. He had been considered a possible number-one draft pick in April's NFL draft, however, had dropped, in some instances, out of the top-ten in many online mock drafts. It was a sudden turn that almost universally correlates with the news from February that he might be suffering from a heart condition.
Star, fortunately, put to bed many of those concerns with a strong day at Utah's Pro Day. In fact, he might have just put the entire heart problem behind him and while it remains to be seen if he'll be able to fully recover his position in the draft, he's at least going to get a chance - something that wasn't definitive just a couple weeks ago.
At the Pro Day, which was held Wednesday on the University's campus, Star threw up 38 reps on the bench, which tied for the most of any defensive linemen at the combine, ran the shuttle in 4.65 and finished the three-cone drill in 7.76 seconds. Not bad for a guy who, a month ago, might've been looking at a career-ending health problem.
As the NFL Network's Akbar Gbajabiamila tweeted out, Star is every bit a legitimate top pick again:
I'm expecting Star Lotulelei name to be cemented in the #NFLDraft 1st pick conversation after his Pro Day at Utah m.nfl.com/news/0ap100000…— Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja) March 20, 2013
Still, he has one hurdle left at his combine re-check on April 5th. That will ultimately determine where he goes from here - though, yesterday's events certainly helped his position.
But Star wasn't the only one who helped his draft standing yesterday. Reggie Dunn, one of the saviors of the 2012 season (saving it from total destruction, I guess), stepped up and delivered a huge performance that might have just also delivered him a nice NFL paycheck.
No one needed to tell any of us that Dunn was fast - but it's official now. He ran the 40 in 4.26, proving again how much Utah is going to miss his speed this upcoming season.
The quick returner, of course, set the NCAA record last year with two 100-yard kickoff returns in one game against Cal - the Utes won 49-27.