Agent: More NFL teams want to speak with Auclair following pro day workout

More NFL teams want to speak with Auclair

HASH(0xb3e970)

The calculated gamble Antony Auclair took on himself is paying immediate dividends.

The Laval Rouge et Or tight end performed admirably at his pro day Monday in Quebec City despite a hamstring injury. Afterwards, Auclair said he’d been invited to visit with five NFL teams leading up to next month’s draft in Philadelphia.

Auclair’s agent, Sasha Ghavami. said Tuesday eight teams now want to meet with his client and wouldn’t be surprised if that number swelled to double digits.

“It was kind of unorthodox to do it that way (compete despite injury) but it worked out for the best,” Ghavami said. “The scouts were all very happy with how he did and were really impressed with his toughness.

“One thing that kind of opened my eyes came Saturday when a team asked Antony in an interview if he’d ever been hurt. Antony has been lucky in that he’s never really been injured in football so he’s never had to battle that adversity per se in his career. I think (Monday) was a good test of that.”

Auclair hurt himself while training less than two weeks ago. Ghavami said the 17 NFL scouts and one CFL representative who attended Monday’s workout were informed of that development prior to the session.

While doctors indicated the threat of Auclair further aggravating the injury was low — and even if he did, he’d likely only need six weeks to fully recover â€” having Auclair run through drills when not completely healthy was still a gamble. That’s because many pro scouts put a lot of stock in combine results as part of their pre-draft evaluation of college prospects.

Despite the injury, the six-foot-six, 256-pound Auclair posted a 33 1/2-inch vertical jump and nine-foot, nine-inch broad jump — both solid indicators of explosion and lower-body strength. The 23-year-old native of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que., also registered a personal-best 22 reps in the 225-pound bench press and a respectable 40-yard dash time of 4.82 seconds.

But in a time when healthy players skip bowl games to protect their draft stock or choose not to test because of physical ailments, Auclair’s actions spoke volumes. His decision not only showed perseverance and toughness but also character and dependability, important intangibles sought after by football personnel because they’re qualities that can’t be taught or coached.

“Scouts told me the same thing,” Ghavami said. “They were like, ‘You did the best thing in the world to let him run because even if he posted a 4.9 (in the 40), this showed toughness, this showed character.’

“And that’s going to go in the report and go back to staff meetings. While some people will say, “Well, yeah, he didn’t run fast,’ the scouts will say, ‘Yeah, but he was hurt and you should’ve seen him. He still ran, he still went out.’ “

In 2014, nine NFL teams â€” including Kansas City â€” attended McGill offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s pro day. Duvernay-Tardif was drafted in the sixth round, 200th overall, by the Chiefs and last month signed a five-year, US$41.25-million contract extension.

Auclair had 17 catches for 229 yards and two touchdowns last season with Laval and capped his collegiate career with six receptions for 70 yards and a TD in the school’s thrilling 31-26 Vanier Cup win over Calgary. After being named the second-ranked prospect for the 2017 CFL draft in December, Auclair headed to the East-West Shrine game the following month in St. Petersburg, Fla., speaking with 25 NFL clubs there.

This year’s tight end pool is considered a deep one, headed up by Alabama’s O.J. Howard. Projected as either a late-round pick or priority free agent before Monday’s workout, Auclair only solidified his draft stock with his gritty performance.

“I hope so because he deserves it,” Ghavami said. “He’s so fun to work with and yet so challenging but a positive way because he’s as stubborn as a mule.

“He jumped well and moved well coming out of the gate (Monday) but before the 40-yard dash Antony looked right at me and said, ‘Sash, I’m hurting.’ I said, ‘You don’t have to run,’ but he just walked away and right to the 40. It was like, ‘I’m doing it, I don’t care.’ He wants to do the best he can, that’s just the way he is.”

Auclair said an NFL team taking a flyer on him will get a hard-nosed competitor. But Auclair admits he’s taking a very cautious approach to the draft, not allowing himself to get his hopes up about hearing his name called during the proceedings.

“They’ll get a player that’s aggressive and likes competition.” he said. “I think I showed that a little bit Monday, that I can play hurt and I’m tough.

“I haven’t really taken the time to think about (being drafted) but I am very glad to have this opportunity. I think I’m lucky because not many players get this chance.”

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Zero-emission student housing planned at UBC Okanagan

The Skeena project will open in September 2020

Okanagan chefs battle at Great Kitchen Party

Chef Kai Koroll of 50th Parallel Estate Winery won the event Friday night

Pre-season booming at Big White with Hallmark movie production

Big White is the main drop for Hallmark’s film Alice in Winterland

Kelowna man sentenced to 18 months probation for filming co-workers in washroom

The man was conditionally discharged following a sentencing hearing on Friday

Woman wanted on Canada-wide warrant possibly in Kelowna area

Brittany McLellan is unlawfully at large and wanted for breach of federal parole

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Most Read