SAN JOSE -- Travis Johnson is the underdog, a role in which he is familiar and comfortable.
The former San Jose State star, the school's all-time sack leader, took a shot at impressing NFL scouts at Friday's pro timing day.
With representatives from 23 NFL teams in attendance to assess talent with the draft looming in late April, Johnson hopes he did just that with the opportunity to showcase himself, something he was denied in February when he was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.
"I felt like I did all right," Johnson said. "I had a good day out here. I'm recovering from an illness I had a day or two ago. I did as much as I can."
Johnson played defensive end for the Spartans, but projects as an outside linebacker. He was clocked at 4.84 in the 40-yard dash and measured in at just shy of 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds.
The size is certain to invite detractors, but Johnson is used to that.
"It's either my size or where I'm playing," Johnson said. "It's all the usual stuff. So there's always a little underdog feeling but that's how I perform. I'm used to it."
Johnson understands his measurables aren't likely to wow the scouts. Though the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year didn't get to go to the combine, he did participate in both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.
He could work his way into the late rounds of the draft and if not, should likely generate enough interest to be signed
"I'll take anything as long as I get to camp and get to show my stuff. That's all that matters," he said. "Let me show you how I can play football, not how I can jump or run. I've never been a bad football player. I've always been able to play."
It was also a big day for tight end Ryan Otten, who is expected to have his name called in the draft. Otten was invited to the combine, but wasn't able to test there while still recovering from a staph infection that he suffered at the Senior Bowl.
He's full strength now and performed well Friday, running the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds, a time that would've tied him for fifth with Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert at the combine.
"I felt good, I felt strong, I felt fast," Otten said.
Otten caught passes along with other tight ends, receivers and running backs, from former SJSU great and NFL veteran Jeff Garcia. Former De La Salle High star Matt Gutierrez, who spent time in the NFL and now plays in the Arena League, also threw passes.
Dealing with his infection, which put a significant scare into Otten, has earned him praise for his toughness. That, along with his production as SJSU's career leader in receptions and receiving yards among tight ends, should earn him a shot.
"It's been a lot of ups and down," Otten said. "I just try to keep a positive attitude and keep working. That's what I've been doing."
Offensive lineman David Quessenberry stuck with his testing results from the combine and only did positional work on Friday.
"The combine was a culmination of all the hard work that I've put in for the past five years here," Quessenberry said. "And then to go out there and do well was a reflection of how it all finished here at San Jose."
Quarterback David Fales complete 15 of 31 passes for 133 yards. Blake Jurich threw two touchdown passes to freshman Tim Crawley. In 19 offensive possessions, the Spartans scored three touchdowns and kicked three field goals.
Follow Jimmy Durkin at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.