BERKELEY — There was a point during Nate Longshore's career where it looked as if Pro Day would be more of a formality than an audition.
But after two years of injuries, erratic play and benchings for Cal's fifth-year senior quarterback, Wednesday's Pro Day at Memorial Stadium could not have been more important.
Longshore, along with several of his departing teammates, was evaluated by scouts from every NFL team. Most of the players tested in activities such as the 40-yard dash, shuttle and three-cone drill, then some worked out in position-specific drills.
Longshore threw about 75 passes of all lengths and types, then declared his workout a success.
"It went well," he said. "The weather cooperated, and it was a nice day. My body feels good. I feel like I'm throwing the ball like I should be."
Before the 2007 season, ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. rated Longshore as the best junior prospect in the country. But an inconsistent 2007 — due partly to an ankle injury — damaged his stock. He then lost his starting job to Kevin Riley for most of the 2008 season.
Most projections now don't even have Longshore ranked among the top 25 quarterbacks in the draft.
"I just want to get into a camp," Longshore said. "I don't have any preference or anything. I just want an opportunity to go and compete for a spot."
Wednesday also was a crucial day for Cal center Alex Mack, who is projected by many to be a first-round selection. Mack was invited to the NFL combine last month but wasn't able to participate in any on-field tests because of a sprained ankle. Wednesday was his first chance to perform in front of NFL scouts.
Some of Mack's numbers Wednesday — 5.17 in the 40-yard dash and 8 feet, 10 inches in the broad jump — would have put him among the top 10 for all offensive linemen at the combine.
Mack was put through a rigorous individual workout with almost every scout on hand looking on. He then met individually with certain teams to break down film.
"My hope was that any drill I didn't do well at the combine I would just do again here," Mack said. "It turned out to be a big day because it was my one shot. It made this day really important, but it was also good to have those extra three weeks to get ready."
Mack's agent, Tim Younger, said his client will have about 10 individual workouts with teams between now and the draft on April 25.
"Wherever I go, I'll be happy," Mack said. "I want to be wanted, and some team is going to want me somewhere. First round would be great. I'll jump up and down and scream like a little girl or something on draft day, but I'm not going to be crushed if I go in the second round, either."
It wasn't a good day for Cal's big trio of linebackers. Zack Follett couldn't participate in any on-field drills after tweaking his hamstring last week, Worrell Williams strained his groin while running the 40, and Anthony Felder pulled a hamstring while running the 40. Felder also missed some of the combine tests because of a hip flexor.
Other Cal players to participate included fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou, wide receivers Sean Young and LaReylle Cunningham, defensive tackle Mika Kane and tight end Cameron Morrah. Defensive end Rulon Davis said he elected not to participate because he was satisfied with his performance at the combine.
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