Merrimack Holds Third NFL Pro Day
- Updated: April 10, 2014
Merrimack College held its third annual NFL Pro Day on Thursday and senior quarterback Joe Clancy had most of the eyeballs fixated on him.
Clancy, who shattered nearly every Merrimack passing record and most of the Northeast-10’s, has been working out in Florida since the competition of the fall semester; he was a fifth-year senior after applying for a redshirt season.
“It’s definitely helped him,” Merrimack head coach Dan Curran said. “A lot of times, in D2, guys don’t get that chance. You don’t see guys redshirt a lot because if they’re that good, they’re playing right away and you usually don’t have the depth. With Joe, having this time to really work on his mechanics and he’s gotten stronger – he has always has great football IQ – he definitely hasn’t even hit his ceiling yet.”
Shane Ferguson, Quinn McDonough, Michael Hubbard and Artis Holt, fellow 2014 graduates, also participated as well as 2013 graduates Isaiah Voegeli and Kevin Marks.
New England Patriots scout Brandon Yeargan conducted the day’s workout, which included several events: the vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, shuttle cone runs, 40-yard dash, individual workouts and positional drill workouts.
Curran said about five or six teams are seriously considering Clancy, who has helped re-shape Merrimack’s program the past five seasons. Teams that were unable to make Merrimack’s pro day, which is late in the season compared to others, asked the coaching staff to send tape of Clancy throwing, Curran said.
“I look at Joe the same way I look at a guy like Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Curran said. “He’s taken the program and has brought it to another level. You look at what he did, and realistically he could go down as one of the best to ever play in this conference. A bad day for him is four touchdowns and a pick.”
Several AFC teams have kept a close eye on Clancy as he has participated at pro days, including Harvard’s, as well as at the Medal of Honor Bowl last fall. The Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets are just a few of the teams taking notice.
“Even some teams that can’t make it (to the pro day), they want us to send them tape the same day,” Curran said. “It’s great for the program. This shows that kids can come here and get noticed. Just look at guys like (Shawn) Loiseau, Tony Johnson (James) Suozzo. I think we’re starting to get a reputation as a program that can help you develop.”
Just based on his position, with only three spots available per team, the path to an NFL roster spot for Clancy is long and filled with more obstacles than if he were a linebacker or running back, where special teams might be an option. But after watching him carve up the rest of the NE-10 the past three seasons, Curran believes his quarterback has what it takes.
“First of all, his IQ is excellent,” he said, “and I mean off the charts. His footwork has gotten a lot better, he has a great arm. It’s definitely hardest for quarterbacks, running backs and kickers, though.
“Usually at this time of year, you start to see guys who were over-projected slip, other guys stay where they are and others are rising. Joe is definitely in the camp that is rising. He’s sort of a late bloomer as it is, but his stock has really risen the last few months and a lot of teams are interested in seeing him live or on video (from our pro day).”
He continued, “I had one scout tell me that (Clancy) wasn’t just on their board as a guy they wanted to snag in free agency, this team had him as a draftable guy. You think about that, sometimes I do, I sit back and think of where we’re coming from and where we’re going as a program and it’s exciting.”
The NFL Draft starts on May 8 and will conclude on May 10. Merrimack also announced that it will holds its annual spring game on April 26 at 1 p.m. at Martone-Mejail Field.