Grice-Mullins improves stock with fast 40
In the time it takes to read this sentence, Ryan Grice-Mullins did something spectacular.
The former Hawaii slotback covered 40 yards in 4.33 seconds yesterday at UH's pro timing day in Carson, Calif. It makes him among the fastest documented receivers available to be drafted into the NFL later this month.
"It got a little bit of a buzz going. Some teams are calling my agent and I might be doing some visits," said Grice-Mullins, who ran 4.46 at the NFL Combine. "It was kind of funny because a lot of people were surprised today. But I wasn't. I was disappointed with my times at the combine. At the combine I ran (and) people were like, 'Those are good times.' I didn't think so."
Grice-Mullins said he felt more comfortable at the Home Depot Center in Carson than he did at the combine.
"At the combine it was a lot of waiting around, and I think I got a little tight," he said. "Here, I was in a comfort zone."
"He's now a solid third- or fourth-round pick, and could go higher," said a veteran NFL scout who timed Grice-Mullins yesterday. "He definitely moves to the head of the class of the Hawaii receivers."
Another scout said the 4.33 time is legit.
"A couple guys actually had him at 4.27. I had him at 4.36 and 4.38," said the scout, who added that the track was fast, and the times would convert to around 4.45 to 4.47 on grass.
An agent said Grice-Mullins made himself a factor in the draft.
"It puts him on the map and forces teams to put him on their board. Now they'll pull game tape on him, and if they pull one where he has a decent performance, that helps him a lot," said Wynn Silberman, who was at Carson yesterday as the representative for a Kamehameha graduate, tight end Kolo Kapanui. "The bottom line today is Ryan showed some great speed, and that is a major commodity in the draft."
Ryan Tollner, Grice-Mullins' agent, agreed that the 40 time elevates his client from a potential role player as a slotback to a possible game breaker wideout.
"I'd say he's shown he's got explosiveness, speed, that he can get into a second gear and beyond," Tollner said. "And he's such a good guy. Ryan's got a likeability to him. He's approachable, but not an ego guy."
Grice-Mullins also put together an impressive body of work on the field at UH, with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in three years.
"I've done everything I can, so now I kind of wait and see," said Grice-Mullins, who added he will come to Hawaii next week to relax for a few days. "My lowest time was 4.27 and the highest 4.40 or 4.41, so they liked the consistency."
Another Warriors receiver was impressive yesterday -- on the bench press.
C.J. Hawthorne ran around 4.59 and 4.61, but muscled up with 20 reps of 225 pounds. Not bad for a wiry guy who weighed in at under 168 pounds last year.
"They were nice reps. Controlled. He was very strong and impressive for a guy his size," a scout said.
The big news with quarterback Colt Brennan had to do with his weight, and the fact that he'll undergo surgery next Monday for a hip injury he suffered at Senior Bowl practice in January.
Brennan is up to 218 pounds.
"He's 11 pounds heavier than he was at the combine, and it's spread evenly," said Tollner, who is also Brennan's agent. "He's been hitting the weights pretty hard and the protein supplements are helping."
The injury is to the labrum, which is cartilage around the hip.
"We just need to get in there and clean that up," Brennan said.
The surgery normally requires eight weeks of recovery, meaning Brennan would likely not be able to participate in the first mini-camp after the draft.
Because of the injury, Brennan did not bench press, run the 40 or do agility drills yesterday as originally planned.
"I did reserve my right to throw the ball," Brennan said.
Scouts said Brennan put on a good show of passing, but not as impressive as at the combine, where every single throw was on the money.
Bess, Grice-Mullins and Rivers didn't run many routes because of tweaks sustained while running the 40. Hawthorne looked good going out for passes.
"C.J. worked really hard for me," Brennan said. "I think the scouts noticed that, too, and that might help him."
The Hawaii receivers have a reputation for being able to run route after route without getting gassed, but observers said that wasn't the case yesterday.
"All the receivers looked like they were tired when they were running routes, like they were just training for the 40 instead of football," a scout said.
Offensive lineman Hercules Satele helped his cause with 40 reps on the bench press.
"It wasn't as much brute strength as it was technique," a scout said. "Some of the reps might not have been counted at the combine, where they're pretty strict."
Cornerback Ryan Keomaka made a good showing in the agility drills.