Larnel Coleman performs in NFL Pro Day

Malden, Mass. native benched 24 reps

UMass+Athletics

UMass Athletics

By Dan McGee, Assistant Sports Editor

Massachusetts football redshirt senior offensive tackle Larnel Coleman was among three players to perform at NFL Pro Day at The Bubble. The Malden, Mass. native played in 36 games for the Minutemen over the past four years.

“It definitely was nerve wracking, I was real anxious going into it,” Coleman said. “Once I settled down it was just like trust my technique and everything. It was definitely exciting seeing all the scouts out there and knowing I have a shot to play at the next level.”

When UMass’ abbreviated four-game season concluded in late November, Coleman kicked into individual draft prep. In January, he flew to Centennial, Colo. to train at Landow Performance where numerous NFL draft prospects have prepared. He also attended the College Gridiron Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Obviously I’m not the highest-ranked draft guy that there is, but you have to make sure you ball out no matter what so you can show these teams you can play,” Coleman said about attending the Showcase.

The 6-foot-6, 304-pound Coleman ran an impressive 5.1-5.2 40-yard dash, bench pressed 24 reps, jump for a 31-inch vertical and broad jumped 113 inches. Coleman’s 40 time, vertical and broad jump all rank better than the NFL Combine average for offensive tackles.

Beyond the physical components, one of the challenging parts of an NFL Pro Day is taking the Wonderlic, a problem-solving and cognitive ability test.

“My agent did a good job of giving us prep ones,” Coleman said. “It’s really just trying to answer the questions as fast as you can within the time allotted. Just gotta do your best essentially.”

Overall, 16 NFL teams attended Pro Day, showcasing a wide pool of franchises that could select Coleman in the later rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

“There was a good amount of teams here today and it was cool seeing them come out,” Coleman said.”

If Coleman is drafted, it would be the third consecutive year a Minutemen was selected. Cornerback and return specialist Isaiah Rodgers was taken 211th overall by the Indianapolis Colts last year. In 2019, the Arizona Cardinals drafted wideout Andy Isabella 62nd overall.

The most recent offensive lineman to get a job in the NFL is Elijah Wilkinson, who was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and recently signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears. Wilkinson was a senior at UMass in Coleman’s freshman season.

“When I went to Colorado to go train, [Landow Performance] was the same gym [Wilkinson] trained at,” Coleman said. “We chatted and he gave me tips for my Pro Day, the things to expect and telling me to go all out and leave it out on the field. Real good dude, he definitely helped out in my training.”

If Coleman is selected, it would likely be on day three of the draft in rounds 4-7. Coleman is represented by Evan Brennan of United Athlete Sports Agency.

“When you get to the league, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s at all times because you’re going in there to take somebody’s spot,” Coleman said. “It’s not like college where you’re guaranteed a spot, you’re playing for your job essentially.”

The NFL Draft will begin on April 29 and wrap up on May 1.

Dan McGee can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TheDanMcGee.