By Tom Green
Brandon Council proved his worth at Auburn with his versatility along the offensive line, playing all five positions during his three seasons on the Plains. Now the former Akron transfer is trying to prove he has what it takes to earn a shot in the NFL.
That was the goal, at least, during Auburn’s pro day, when Council was among the former 14 players — plus Cam Newton — to work out in front of personnel from all 32 NFL franchises.
Council played football at West Bladen High School.
For Council, the March 21 workout at the Woltosz Football Performance Center was about showing what he has gained since the end of his seventh season of college football, but also what he has lost.
Council checked in at 302 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame, down 26 pounds from his playing weight last season, when he started all 12 games along the offensive line, with five at left guard and the final seven at center following Tate Johnson’s season-ending injury.
“The biggest thing was getting my body right coming into this so I could play at the highest level possible,” Council said. “So, I took that in full consideration and did what I needed to do to get where I needed to be.”
That required a strict diet and a fair amount of dedication for the Asheville, N.C., native, but he was pleased with how he has been able to transform his body over the last three-plus months since Auburn’s season ended. It showed in his performance at pro day.
Council posted a 29.5-inch vertical and an 8-foot-2 broad jump. He pumped out 29 reps of 225 pounds on the bench and ran an unofficial 5.43 in the 40-yard dash Tuesday.
His 40 time would have been better than four of the 36 linemen who ran at the NFL Combine a few weeks ago. His vertical would have tied for 17th among linemen in Indianapolis, while his broad jump would have tied for second shortest, and his 29 reps on the bench would have tied for sixth best among that group.
While Council was overall pleased with his showing, he was a bit disappointed he wasn’t able to hit his goal of 30 reps on the bench. He also thought he could have done slightly better with his vertical jump.
“I was mad because I usually get 31 or 32 (inches),” Council said. “I didn’t jump as high as usual. Twenty-nine is still good for an O-lineman. I gave it my best.”
That was Council’s mantra for the day, and he hopes it was enough to warrant some more interest from NFL teams, whether as a late-round flyer on Day 3 or as a priority free agent after next month’s draft wraps up. Between his performance at pro day and his ability to play every spot along the line — which improves his value in the eyes of NFL clubs, as that versatility frees up other roster spots — Council is hopeful about his future prospects on the field.
“I’ve talked with a couple teams; it’ll probably pick up more after the performance I had today,” Council said. “I’m just waiting to hear back and see where things go from here.”
Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.
This story is shared with permission from al.com. Photo courtesy of Auburn University Athletics Department