Ryan Stonehouse, Jordan Kress show roster potential

Bailey Shepherd, Sports Reporter

If you had one last shot to live your dream, what do you think you would do with it? Last Wednesday, 12 Rams answered that very question as NFL scouts and media members descended upon the campus of Colorado State University for CSU’s 2022 NFL pro day.

However, with the limited roster spots and abundance of draft picks teams have to work with, a majority of these Rams probably won’t hear their name called during the draft. That being said, there were several Rams who seized the opportunity to make quite an impression.


Here, I will give you my take on who could be dark-horse candidates and land a spot on an NFL roster and who improved their draft stock after their performances on Wednesday. 

While Trey McBride garnered the most attention out of the offensive prospects — and deservedly so — I thought wide receiver Jordan Kress made a better case for himself than many were expecting.

The graduate transfer from the University of New Mexico showcased his physical prowess with his impressive vertical ability and blistering speed in the high jump and 40-yard dash drills. He also proved himself to be a capable route-runner, although there were question marks around the Loveland local’s hands, as he had a few big drops on deep routes. Nonetheless, Kress may appear on a practice squad roster post-draft.

For the defensive side, I was extremely impressed with defensive lineman Manny Jones. The 290-pound Georgian showcased he has the potential to be a formidable pass rusher, looking strong on the pads. As if being big wasn’t enough, I clocked him with an unofficial 4.7 40-yard dash time. I’m sure there are a few teams that would love to have that amount of size and speed on their roster. 

As for whose draft stock rose the most, I would say punter Ryan Stonehouse takes the cake. Stonehouse was locked in, booming punts upward of 55 yards into the wind with his longest punt of the day being 70 yards. Some might not expect to hear Stonehouse’s name come draft night, but don’t be surprised if a team uses a late-round pick to secure the punter.

Going into pro day, McBride had little left to prove to scouts in attendance. Having already been to the NFL Scouting Combine, McBride showcased his physical ability as well as his hands. One of the things he didn’t do at the Combine was run the 40-yard dash.

McBride said this was intentional, as he wanted to get as many eyes as possible in Fort Collins for his teammates. McBride gave all the scouts what they came for as he shattered expectations with a 4.53 second 40-yard dash time (although clocked times ranged from 4.52-4.59, and an average 4.56 was recorded), which cemented him as a top tight end prospect in the draft.

Aside from the achievements of former Rams, new head coach Jay Norvell is hosting a Grit Run 5k at 9 a.m. April 23 during CSU’s Green and Gold Weekend to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis. Rams can register for the 5k and see all weekend events on the CSU Athletics Green and Gold Weekend webpage.

Reach Bailey Shepherd at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @B_Sheps .