COLLEGE PARK — Dexter McDougle playfully chided his teammates as he got ready to show off his leaping ability in the standing vertical jump Tuesday at Maryland’s Pro Day at Byrd Stadium.
McDougle acted as if he were upset when only a few of his fellow Terps had offered the senior cornerback verbal encouragement as he prepared to audition for the scouts and other NFL front office personnel assembled.
“I cheered for y’all this season and that’s all you got?” McDougle joked.
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McDougle missed the last nine games of his senior year with a shoulder injury that occurred at the end of the best game he had ever played at Maryland. He had two interceptions, including one returned 49 yards for a touchdown in a Sept. 21 win at Connecticut.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day, I finally get to show them [the scouts] that I’m finally moving again, show them a little of what I can do at my position, to show them I haven’t lost a step,” said McDougle, who went to the NFL combine in Indianapolis to talk with teams but did not work out. “Today was definitely a big day.”
Considered the most promising NFL prospect among those who worked out Tuesday -- he was the only member of a small Maryland senior class to have been invited to Indianapolis -- McDougle definitely showed that he hasn’t lost any speed. He said he was timed between a 4.43 and a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash.
“That’s a good time. I just want to keep it in the low 4. 4 range,” he said.
McDougle also showed athleticism in some of the other drills used to gauge his potential.
Asked if he was nervous for what Maryland coach Randy Edsall had likened to a “job interview,” the 5-foot-10, 190-pound McDougle said, “I wasn’t really nervous. I’ve been preparing for this day. I was relaxed and confident. I had seen most of the scouts when I was at the combine. I was more comfortable.”
McDougle said he received positive feedback while he was in Indianapolis and that he has heard “from a lot of different teams.” But knows how unsure the NFL draft process can be, especially for a player who’s missed nearly an entire senior year because of injury.
“I really haven’t looked into what round or whatever. That ain’t up to me,” McDougle said. “It’s all random, it’s all to the GMs and what they think. We’ll see what happens draft day. I’ve got some visits lined up in these next few weeks before the draft.”
McDougle believes that his stock “definitely improved” since the last time he played football.
“If it went down, I must have done terrible out here,” he said with a smile. “I’ve been hearing some good things, so we’ll see what happens.”
Edsall said that he had a simple message for McDougle before his audition for the two dozen scouts and NFL front office personnel.“I said, ‘Just go out and have fun’,” the coach said. “He’s put the time and effort into it today, it’s just a matter of going out there and relaxing and enjoying the moment and the day. I love the kid.”