Former Georgia Tech cornerback Rod Sweeting will try to follow a strong showing at the NFL scouting combine with a solid workout at Tech’s Pro Day on Thursday.
Sweeting ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds at the combine, which was the ninth-fastest of the 53 cornerbacks who participated.
“In training, the lowest time that I had was a 4.34 seconds,” Sweeting said. “At the combine, I ran a 4.38 (hand-held time), but some scouts had me at a 4.36, 4.37. I was pretty happy about that. I knew that I had to go to the combine and prove that I could run faster, and I did just that.”
The electronic — official — time was 4.42. Before the combine, the knock on Sweeting was his speed. At 6-foot, 189 pounds, he’s considered a big and athletic cornerback.
He interviewed with 11 teams, including the Falcons, at the combine.
“I met with the Falcons’ defensive back coach, Tim Lewis,” Sweeting said. “Basically, we just went over how defenses work and talked about what we ran at Tech. It was a pretty good meeting between me and him.”
The Falcons, along with several other NFL and some CFL teams, are expected to attend Tech’s Pro Day.
The list of Tech players who are expected to work out include defensive tackle T.J. Barnes, defensive lineman Izaan Cross, quarterback Tevin Washington and wide receiver Chris Jackson. Washington is expected to do the drills for defensive backs and wide receivers.
At the combine, Sweeting also had a vertical jump of 37 inches, tied for 14th. He was less impressive in the bench press, recording 11 reps of 225 pounds, tied for 40th among defensive backs. The top score was 28 reps.
“At my Pro Day, I’m going to do the regular defensive back drills, the (shuttle) and the three-cone drill,” Sweeting said. “Everything else, I did at the combine. I feel as though I put up pretty good numbers and that I don’t have to do that at the Pro Day.”
Sweeting projects to be a late-round draft pick. He hopes to impress teams and move up in the draft.
“Some teams asked me about my parents,” Sweeting said. “How did I live. Where did I grow up and what type of things motivate me to play this game.”
Sweeting believes that his size helps his pro prospects.
“I’m already considered a tall and a fast corner, as the people saw at the combine,” Sweeting said. “I feel that going to the next level, I have to work on my technique because the receivers are much better.”
Sweeting says he tries to model his game after former Georgia star and future NFL Hall of Famer Champ Bailey.
“I really like watching like Champ Bailey,” Sweeting said. “He’s a tall corner, and he’s fast. I just like the way that he challenges receivers.”
In the shuttle and the cone drills, Sweeting hopes to show scouts some fluidity.
“Being a tall corner, they always say we can’t flip our hips and things like that, but I feel like Champ Bailey does that,” Sweeting said. “Similar to myself, I flip my hips also and can break on the ball. I can come up and make tackles and things like that.”
Sweeting finished his career on a high note by winning the MVP award in the Sun Bowl, which Tech won 21-7 over USC.
“To go out the way I did, my senior year, to win in a bowl game and win the MVP in my last game, was just a great experience for me,” Sweeting said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.