McWethy impresses scouts at Pro Day
University of Wisconsin-Platteville safety Ryan McWethy turned heads with his performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Pro Day March 6.
McWethy ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds, posted a 37.5-inch vertical jump and performed 31 lifts of 225 pounds in the bench press, the most of any athlete at UW-Madison’s Pro Day and the most of any safety at the NFL Combine.
“I felt pretty good about my numbers,” McWethy said. “I would’ve like to do better in the 40 and the pro agility, but I’m feeling as strong as I ever have and I knew I could get low-30s in the bench.”
Since leaving UW-Platteville in December, two semesters away from a degree in occupational safety management, McWethy has been training at NX Level, a sports performance institute in Waukesha, under lead trainer Brad Arnett.
McWethy was referred to NX Level by his agent Ron Slavin, who is part-owner of BTI Sports Advisors.
“It really made the most sense because it is in-state, and Brad does a good job getting guys ready for the combine drills,” Slavin said.
The change from student to professional athlete did not affect McWethy as it has many others.
“I enjoy training all day,” he said. “It was a little nerve-racking before the Pro Day, but I knew I was ready because of my training.”
McWethy’s path to becoming a NFL Draft hopeful began before his senior season as a Pioneer, when teams asked the UW-Platteville coaching staff for tape of McWethy’s performances. Scouts visited the campus throughout the Pioneers’ season to speak with and watch McWethy practice and play.
McWethy is attempting to become the first UW-Platteville player drafted into the NFL since Jim Bunch was selected in the twelfth round of the 1971 draft.
“I don’t really feel any pressure,” McWethy said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m going to enjoy it.”
While scouts have not said anything concrete, McWethy knows there is interest in him as a possible late-round draft pick.
“Scouts don’t let on too much; they don’t like too give many hints, but the Cowboys’ scout has told me that they have the best situation for me as a safety,” he said.
His impressive Pro Day has more teams interested in him, according to Slavin.
“Coming out of Division-III, it is tough. Eighteen of 32 teams have shown serious interest in Ryan since his Pro Day,” Slavin said. “The way the NFL is going, with the top-tier players making so much money and a flat salary cap, teams are looking for younger players that they can pay less to keep them under the cap. This could work in Ryan’s favor.”
Moving forward, the time between now and the NFL Draft for McWethy becomes a waiting game. According to Slavin, teams have the opportunity to call and set up individual workouts with McWethy on the UW-Platteville campus or can fly McWethy to their NFL city for a physical examination.
The key day for McWethy will be April 27, the last day of the NFL Draft in which the fifth through seventh rounds take place, the most likely time where McWethy would be drafted if a team chooses to do so.
If he is not drafted, McWethy said he will try to be signed as an undrafted free agent.
“I’m just looking for a chance to get picked up and show a team what I can do,” he said.