All 32 NFL teams were present at Iowa football's pro day. Here's how Hawkeye players fared.

Kennington Lloyd Smith III
Des Moines Register

IOWA CITY − Former Iowa linebacker Seth Benson had one objective entering Iowa's pro day Monday: just show teams how he works.

The three-time All-Big Ten selection enjoyed a productive college career but didn't receive an invite for the NFL Combine. Monday was his opportunity to showcase himself in front of NFL scouts, and there were plenty in attendance.

Iowa's athletics department said 66 personnel members from all 32 NFL teams were at the school's Hansen Football Performance Center.

"It's been a long process," Benson said. "You're just kind of ready, like, 'When's pro day? When's pro day?' And it's finally here. I trained here (because) I have a lot of trust in this program and the coaches. They had me ready and I'm just excited to take the next step."

Benson was one of nine Iowa players to participate in Monday's pro day. The others: Jack Campbell, Sam LaPorta, Kaevon Merriweather, Riley Moss, Monte Pottebaum, Jack Plumb, Lukas Van Ness and John Waggoner.

Joining Benson as non-Combine participants were Plumb, Pottebaum and Waggoner. Not only did Monday serve as a chance to impress with on-field workouts, players got to meet with teams in interviews in an effort to get on their radars.

"I'm just a guy who can come in and be dependable," Waggoner said of his elevator pitch to NFL teams. "I'll come in, work hard and compete my butt off."

Former Iowa football players Seth Benson (44) and John Waggoner (92) were among nine Hawkeyes who worked out for NFL teams at Iowa's pro day on Monday.

While those four players went through the full brunt of workouts, Iowa's Combine participants were selective in their drills. Most opted just for positional drills and meetings with teams after strong showings at the Combine last month. Moss and Van Ness, for example, met with "several" teams following workouts.

LaPorta noted that he did the bench press (he didn't at the Combine) and finished with 16 reps at 225 pounds.

More:Five former Iowa football players participated in the NFL Combine. Here's how they fared.

Afterward, players noted the difference in preparing for specific testing in a pro day/combine setting versus preparing to play football. The drills are designed to test players' overall athleticism, with an emphasis on speed and explosiveness. With this part of the process behind them, their training will be centered back on their respective football positions.

"You're really just training for the particular drills," Merriweather said. "It's doing things to perfect those little things so you can get the best times. My training going forward will be going towards football, focusing on my (defensive back) work, footwork, etc."

Players also provided insight on how conversations with NFL teams have gone so far. Benson stated that conversations vary by interview session; some could be football-related in which teams ask players to dissect formations, and others could just be general questions about their upbringing, personal values and more. Others are a compilation tape of players, showing both good plays and bad plays and going over them with team personnel.

Now that drill training is over, players can implement the feedback they've heard from NFL teams into football training and individual workouts with teams that request them.

"I feel like I have a long way to go as a blocker," LaPorta said. "Being able to utilize the feedback and tips from coaching as far as what they're looking for in techniques is (what I'm looking forward to)."

Several players will remain in Iowa up until the draft to continue their training with the in-house staff. There are current NFL players back in Iowa training during their off-season, too, and they have been a helpful resource to the current group of NFL prospects.

The biggest advice: Try to enjoy the process and remember that all it takes is one opportunity.

"Once you get that chance, you just got to (go for it)," Benson said. "That's the biggest thing, you just have to get your foot in the door and let loose from there."