Kendell Beckwith is running full-speed on a treadmill — an incline treadmill.
He feels like he’s back to his old self, nearly full-strength — well, kind of — after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during LSU’s game against Florida last season.
There’s just one thing he’s having trouble with — cutting.
“Doing great,” Beckwith said in a brief interview last week. “Just can’t cut yet.”
In time, that should come.
Beckwith has spent the past few weeks training and rehabilitating in Baton Rouge at Traction Sports Performance and will spend Wednesday at LSU’s pro day. The Clinton native is one of the more intriguing participants at what will potentially be the most covered pro day in school history.
Five NFL head coaches and eight general managers plan to attend the event. The school is not releasing names, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Saints coach Sean Payton are yearly visitors at LSU pro day. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera will be there, he told The Charlotte Observer last week.
More than 100 media members have been credentialed, "the most we’ve ever issued for a pro day,” team spokesman Michael Bonnette said.
NFL personnel could top 200. SEC Network will cover it live beginning at 10 a.m., and ESPN’s "SportsCenter" will deliver reports throughout the event. NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft” will be there, too, following around former safety Jamal Adams — another step in documenting his journey to the NFL draft in Philadelphia.
“It could be the biggest we’ve ever had, to be honest,” Bonnette said. “It’s a great for LSU. To think we’re going to get this type of exposure for LSU football on a Wednesday in April, it’s great publicity. We’ve done all we can do to maximize the day. It’s a big job interview for the participants. We want to roll out the red carpet for NFL personnel and let them know LSU is a great place.”
Measurements begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by vertical jump, broad jump and bench press at 9. Field testing starts at 10:15. That includes the 40-yard dash, three-cone drills and shuttle runs. Individual workouts with NFL coaches follow, marking the end of a three-hour job interview of sorts for 17 former LSU football players and one former track star.
Matt Canada’s offense really does change depending on the quarterback.
It’s not difficult to know who among the three projected first-round picks will draw the most attention: running back Leonard Fournette, Adams and cornerback Tre’Davious White.
“You've got two of the top five players in the country,” said Matt Miller, NFL draft analyst for Bleacher Report. “Only other school who can say that is Ohio State. There is such an attention to what Leonard and Jamal are doing. Leonard has been talked about for so long, and his combine was so good. It’s like, ‘What’s he going to do next?’ ”
Probably run agility drills, Miller said. It would be “incredibly rare” for Fournette not to post a number in the agility drills during the pre-draft process, Miller said. Those drills include the 3-cone and shuttle runs.
“If you don’t,” he said, “you open yourself up for questions.”
Fournette only participated in two events at the NFL combine in late February — the vertical jump and 40-yard dash. He created national news in Indianapolis, weighing in at a heavy 240 pounds before posting an impressive 4.51-second 40-yard dash time. His 40-yard time beat out much smaller players like Adams (4.56) and receivers Malachi Dupre (4.52) and Travin Dural (4.57).
“If a guy runs a 4.51 at 240 pounds,” Miller said, “that’s really damn good.”
Freshman safety Grant Delpit received some work with LSU's starting secondary, and receiver …
Beckwith heads into this draft with the biggest cloud hanging over him.
Before his injury, many projected him as a second- or third-round pick, a player who could climb even higher after a standout senior season. He finished with 91 tackles, including six for loss, in only 10 games. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the 20th-best run-stuffing linebacker in college football last season.
For most, he’s a projected fourth- to fifth-round pick now.
“I have him as a high fourth-round (pick). Maybe he sneaks into late third,” Miller said. “The injury hurt him. The timing hurts. You can’t do anything, can’t go out and do anything right now. I think that was a decent question mark about his game is how athletic he is. You want to see him move and test.”
Beckwith could only participate in the bench press at the combine. He was unsure last week what events he would participate in Wednesday, but he’s on track to be fully healthy by late July.
“Everything’s on track,” he said.
LSU pro day participants
- Jamal Adams: The former All-American safety could go as high as third to the Bears
- Kendell Beckwith: What drills will Beckwith participate in? He only bench-pressed at the combine
- Josh Boutte: The 315-plus-pounder is hoping to slide into a late-round spot
- Tashawn Bower: Bower’s greatest asset may be his versatility. He can play DE and OLB
- Colby Delahoussaye: The ex-starting kicker at LSU must fight to make a team after the draft
- Malachi Dupre: He left a year early, but is it worth it? He’s projected in rounds 2-4.
- Travin Dural: Dural needs a better 40 time than his combine mark of 4.57 seconds
- Leonard Fournette: Most agree that he’s the best RB in the draft, but will he do agility drills Wednesday?
- Davon Godchaux: Off-the-field issues could be the defensive end’s biggest draft issue
- Cyril Grayson: A 4-time NCAA track champion, Grayson is the only non-former LSU football participant
- Rickey Jefferson: The ex-LSU safety can prove he’s fully recovered from the broken fibula he suffered in October
- Colin Jeter: The tight end is unlikely to get drafted, but he wants to make a squad
- Lewis Neal: The defensive end is gunning for his shot to show his skills after being left out of the combine
- Ethan Pocic: Projected as the second-best center in the draft, a second to third-round pick
- Duke Riley: The LB from Buras shined at the Senior Bowl, moving up draft boards
- DeSean Smith: The tight end burst onto the scene as a senior last year at LSU
- Dwayne Thomas: A late add to the Senior Bowl, Thomas impressed in the game
- Tre’Davious White: Potentially has the most to gain here, as he’s straddling the first and second rounds