Ronald Bartell, junior Howard University defensive back, had a tremendous showing from the New York Giants to the New York Jets and the Houston Texans scouts and also various media outlets that came to see him perform. However, the crowd was more impressed a decision he made before the workouts even started.
With rain and soaked grass, Bartell decided to perform for the scouts in weather conditions that he would face on any given Sunday in the NFL, going through foot work and positional drills to show his ability to move his hips and feet in a fast motion.
“Obviously you have to give him a lot of credit for even going out in the weather conditions that they were,” said Houston Texans scout John Hoke. “They’re extremely difficult to work in with the rain, the cold and wind that we had, he did a good job. His combined workout was outstanding and he backed it up today.”
Bartell’s sports agent Jeff Griffin was pleased with his Pro Day workout. “I’m very impressed,” he said. “I’m more impressed with the fact that he was able to go through the workout on a sore ankle and the rainy conditions. He’ll see those conditions on any given Sunday.”
Many of the scouts were impressed with Bartell’s ability to change directions and still come out of his transition and show his ability.
“He understands that, ‘Hey this is my job. This is my opportunity to go make obviously a very good living,’ ” said Hoke, the Texans scout. “When he was at the combine and out here today he was very focused at the task at hand.”
Despite not being at 100 percent, Bartell felt very good about how he performed for the scouts. “It went pretty good,” Bartell said. “Considering the weather conditions and field and everything it went pretty good. It took a while for me to get warmed up, but towards the middle and end of the workout, I started feeling like my old self.
Most of Bartell’s motivation to excel in his workouts comes from the fact that he wants to be drafted as high as possible. That has translated into the solid 4.43 and 4.37 he recorded in his two 40 yard sprints at the NFL combine workouts a month ago and also another solid workout this past month.
“You got a guy 6-1 1/2, 211 pounds that runs just as anybody at the combine,” said Griffin, Bartell’s sports agent. “Can’t help but to be impressed.”
Despite that success, speculation that he may get drafted in the second round is not a main concern for Bartell. It is more important that he continue to stay focused so that once he gets drafted, he can have a successful season.
“I got a lot more to prove than anybody else,” said Bartell Jr. “If I had went to a bigger school, I’d probably be the first corner drafted. Just the pressure of coming from a small school keeps me focused, keeps my attention at all times.”
With most of his workouts now completed, Bartell Jr. will be flying to meet with different NFL teams and learn about their systems.