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Daiyan Henley and WSU’s nine other draft hopefuls step into pro day spotlight

The all-conference linebacker led the way for WSU in the program’s annual NFL draft showcase

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Linebacker Daiyan Henley spent just one season playing for Washington State, but he made the most of his first and only season in a power five conference. The Nevada transfer was an impact player for WSU, leading the team in tackles with 106 (a figure good for second in the conference) while also earning a first team all-conference nod and becoming the program’s first ever Butkus Award finalist. Now, Henley is hoping to use that stellar season to propel him to the next level.

On Tuesday, 23 NFL scouts made the trip to the Palouse to witness Washington State’s annual pro day event. The schedule included your typical combine-style events from measurements to workouts like bench press and broad jump. And while ten total NFL prospects with ties to the WSU program all took part in the proceedings, most of the eyes were focused on Henley in particular.

“To be out there by myself, you look at it like, ‘Dang, I’m by myself; I’m going to have a lot of pressure on me,’ ” Henley said via the Spokesman Review. “But then, it’s like, this is where you want to be. This is where I want to be – to go out there and have that moment in this whole process… I invite the pressure.”

Henley, who posted an impressive time in the 40-yard dash (4.54 seconds) at the NFL combine decided to skip that workout, along with the cone drills, at WSU’s event. He did, however, take part in the other activities, posting a 37.5 inch mark on the vertical jump and 10-foot-4-inch, both matching or bettering his combine marks. The linebacker also hoisted up 19 reps on the bench press.

The pro day performance is just the latest in what has been a fruitful path to the draft for Henley. After his standout season, Henley made waves at the Senior Bowl, impressing scouts in attendance. He event stepped into a leadership role with a microphone in his helmet that allowed him to call plays for his team. Those factors, combined now with his combine and pro day performances, have pushed Henley’s NFL Draft stock as high as the second round in many mock drafts.

“I think I’ve been able to showcase everything I’ve planned on doing this offseason,” Henley added. “I’d say this process has been going how I planned it to go. There’s always room for improvement, but until that moment comes, I think I’m satisfied with how it’s been going so far.”

Other pro day participants included receivers Renard Bell and Robert Ferrel, defensive back Armani Marsh and offensive tackle turned basketball cult icon Jack Wilson. You can read a full breakdown of their performances, and more on Henley’s day, from Colton Clark’s report in the link below.

'I invite the pressure': Linebacker Daiyan Henley takes center stage at Washington State's pro day | The Spokesman-Review
PULLMAN – When Daiyan Henley took center stage, everyone stopped to watch.

WSU Football: Daiyan Henley NFL Pro Day Sound 3/28/23 - YouTube
Daiyan Henley speaks with the media following his pro day workout.

WSU Football: Armani Marsh NFL Pro Day Sound 3/28/23 - YouTube
WSU's Armani Marsh speaks with the media following his pro day workout.

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