Wake Forest Football hosts 2021 NFL Pro Day

Four players showcased their skills with hopes of bolstering their NFL draft potential


Quarterback Jamie Newman looked to turn heads at his NFL Pro Day.

Nico Panos, Contributing Writer

On March 31, four Wake Forest football athletes competed in the annual NFL Pro Day inside the McCreary Field House in front of a bevy of NFL scouts representing 29 different organizations. defensive lineman Carlos Basham Jr., wide receiver Sage Surratt, quarterback Jamie Newman and kicker Jack Crane all showed off their impressive abilities, hoping that their skills could lead to potential future employment by one of the teams represented.  This article will give a rundown on their scouting profiles up to this point, the day’s events for each player, and their current projected draft statuses.

Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr., Defensive Lineman

After an impressive Senior Bowl, the former all-ACC defenseman has been slowly creeping up the draft boards of many analysts as teams have collectively grown more interested in the dynamic skill set the defensive lineman brings to the gridiron. In interviews before the pro day, Basham revealed that he hoped to use the 40-yard dash as a means to differentiate his abilities from those of other defensive lineman competing in pro days across the country. During his pro day, Basham competed in all of the major drills that will be present in the combine later this year, notching impressive markings in the broad jump (10’02’’) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.32 seconds) when compared to other players in his position. Though he posted an unofficial time of 4.62 in the 40-yard dash, thus not meeting his goal, the time was quite impressive for a player at his position. While “Boogie” will not have a chance to improve on those measurables due to COVID-19 restrictions at this year’s combine, he will have a medical evaluation to determine his status of health. As of now, Basham is a projected second-round talent who has the potential to be picked late in the first round by a team in need of defensive line help.

Sage Surratt, Wide Receiver

As one of the players on the group who sat out last year’s collegiate season, Surratt is betting on his one standout season in which he was named first-team all-ACC in 2019. That year, he also earned a spot as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, even though his season ended after nine games due to a shoulder injury. Certainly, a lot of question marks surround whether he can have similar production at the next level, and if his skillset as a jump-ball receiver is compatible in the current NFL, where the position is dominated by speedy, ankle-breaking receivers.

After showing some rust at the Senior Bowl where he had trouble separating from defensive backs, Surratt needed a good pro day to prove his abilities can extend to the pro game. His 40 time, as expected, was fairly slow for his position as he posted an unofficial time of 4.70. However, he did post a respectable 4.25 time for the 20-yard shuttle. Surratt did not participate in any of the other classic combine drills, but did demonstrate his abilities in his wide receiver drills. He is an invitee to the combine, where he will be evaluated further. Currently, Surratt is projected as a mid-Day two prospect but is likely looking to be picked in the third, or fourth round.

Jamie Newman, Quarterback

As the second participant who did not compete in the 2020 college football season, Newman entered pro day with the largest number of lingering questions out of any of the Wake Forest competitors. Correlating well with Surratt, Newman had a transcendent 2019 season that caught the eyes of many analysts of the college football world, as well as NFL scouts. This eventually influenced his decision to transfer to the University of Georgia before the 2020 collegiate season. After this move, things started to grow questionable for scouts when it is rumored that he may not have earned the starting job at Georgia. When Newman ended up sitting out the 2020 season, and officially stated his choice to opt-out was due to coronavirus concerns.

At the Senior Bowl, Newman — like Surratt — also had a shaky week but showed some impressive flashes of good pocket presence and maneuverability. Newman also had too many overthrown balls, which hurt his status among draft analysts. At his pro day, though he did not compete in any of the measurable drills, Newman did show out in passing drills, highlighted by his impressive deep balls that certainly grabbed the attention of the scouts watching.

Along with Basham and Surratt, Newman is a combine invitee and has had interviews with the Steelers organization over the past couple of weeks. Newman is currently projected as a sixth-round prospect, but some analysts would not be shocked if he is taken off the board late on Day 2 of the draft.

Jack Crane, Kicker

Scouts got to look at kickoff specialist Jack Crane in several kicking drills last Wednesday at the pro day, though, as a kicker, he is not projected to be in any draft position come April 29.

Crane is still competing for a spot on a roster and the opportunity to fight for a starting kicking job in a team’s training camp come fall. Crane left Washington State last season to back up one of the best kickers in college football, Nick Sciba, but still played an important role for the Demon Deacons last season in demonstrating his knack for producing touchbacks on kickoffs (36 on the season). He even got some time kicking during the Duke’s Mayo Bowl versus Wisconsin, drilling all four of his PATs through the uprights.