Five NFL teams travel to Quebec City for Laval pro day

Photo credit: Mathieu Tanguay
Photo credit: Mathieu Tanguay

Five NFL teams made the trip to Laval University campus for the Rouge et Or pro day.

Photo credit: Mathieu Tanguay
Photo credit: Mathieu Tanguay

Three more – Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals – were supposed to be accounted for but due to a snow storm in the United States flights were cancelled and the Jacksonville Jaguars had a conflicting event scheduled.

The New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers did make it to Quebec City.

Defensive lineman Mathieu Betts and offensive lineman Samuel Thomassin were working out for NFL teams. Tight end/receiver Alex Savard hurt his hamstring in training and was unable to perform.

Betts is the marquee name drawing NFL buzz this time around. The Quebec conference all-time leading sack man impressed scouts at the East-West Shrine Game in January – half of the NFL teams met with Betts in Tampa Bay.

Betts is the first player to win the USports J.P. Metras Trophy as the outstanding down lineman three straight years while becoming the only athlete ever to win four major USports awards during his career (who was also named 2015 rookie of the year). He led USports with nine sacks and 14 tackles for loss in just six games during the 2018 season, capping the senior campaign with a Vanier Cup championship. Betts holds the Quebec University conference record with 35.5 sacks in four seasons.

Betts checked in at fix-foot-two-and-a-half, 254 pounds recorded a 4.70 40-yard dash, 4.28 shuttle, 6.77 three-cone, nine-foot, nine-inch broad jump, 29.5-inch vertical and 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Compared to prospects at the NFL combine, Betts’ 40 would’ve ranked fourth, shuttle fourth, three-cone first and broad jump sixth, the rest of the test results outside the top 15.

Thomassin is a towering offensive lineman who is yet another stout blocker developed by Carl Brennan, Laval’s well-regarding offensive line coach. The 2018 All-Canadian put forth a strong season and has slimmed down. He stood six-feet, five inches tall, weighed 334 pounds, ran a 5.70 40-yard time, 5.21 shuttle, 7.91 three-cone, seven-foot, eight-inch broad jump, 23.5-inch vertical and 18 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

The Montreal Alouettes were the only CFL team in attendance.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.