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2022 Northern Illinois Pro Day: Recap, Results, Next Workouts

Four former Huskies worked out for NFL scouts at NIU’s 2022 Pro Day. Here’s how they fared.

Northern Illinois Pro Day 2022 NFL Draft NIU
Photo: NIUAthletics/Twitter

On Wednesday afternoon at the Chessick Practice facility in DeKalb, four former Northern Illinois football players worked out in front of NFL scouts ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. Running back Clint Ratkovich, wide receiver Tyrice Richie, punter Matt Ference, and linebacker Lance Deveaux Jr. were the former Huskies in action. In total, 11 NFL teams attended the workouts: the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans.

I was able to take in all of the workouts with the exception of the bench press, broad and vertical jump. Head coach Thomas Hammock and a majority of the current team as well as family members and friends were in attendance to root on this group of former Huskies on their big day. “Rat” and “Deuce” calls echoed throughout the workout in support of Ratkovich and Deveaux Jr.

Looking to the Next Level

This year’s Northern Illinois Pro Day marked coach Hammock’s first true opportunity to oversee players he’s had in his program for a few years get their shot at the NFL. Many players stayed at NIU last year and Clint Ratkovich was an offseason addition, making him one of Hammock’s first true recruits with next-level prospects.

Most of Hammock’s other recruits are underclassmen. But if he can go 100% on graduate transfer players to the NFL, it will likely translate to more wins for the Huskies. Players seeing their former teammates compete in front of NFL scouts only pushes them to be better for when they have the opportunity to do so.

2022 Northern Illinois Pro Day Results

The former Huskies did not disappoint on the field. Clint Ratkovich and Lance Deveaux Jr. participated in all speed and position drills in addition to the three tests that were behind closed doors. Here are the official results from the 2022 Northern Illinois Pro Day as recorded by the scouts in attendance.

Clint Ratkovich

Bench Press: 31 reps*

Vertical Jump: 34 inches

Broad Jump: 10.2 feet

40-Yard Dash: 4.64 seconds

Shuttle: 4.32 seconds

3-Cone Drill: 7.18 seconds

*Ratkovich’s 31 bench press reps would have been good for the second-most reps at the 2022 NFL Combine. Boston College guard Zion Johnson topped the field with 32 reps.

Lance Deveaux Jr.

Vertical Jump: 34 inches

Broad Jump: 9.10 feet

40-Yard Dash: 4.75 seconds

Shuttle: 4.48 seconds

3-Cone Drill: 7.48 seconds

Tyrice Richie

Tyrice Richie participated in a limited manner on Pro Day. After the session, he told me was able to record 12 reps on the bench press less than six months after the injury that ended his Huskie career.

Matt Ference

Matt Ference punted in front of the scouts at the end of the workout, both with distance punts and coffin corner punts. Ference punted well with many of his attempts rolling out of bounds inside the 10-yard line, a result he produced many times at Northern Illinois.

What’s On Tap Next?

Following the workout, I caught up with all four players. Ference said he will attend the Chicago Bears Regional Pro Day next week. Ratkovich and Richie will join him at that event.

Deveaux Jr. said he will participate in workouts with the Bears and Miami Dolphins.

Additionally, Richie will work out for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. Ratkovich will also participate in a session with the Packers.

Further details regarding workout invites will likely emerge in the coming days, but the information above is what I was able to gather following Pro Day.

Stay locked in to the Huskies On Tap Podcast for exclusive interviews with all four players in the coming days. Those episodes will be available wherever you listen to podcasts by the end of the week. Check back here at On Tap Sports Net in the near future for individual draft profiles highlighting the Northern Illinois 2022 NFL Draft class.

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