For Brandon Breazell, time is of the essence.
Time, as in tenths of seconds.
Breazell, a former UCLA receiver who hopes to play in the NFL, said he was much more comfortable Thursday at the Bruins' so-called pro day workout than he was at last month's scouting combine. His results showed that.
With scouts from about a dozen NFL teams clocking him, Breazell covered 40 yards in 4.38 seconds, far more impressive than his 4.47-second performance at the combine. That probably won't boost his stock tremendously -- Breazell is generally thought to be a late-round pick or free agent -- but it certainly felt better to him.
"When they said I ran a 4.47, that messed my whole day up," he said, even though that time would please many receivers. "I had to bounce back and fight through it."
Several of his teammates also worked out for the scouts on the school's practice field, running timed drills, showing off their vertical leap, and submitting to measurements of their arms and hands. None of the players is expected to go in the first day of the draft, when two rounds are held. Defensive end Bruce Davis is the most likely to do so, although he's probably a third- or fourth-round pick.
Watching from the sideline, along with a gathering of agents and other spectators, was former UCLA receiver Freddie Mitchell, a first-round pick by Philadelphia in 2001. He played for the Eagles from 2001 through 2004 before being released. In 2005, he spent a few months during the off-season with Kansas City.
Mitchell, 29, thinks he still has something to offer an NFL team and said he's confident he can make a comeback. To that end, he spent a lot of time Thursday chatting with scouts.
"Success is situational," he said. "The right coach can take an average receiver and put him in the Pro Bowl."
That's not to say Mitchell has ever referred to himself as average. By his thinking, his career in Philadelphia was cut short because of his friendship with controversial receiver Terrell Owens.
"Me and T.O. were the best of friends, and that hurt my relationship with Donovan," he said, referring to Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. "There were issues between me and Donovan."