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Former University of Wisconsin player Warren Herring performs a running drill during a Pro Day event inside the campus' McClain Center in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The annual event offers players the chance to showcase their talents for scouts and executives from the National Football League ahead of the league's upcoming draft. John Hart -- State Journal

His name wasn’t called during the draft, but an impressive Pro Day back in March secured Warren Herring a chance in the NFL.

The former University of Wisconsin defensive lineman said he will sign a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Athleticism is something I pride myself on,” Herring said after his Pro Day workout. “I’m athletic. I can move, which is good. (Scouts) said I had a really good Pro Day.

“I feel like it was a great day. I feel like I did really well and impressed some guys.”

Herring, who missed about half of last season with a right knee injury, played nose guard at UW but projects as a 3-4 defensive end or 4-3 defensive tackle at the next level.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay called Herring versatile and said before the draft that he was the UW player with the best chance to be selected in the late rounds after running back Melvin Gordon and offensive lineman Rob Havenstein.

In front of scouts from 28 teams in March, Herring recorded a 35-inch vertical leap, a 9-foot, 8-inch broad jump, a 1.7-second 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash and 28 reps on the bench press.

“We scouted him in the fall,” Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson said. “I think it’s interesting some of the testing for defensive linemen because you get to see a little bit more of a spotlight on the athletic ability as opposed to when they’re playing the game sometimes you don’t get to see that as much.”


Jason Galloway is the Wisconsin Badgers football beat writer for the Wisconsin State Journal.