Trey Palmer’s feet carried the kid from Kentwood, Louisiana, into the record books last fall and onto the NFL’s doorstep. They brought him from his home-state allegiance of LSU to a single-season record 1,043 receiving yards at Nebraska. His nimble gait took him on the road for a single-game record 237 receiving yards against Purdue and 165 yards in a win against Iowa. He declared for the NFL Draft the morning after beating Iowa.
His speedy 40-yard time and his technique were the only things he worked on between then and Nebraska’s Pro Day last month. Between those two dates he received invitations to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He cooked defenders during Senior Bowl practices but a hamstring injury kept him from playing in the actual game. Attention redirected to what he may do at the combine. Palmer ran a blistering 4.3 in the 40, the fastest time among wide receivers and third-fastest among all participants at this year’s combine. Even that wasn’t as fast as he wanted his feet to carry him.
“Naw, I was mad at my time, really,” Palmer said after Nebraska’s Pro Day. “I wanted a 4.2.”
He thought about running the 40 again at Nebraska’s Pro Day but ultimately decided against it. He completed every other workout and drill on March 22. Official numbers from Pro Day list his shuttle time at 4.26 and his three-cone at 7.13. He felt good about those. Reflecting upon his routes, he thought they were crisp and clean inside Hawks Championship Center.
Palmer’s film and combine results make an appealing package for most NFL franchises. He took his Pro Day opportunity to showcase his versatility and reaffirm his abilities.
“I get another chance to run routes in front of scouts,” he said of what he wanted out of Pro Day. “It’s football and I just love playing football.”
Scouts form the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons met with him after his Pro Day workout. He also answered questions from media and scouts during the combine. The receiver said he was more focused on himself and his opportunity than meetings at the time. When asked if he’d have a preference on where he’d go, maybe his local New Orleans Saints, he offered one caveat.
“Anywhere that can throw me the ball,” he smiled.
Palmer couldn’t break through a loaded receiver room at LSU, which produced numerous NFL standouts. He arrived at Nebraska for just one blazing season that ended in history. Palmer called his time at Nebraska a blessing that allowed him to dominate. While his career moves on into rarified air later this month, he wasn’t focused on anything beyond the day of his workout.
Workout invitations came, interviews, conversations with teams, outlets, all that accompanies the NFL followed Pro Day. Earlier this week he met in Atlanta with the Falcons. Just one of the wide-spread mock drafts project the Falcons to take Palmer, that one in the fifth round. The average projects show Palmer getting his name called in the late third, early fourth round. As of Pro Day, he wasn’t sure where he’d spend Draft Weekend. At that point he was ready to wait to learn his fate just like everyone else.
“I’m not even focused on the future, I’m really just here, where my feet at,” he said at Pro Day. “I don’t even know what’s next.”