BATON ROUGE, La. — Leonard Fournette weighed in at 228 pounds Wednesday at LSU‘s pro day — 12 pounds lighter than at the NFL scouting combine last month, when what he called “water weight” raised some eyebrows.
In process, the power running back shed one of the few concerns about him as a projected top-10 choice in the NFL draft.
Fournette did only position drills Wednesday and stood on his test results from the combine, where he had a 40-yard dash time of 4.51 seconds.
Fournette said the most important thing for him to show Wednesday was that he could drop the weight after some teams had expressed concerns about it.
“I think some of them wanted me to just see if I could get down to that size,” Fournette said. “Some people had concerns about me at 240. … So I just wanted to show them I could stay on course and be disciplined and do what I have to do.”
When asked what he did to drop the weight, Fournette said it was nothing special.
“My mom’s been on me about what I’ve been eating,” he said. “Basically I wanted to show everybody that I can lose the weight. It really doesn’t matter. I’m gonna play good at any weight I want to.”
Another top LSU draft prospect may have had an even bigger day Wednesday: Jamal Adams was unofficially timed at a blazing 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
That time came from LSU’s strength and conditioning coach, which the school said was checked against some other scouts in attendance. Sources from two other teams said the time was legitimate and somewhere in the 4.3s.
That’s a remarkable improvement from Adams’ time of 4.56 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, which was one of the few concerns about Adams as a top prospect. He is aiming to become the first safety selected among the top four picks since Eric Turner at No. 2 in 1991.
“I definitely feel like I did have something to prove for myself in the 40. I know at the combine, 4.5 wasn’t me. So I definitely put my mind to it and I worked hard at it,” said Adams, who admitted that he even exceeded his own expectations.
“I know my father [former NFL running back George Adams], he clocked me before I came down to LSU at 4.39,” said Adams, who said the biggest difference was improving his technique after he lifted up too soon at the combine. “And I feel like I was in my backyard, I felt very comfortable. I felt like I was gonna put on a show, and I just stayed confident and stayed relaxed and ran a faster time.”
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had Fournette going fourth to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his latest mock draft Wednesday, even before Fournette weighed in at 228. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projected Fournette at No. 8 to the Carolina Panthers, which has been a popular projection throughout the pre-draft process.
Fournette, who measured in at 6 feet both times, shrugged off the weight concerns at the combine, saying he drank a lot of water before he weighed in and was surprised it made such a difference. He said at the time that he wanted to weigh 235, but he could easily get down to 225 if teams wanted him to.
Fournette was a first-team All-American at LSU in 2015 before a lingering ankle injury derailed his season in 2016. He finished with 3,830 rushing yards (averaging 119.7 yards per game and 6.2 yards per carry) and 42 total touchdowns in just 32 career games played.
Fournette said his ankle injury hasn’t been a big issue with teams.
“They understood the situation I was in. I kept playing with the injury, they respected it,” Fournette said. “Always ask me if I’m a hundred percent now, and I give them the right answer: ‘Yeah, I’m a hundred percent.'”