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Originally published Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

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Polk, Ta'amu put on show for scouts

The running back and defensive tackle are expected to be taken in the first half of the NFL draft, which begins April 26.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The little things matter in the lead-up to the NFL draft, as Chris Polk has lost a couple of pounds and shed a few hundredths of a second off his 40-yard dash time.

Big things are important, too, as Alameda Ta'amu weighs in at 347 pounds — about 10 more than he played at as a senior.

They were just two of the players on display during the University of Washington's pro day Thursday. Representatives from about 15 NFL teams were at the Dempsey Indoor facility to measure, weigh and watch a group of Huskies players audition for professional football.

Polk, a running back, and Ta'amu, a defensive tackle, were the top prospects in the group, as both figure to be chosen in the first half of the draft. Jermaine Kearse, Senio Kelemete, Cort Dennison, Everrette Thompson and Devin Aguilar also attended, as did former Huskies like Victor Aiyewa, Dorson Boyce and E.J. Savannah, who was in great shape.

Polk weighed in at 212 pounds, 13 pounds lighter than he was at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January and 3 pounds lighter than he was at the scouting combine in Indianapolis last month.

He ran the 40-yard dash twice Thursday. His first effort was fastest, and he said it was electronically timed at 4.49 seconds, compared to 4.45 handheld. One of the teams in attendance listed it at 4.48.

Polk's speed was a concern at the scouting combine last month. His second 40 was timed at 4.57 by some.

"I'm glad I improved," he said. "But I feel deep down in my heart, I could have done better. But I'm at peace with it."

Polk also performed 16 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds, and looked good in his position drills. He looked natural catching the ball, though he did have one drop.

Ta'amu didn't run the 40-yard dash, as he did at the scouting combine. He instead focused on the shuttle and cone drills and was pleased with his performance.

At 347 pounds, Ta'amu is projected as a nose guard for teams that play a 3-4 defense. Even at his size, he has good feet, which he showed in the drills.

"I want them to see I can move just as good as I did at 338," Ta'amu said. "But if teams want me to get down, I'll do it."

The NFL draft begins with the first round on April 26.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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