Ohio State's NFL Combine Results
By Tony Gerdeman
The NFL Draft Combine got underway in Indianapolis this weekend, and so far there have been four Buckeyes who have taken part.
The offensive line got started on Saturday, then the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers had their opportunity on Sunday. Monday will feature the defensive line and linebackers, and Tuesday will wrap things up with the defensive backs.
Here is a rundown of how the Buckeyes have performed to this point. Keep in mind that this is not the last opportunity these players will have to perform in front of NFL personnel, as the Ohio State Pro Day will take place on Friday March 7.
Bradley Roby - CB
Roby measured in at 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds. He ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, which was fourth among defensive backs, and seventh-fastest for the entire combine. He did 17 reps of 225 pounds, which was middle of the pack. His vertical jump of 38.5" tied for sixth-best. He broad jumped 10'4", which was tied for twelfth. His 4.04 in the 20-yard shuttle tied for sixth-best.
Rating: 6.0 (Should become instant starter.)
Strengths | Thin ankles. Plays bigger than his size. Feisty, aggressive tackler -- does not hesitate to throw his weight around. Terrific balance. Quick feet and loose hips. Easy change of direction. Flips his hips and has ample speed to run vertically. Can mirror off the line and shadow slot receivers. Sudden athlete. Plants and drives in a blink. Shows recovery speed. Quick-handed to play the pocket. Has springs. Displays good zone awareness and has experience in off-man. Dangerous as a blitzer and kick-block rusher. Has experience working as a gunner. Confident and competitive. Excellent production on the ball -- 35 passes defended in last two seasons.
Weaknesses | Has a small, wiry frame and size is just adequate -- can be boxed out by tall receivers and outmuscled for "50-50" balls. Short on length and strength to jam and reroute bigger receivers. Gets wired to blocks. Durability could be an issue given his physical playing style. Could stand to iron out his pedal. Gets caught peeking -- lets receivers behind him and is vulnerable to double moves. Misses some 1-on-1 tackles in space. Performance was uneven as a junior -- did not dominate. Character should be looked into.
Bottom Line | Smallish, quick-twitch, speedy, physical cornerback with an intriguing combination of urgent athleticism, ball skills, tackling ability and scheme versatility. Appeals to zone and man teams, should be able to contribute readily as nickel slot defender and special-teams contributor and has a ceiling as a No. 2.
Ryan Shazier - LB
Like Carlos Hyde, Shazier's combine was a quick one due to a slight injury, however, he still put up some impressive numbers. He arrived in Indianapolis already injured, but still put up a combine-best 42" vertical jump. His 10'10" broad jump was the best of the linebackers by two inches. He finished eighth with 25 reps of 225 pounds. He didn't participate in any other drills, and will instead do them at OSU's Pro Day.
Rating: 6.15 (Should become instant starter.)
Strengths | Highly productive, disruptive playmaker vs. the run and pass. Shoots gaps and plays behind the line of scrimmage (compiled 39.5 TFL the last two seasons). Agile to slip blocks. Quick, strong hands to shed. Knifes gaps and flows very well laterally. Striking tackler -- uncoils on contact. Excellent speed and range -- opens up his stride in space and really covers ground. Bends naturally. Changes direction and accelerates with ease. Explosive first step as a pass rusher -- shows the ability to dip, bend and run the arc low to the ground. Ample athleticism and flexibility to mark backs and tight ends. Four-down utility. Arrow is pointing up.
Weaknesses | Lacks ideal size and bulk. Still developing eyes and instincts -- will diagnose and trigger more quickly down the road. Gets caught in traffic or engulfed by larger blockers when he hesitates to step downhill. Prone to overaggressiveness -- occasionally overruns plays or loses cutback contain. Could stand to improve his eyes, awareness, anticipation and reactions as a zone defender. Took some time to acclimate before making an impact.
Bottom Line | The Big Ten's leading tackler, Shazier flies around the field and his unique athletic ability stands out. Offers a tremendous combination of speed, tackling and coverage skills to become a playmaker as a run-and-hit 4-3 Will or perhaps a 3-4 weakside 'backer if protected by a block-occupying nose tackle. Value is increased by the fact that he will not have to come off the field.
Jack Mewhort - OL
Mewhort measured in at 6-foot-6 and 309 pounds. He ran a 5.37 40-yard dash, which was 35th out of 40 participants, and 4.64 (16th) in the 20-yard shuttle. Mewhort's 28 reps on the 225-pound bench press was good for 14th. Other measurables: 26.0" vertical jump; 101.0" broad jump; 7.79 three-cone drill. NFL Network draft analyst said that he didn't expect Mewhort to make it past the second round.
Rating: 5.6 (Chance to become NFL starter.)
Strengths | Good size. Engages with urgency. Reestablishes the line of scrimmage in the run game. Can drive block, widen the hole and seal lanes. Stout base -- good anchor strength. Plays with a load in his hands to jar defenders. Locks on and controls. Good enough feet to slide and mirror. Alert to stunts and blitzes. Versatile. Has an ideal temperament for the trenches -- breathes fire. Smart, tough and competitive. Three-year starter. Is passionate about the game and works at his craft. Highly respected vocal leader and team captain.
Weaknesses | Has a soft midsection. Stronger than he is explosive. Lacks ideal length and foot quickness for the left side (not a dancing bear). Vulnerable to strong bull rush when he gets tall and narrow-based. Occasionally gets top-heavy and slips off blocks. Average blocking range. Tight hips and ankles show when he pulls or climbs to the second level. Struggles to cut off fast-flowing linebackers. Lets his pads rise outside the phone booth.
Bottom Line | Thickly built, physical, highly competitive lineman who manned left tackle competently in college, but is better suited for the right side in the pros. Has starter-caliber strength, athleticism and technique supplemented with desirable intangibles. Versatility to play guard or left tackle in a pinch adds to value.
Corey Linsley - OL
Linsley came in at 6-foot-3 and 296 pounds. He did 36 reps on the 225-pound bench press, which tied for second among offensive linemen. He also jumped 27.0" in the vertical. Those were the only events in which he participated.
Rating: 5.1 (Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster.)
Strengths | Stout base. Works to re-anchor. Jolting punch. Strong upper body to latch onto and control defenders in short area. Generates movement in the run game. Understands angles and positioning. Excellent weight-room strength -- bench-presses 500 pounds and squats a small house. Smart and dependable. Communicated all the line calls and checks. Is tough and will play hurt. Hardworking team captain with leadership traits.
Weaknesses | Has short arms. More strong than explosive -- doesn’t roll his hips and blow nose tackles off the ball. Falls off blocks when he bends at the waist. Pedestrian foot athlete -- slow to cut off linebackers, labors to pull and lacks lateral quickness to recover when beaten. Stressed by quicker rushers.
Bottom Line | Strong-bodied, heavy-handed, short-area mauler who anchored one of the nation’s most physical, productive rushing attacks. Has athletic limitations, but compensates with strength, smarts and competitiveness. Has the makeup to overachieve, and could increase his value by proving versatile enough to back up at guard.
Philly Brown - WR
Brown measured in at 5-foot-11 and 178 pounds. He ran a 4.51, which was the 24th-best time among the receivers. His vertical jump of 33.0" was better than only nine other participants. His broad jump of 116.0" was better than only five other receivers.
Rating: 4.9 (Should be in an NFL training camp.)
Strengths | Works himself open short-to-intermediate. Adjusts to throws. Quick enough to elude the initial tackler and pick up yards after the catch. Functional blocker. Lined up inside and outside and has punt-return experience.
Weaknesses | Has a lean build and relatively small hands. Needs to get stronger in order to combat the jam. Not an explosive athlete. Average initial quickness into routes. Lacks elite top-end speed to beat defenses vertically. Bland, unrefined route runner. Lets throws into his body. Inconsistent traffic player. Average production and playmaking.
Bottom Line | Adequate-sized, monotone, fairly nondescript receiver lacking exceptional athletic traits for the pro game and will need to prove himself in the return game to stick.
Carlos Hyde - RB
Hyde's combine was a short one, as he strained his left hamstring while running his 40-yard dash. He was clocked at 4.66 officially. He did 19 reps on the 225-pound bench press, which was 13th among the running backs. He jumped 34.5" in the vertical, which was 19th best. His broad jump of 114.0" bettered only seven other running backs. He was unable to participate in any of the other drills because of the injury.
Rating: 6.2 (Should become instant starter.)
Strengths | Very well built -- looks every bit the part. Outstanding size, explosive power and run strength -- can be his own blocker and create his own holes. Punishes linebackers running downhill and almost always falls forward. Superb contact balance and finishing strength -- does not go down easily and can barrel through arm tackles. Extremely powerful short-yardage/goal-line runner. Gets better with a lather as the game progresses. Took over the game in the fourth quarter vs. Northwestern (2013) and willed team to victory. Surprisingly quick in short spaces and can plant hard and go. Is solid in pass protection and can stonewall blitzers in their tracks. Good awareness and anticipation to react to stunts and adjust to movement. Soft hands-catcher.
Weaknesses | Lacks elite breakaway speed. Average elusiveness and make-you-miss. Is still learning what it means to really work and be a pro -- entered program with some underachiever traits early in career. Weight fluctuated earlier in his career and needs to pay more attention to nutrition. Has missed at least two games in three seasons.
Bottom Line | A big, strong, powerful, NFL feature back who carried the Buckeyes' offense as a senior and proved he can be a workhorse. Solid all-around, chunk runner well-built for the physicality of the AFC North.
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