COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State held its annual "Pro Day" Friday. Representatives from all 32 NFL teams (as well as the CFL's British Columbia Lions) watched the departing Buckeyes audition for a future in professional football.
OSU Pro Day Sees Buckeyes Improve Draft Stock
By Tony Gerdeman
A total of 17 Buckeyes participated on Friday, hoping to impress NFL front offices enough to earn a job for the 2014 season and beyond.
The NFL personnel on hand numbered around 80, and included Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who spent a considerable amount of time afterward talking with Urban Meyer, Tom Herman and Tim Hinton. He was also then introduced to left tackle Jack Mewhort.
The NFL Network and lead analyst Mike Mayock were also in attendance.
Here are a few notes from the day's activities.
+ Depending on which scout you ask, linebacker Ryan Shazier ran between a 4.35 and 4.41 in the 40-yard dash before tweaking his hamstring and ending his day. The 40-yard dash was the first event of the day, so he didn't do any other drills. That shouldn't hurt him, however, since he did most of the drills at the NFL Combine last month, and recorded a combine-best 42" vertical. He again weighed in at 237 pounds.
+ Carlos Hyde did running back drills but did not run the 40-yard dash. He had a couple of stumbles on pass routes, but looked as quick and smooth as you'd expect him to in the RB drills. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, he will be running his 40 on March 26.
+ Safety Christian Bryant did not take part in any drills as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. He said the doctors have cleared him, but he is waiting until his ankle is full strength before he gets back to going all out. He said that he believes he has plenty of good film to warrant being drafted. Bryant said that after his playing days are done he wants to come back to Ohio State and work for the University in some capacity.
+ Offensive lineman Marcus Hall said he regrets his actions following his ejection at Michigan last season, and that Buckeye fans bring it up to him all the time. He tries to downplay his double-bird salute, but admitted to having a chuckle when he saw his picture cropped into a roller coaster ride. He said he and his agent have talked about what to do with his image appearing on t-shirts and the like, but right now they're only focused on the NFL.
+ Receiver Philly Brown had a great day catching the ball and also fielding punts. He ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash (though Gil Brandt had him at 4.50). During an interview with the Miami Dolphins the Dolphins asked him if he could bring one player with him, who would it be? His answer was quarterback Kenny Guiton.
+ Speaking of Kenny Guiton, after being told about Philly Brown's answer, and being quite honored by it, I asked him the same question. If he could bring one player with him, who would it be? On defense he said he'd bring linebacker Ryan Shazier. On offense, he paused, then quickly apologized to his skill players, and chose left tackle Jack Mewhort. A quarterback always needs to be protected after all. Guiton said that he still very much plans on coaching following his playing days, but right now he would have regretted it for the rest of his life if he didn't at least try to play in the NFL. I asked him what would happen if the only graduate assistant job he was offered came from Michigan. He laughed and said, "I'll be okay. I'll wait a year or a spring or a season or something." Guiton, by the way, had a very good day throwing the ball, only missing a couple of receivers in approximately 25 throws. He said he currently only has one team workout scheduled, and that is with the New England Patriots later in the month. Guiton ran a 4.76 and a 4.31 short shuttle.
+ Receiver Chris Fields ran a 4.55, which was slower than he had intended to run. He had an okay day catching the ball. He was also fielding punts.
+ Cornerback Bradley Roby didn't run the 40 because his 4.39 at the NFL Combine speaks for itself. He did the other drills and was very smooth throughout his position drills, catching most everything. He was also fielding punts, but not that well. Scouts weren't deterred however, as there was considerable buzz following his performance.
+ Offensive lineman Andrew Norwell admitted that he was disappointed that he wasn't invited to the NFL Combine. He said he believes he performed pretty well. He ran in the high 5.2s, but was hoping to get into the 5.1s. He was also a little disappointed in his 22 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He believes his versatility and ability to play both tackle and guard will help him.
+ Offensive lineman Jack Mewhort also said his versatility is something that he has going for him. He can play all five positions on the offensive line, which is something that teams covet.
+ Former Buckeyes Jamaal Berry and Dorian Bell were on hand, but weren't allowed to participate due to NFL rules. Both were expecting to be able to work out.
+ Former Buckeye linebacker Etienne Sabino also worked out again.
+ Others working out were safety C.J. Barnett, running back Jordan Hall, kicker Drew Basil, center Corey Linsley, safety Corey Brown, and long snapper George Makridis. Linsley recorded a 4.97 and 5.0 40-yard dash. He could find himself on the third day of the draft.
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