Football

Dwayne Haskins, Receivers Shine at Ohio State Pro Day

Terry McLaurin Ohio State Buckeyes Pro Day

COLUMBUS — Ohio State held its annual Pro Day on Wednesday, featuring a dozen or so Buckeyes performing in front of every team in the NFL. Four head coaches were in attendance: Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals), Pat Shurmur (New York Giants), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings) and Jay Gruden (Washington Redskins).

There were several general managers on hand as well, including Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders), John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers), Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings) and Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills). The Cleveland Browns sent 12 people, the most of any team.

Because so many of the Buckeyes performed so well at the NFL Combine this winter, few players chose to do the entire workout.

Offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon — who was not invited to the Combine — was the only Buckeye to run the 40-yard dash. Current Buckeyes were lining the running path and using their phones as stopwatches. Pridgeon managed an 8’7″ broad jump.

Nick Bosa did not perform at all, which was expected.

Mike Weber was the only skill position player who took part in agility drills, and the NFL people put him through his paces. They had him running the 20-yard shuttle four times and the three-cone drill three times so that they could get a good, long look at him.

The injured Buckeyes did not take part. Offensive lineman Demetrius Knox was dressed, but didn’t do much, if anything. Viewing is difficult at times.

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield didn’t do anything. Linebacker Dante Booker was listed by OSU as a participant, but he did not run the 40 and there were no linebacker drills on the day.

Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones moved well through his drills and spent quite a bit of time talking with the Cleveland Browns and working some drills with them. The New Orleans Saints also talked with him.

The main event of the afternoon was quarterback Dwayne Haskins throwing to receivers Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell, and Terry McLaurin, as well as Weber. A pair of receivers from Ohio Dominican and Air Force took part as well, which is normal. An Ohio State pro day usually has a couple of non-Buckeyes participating, and sometimes even former Buckeyes will take part, wanting to give the NFL another look.

Haskins had a great day throwing against air, but it may have been Dixon and McLaurin who stole the show. They routinely ran down passes on the sideline and got both feet down. Campbell tweaked a hamstring when he planted his foot and the turf grabbed it a bit. That ended his day, but it was just precautionary.

The Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins will work Haskins out in Columbus this month.

What They’re Saying

Ohio State sent out a press release of the event, which featured the following blurbs from analysts and personnel.

Louis Riddick, ESPN analyst: “Coach Day and this program have things rolling. You look at what they are doing on the field and the amount of talent that is produced in this program, it’s as good as anyone. The stuff you see here will easily translate to the NFL and they’ll be well represented come the 2019 NFL season.”

Todd McShay, ESPN analyst: “In terms of sheer quantity, you can put Ohio State up against anyone as far as producing NFL talent. What stands out to me is the overall speed. They’ve clearly put a premium on recruiting very talented, very fast athletes and it shows. These are probably the fastest team’s that Ohio State’s ever had.”

Rick Spielman, Minnesota Vikings GM: “When an Ohio State player comes into the league, you know you’re getting someone who is mature and who’s played at a high level. They’ll be ready to handle what’s put in front of them.”

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network analyst: “What sticks out to me is the bond you feel among the players. You won’t go anywhere and see guys cheer for each other the way they do here. The track record speaks for itself. There’s so much talent here and they’ve made the transition to contribute at the next level. You combine the talent, the competitiveness and the coaching, it makes it easy to see why.”

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