Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Monday, February 28, 2011

Buckeyes Hope Stock Has Risen At NFL Combine

For the nine representatives from Ohio State, the NFL Combine went about as expected. Players such as Cameron Heyward and Chimdi Chekwa did not participate in the physical activities, due to their respective injury rehabilitations, but all of the other representatives seemed to do well.

Dane Sanzenbacher would never be considered a speed receiver, and his 40 yard dash (4.59) confirmed those notions. Sanzenbacher impressed with performances in the cone drills and short shuttles, demonstrating the appropriate skill set of lateral quickness for a possession receiver at the next level. One could also surmise Sanzenbacher was impressive in his interviews, based upon comments Sanzenbacher made during his brief media session at the NFL Combine.

As predicted, Brandon Saine had a strong 40 yard dash (4.43), as well as strong outings in the vertical jump and bench press. In order for Saine to be drafted, Saine will need to demonstrate strong receiving abilities in workouts. A move to fullback for a team that runs the West Coast offense does not seem out of the question as I evaluate Saine, as his speed and receiving abilities may make him more attractive versus a traditional halfback spot.

Justin Boren had a slower 40 time, but performed well in the other drills. I see Boren going on day three to a run-oriented offense that will play him on the strong side to help him with his lack of foot speed. Boren may be one of those players who do not test well, but are just natural football players, and I suspect some team will plug him into their draft plans on the third day of the draft.

Ross Homan and Brian Rolle both performed well in linebacker drills, displaying strong coverage skills. Rolle will not grow taller between now and the draft, so his strong performances in the 40 yard dash (4.56), bench press (28 repetitions), and 3 cone drill may convince some team to bypass his lack of height. Homan displayed his strength with 32 repetitions on the bench, as well as impressive performances in both shuttle drills. Homan may have impressed a team as a possible weakside linebacker in the later rounds.

Jermale Hines may have intrigued a team or two as a possible linebacker at the next level. Hines may not have a future as a safety in the NFL, but Hines' strong hitting abilities, plus his previous experience at linebacker, may give him a shot at that position on day three of the draft.

NFL teams are intrigued with Devon Torrence's previous baseball experience. Torrence formerly played in the Houston Astros' minor league system, and the experience seems to have intrigued Green Bay GM Ted Thompson.

The NFL Combine is merely one step of this lengthy process for these former Buckeyes and NFL hopefuls. Ohio State will have its pro day in Columbus on March 11th, and the hazy picture may seem to become more clear as to which team(s) have interest in possibly selecting one, or more, of these players in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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