The former Ohio State Buckeyes who were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine put on a show in Indianapolis over the weekend.
Ten Buckeyes made the trip — the most from any school behind the two teams that played for a national championship two months ago. And while there wasn't an enormous letdown for any of Ohio State's representatives (outside of cornerback Kendall Sheffield, who was injured six reps into the bench press drill), there were five players in particular who stood out.
A breakdown of who improved their draft stock at the combine:
It's hard to improve your draft stock when you're the near consensus top player in your draft class, but Nick Bosa did everything he could to reaffirm that notion on Sunday.
The pass-rushing defensive end checked in at 6'3" and a chiseled 266 pounds, looking nothing like a player coming off a core muscle injury that ended his final collegiate season just two-and-a-half games in. It was clear Bosa worked hard during his time off the field.
Bosa showcased his freakish athleticism, ranking fourth among defensive linemen with a 4.79-yard 40-yard dash, eighth with 29 reps on the bench, seventh with a 33.5" vertical jump, fourth with a 7.1-second three-cone drill and second with an absurd 4.14 20-yard shuttle.
It was a great all-around performance for Bosa, who's hoping to become the first Buckeye drafted No. 1 overall since Orlando Pace in 1997. In fact, he said at the combine that the Arizona Cardinals would be making a "big mistake" if they passed on him in favor of quarterback Kyler Murray.
I wouldn't say anything about Kyler. I would just say that I'm somebody who loves the game more than anybody. I'm going to come in and I'm going to work every day, every practice trying to find new things to better myself. If you do draft me, then you have somebody who's going to improve throughout my entire career.
Anyone paying attention knew Parris Campbell was fast, but the speedster out of Akron, Ohio proved it by posting one of the best 40-yard dash times of year when he clocked in at 4.31 seconds.
That speed alone can turn the head of any NFL scout, coach or general manager, but the converted running back showcased sure hands in drills Saturday afternoon.
Campbell was projected as an early second-round selection in Matt Campbell's latest mock draft that was featured on Bleacher Report. If he can pair his showing at the combine with another solid performance at Ohio State's pro day, Campbell could start flirting with a first-round projection.
Johnnie Dixon's road to Indianapolis for the Combine was a winding one he didn't think he could navigate just a few years ago. After struggling with lingering knee injuries during his first few years in Columbus, the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida native wasn't sure if football was an attainable long-term future.
"The biggest thing is I'm just happy I didn't give up," Dixon said on Friday. "I would've let myself down, my family, so I'm just blessed to be in this position today to be at the combine among so much great talent."
And among that great talent, Dixon stood out with a better-than expected 4.41 40-yard dash.
After failing to register more than 30 receiving yards in his first three seasons at Ohio State, Dixon posted back-to-back eight-touchdown campaigns to complement 60 total catches and 1,091 receiving yards.
Terry McLaurin's emergence started at last month's Senior Bowl, where he turned heads with a blend of speed and route-running ability that caught many in attendance by surprise.
“He was toasting people vertically and sharp out of his breaks. I thought he gave all the cornerbacks a tough time,” Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said. “He was a late add to the roster here, and he really looked good. We weren't hearing any buzz about him coming into today, but with his speed and ability to separate, he's definitely on my radar now. At 6-foot and 205 pounds, he has good size and it looks like he has really good speed.”
McLaurin shined during the game, catching four passes and gaining 73 yards in a 38-14 victory for the North Team.
He carried that positive momentum with him the combine, posting a 4.35 40-yard dash and ranking in the top 15 among wide receivers in every drill he participated in.
It's hard to argue any former Buckeye did more for his draft stock than running back Mike Weber.
The 5'9", 211-pound bulldozer was often overlooked the last two seasons because of the emergence of J.K. Dobbins and a lingering hamstring injury. He was viewed more as a situational power back than someone who could separate at the second level, and he went to Indianapolis hellbent on changing that perception.
“I feel I’m being a little slept on right now,” Weber said during interviews at the combine on Thursday. “That’s something I can’t control. All I can control is to come out here and do my best and show teams why I should be at the top.”
He did just that, posting the third-best 40-yard dash time among running backs with an impressive 4.49 showing.
Ohio State running back Mike Weber ran an unofficial 4.49 forty-yard dash on his first attempt, and followed it up with a unofficial 4.48 forty. He also had 22 reps on the bench press. At 5'10 and 211 pounds, he brings the speed and power. #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/vRaoOisoBi— Duane Lively (@DuaneLively) March 1, 2019
His 22 reps on the bench tied for sixth among ballcarriers, proving that he blends a combination of speed and power that translate nicely to the next level.