Ohio State's 2021 NFL draft prospects were back at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to participate in the Buckeyes' annual pro day on Tuesday afternoon.
15 members of Ohio State's 2020 football team participated in the event: linebacker Tuf Borland, linebacker Baron Browning, punter Drue Chrisman, defensive end Jonathon Cooper, guard Wyatt Davis, tight end Luke Farrell, quarterback Justin Fields, kicker Blake Haubeil, tight end Jake Hausmann, linebacker Justin Hilliard, center Josh Myers, wide receiver C.J. Saunders, running back Trey Sermon, defensive tackle Tommy Togiai and linebacker Pete Werner.
Current NFL free agents Johnnie Dixon, Robert Landers and Dante Booker were also back at Ohio State and participated in Tuesday's event as they look to earn another opportunity to play in the league.
Defensive back Shaun Wade did not participate in Tuesday's event, but will instead hold his own pro day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on April 14, as he continues to recover from a turf toe injury. Myers also participated only in the bench press due to a foot injury that required him to undergo surgery after the season.
Eleven Warriors and other local media outlets were unable to attend this year's pro day due to capacity restrictions in place of COVID-19, but Big Ten Network, ESPN and NFL Network are in the building, and we compiled all afternoon as we watched the proceedings from home and talked to participants after the event.
Full testing results for most of Ohio State's pro day participants, as well as other observations from the day, can be found below.
Full Testing Results
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy shared the official results compiled by NFL scouts for 13 of the Ohio State players who participated in Tuesday's pro day. Those results, all courtesy of Nagy's Twitter, have been compiled in the table below. (Update: C.J. Saunders' testing results have also been added to the table.)
|LB TUF BORLAND||6-0 1/8||229||9 7/8||31 3/8||75 1/2||4.98/4.99||32.5||9-1||4.29||7.17||15|
|LB BARON BROWNING||6-2 3/4||245||9 7/8||33 1/2||79||4.58/4.59||40||10-10||4.23||6.78||23|
|DE JONATHON COOPER||6-2 5/8||253||9 5/8||32 1/8||77 1/4||4.75/4.69||33||9-0||4.31||6.99||28|
|P DRUE CHRISMAN||6-2 3/4||209||9 1/2||33 1/8||78||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|OG WYATT DAVIS||6-3 5/8||315||9 1/8||33 7/8||79 1/8||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||25|
|TE LUKE FARRELL||6-5 1/2||251||9 1/4||33||78 7/8||4.79/4.79||36.5||9-10||4.36||7.14||22|
|QB JUSTIN FIELDS||6-2 3/8||227||9 1/8||32 1/2||74 3/4||4.45||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|LB JUSTIN HILLIARD||6-0 1/2||229||8 7/8||31 3/8||75 1/4||4.84/4.81||34.5||9-6||4.34||7.20||27|
|OL JOSH MYERS||6-5 1/8||310||10 3/8||32||77 3/8||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|WR C.J. SAUNDERS||4.69||34.5||9-5||4.15||7.10||8|
|RB TREY SERMON||6-0 3/8||215||9 3/8||33 3/8||77 1/8||4.60/4.57||37||10-5||4.28||6.83||DNP|
|DT TOMMY TOGIAI||6-1 1/2||296||8 7/8||31 3/4||76 1/4||5.05/4.97||32||8-9||4.49||7.20||40|
|DB SHAUN WADE||6-0 5/8||196||9 1/4||33 1/2||78||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|LB PETE WERNER||6-2 7/8||238||9||33 1/4||79 1/4||4.64/4.58||39.5||10-2||4.38||6.95||20|
Fields Shines, Current Buckeye Receivers Catch
Current Ohio State wide receivers Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams – who could all be NFL draft prospects in 2022 or 2023 – are among those catching passes from Justin Fields during his throwing workout at today's pro day, along with NFL draft hopefuls Trey Sermon, C.J. Saunders, Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann and NFL free agent Johnnie Dixon.
Wilson drew a reaction from the crowd in attendance after adjusting his body to make a spectacular leaping catch after stumbling on a route.
Garrett Wilson, hello pic.twitter.com/MdgFxTqDVA— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) March 30, 2021
As for Fields himself, the former Ohio State quarterback put no shortage of arm strength or deep passing ability on display during his throwing workout, which drew rave reviews from just about everyone who watched it.
JUSTIN FIELDS WALK-OFF ROCKET— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 30, 2021
Just had a scout text me from the Ohio State pro day.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 30, 2021
That was the best QB workout Ive seen in a while@justnfields
Dixon took to Twitter shortly after the workout to praise Fields' passing:
All im gonna say is QB 1 had a day today— Johnnie L. Dixon III (@YoungKing_JD5) March 30, 2021
Not Only Draft Prospects
In addition to the former Ohio State players who are hoping to be selected in the 2021 NFL draft, a few current NFL free agents participated in drills on Tuesday as well. Along with Dixon catching passes from Fields, former Ohio State defensive tackle Robert Landers went through defensive line drills while former Ohio State linebacker Dante Booker participated in linebacker drills.
Werner Showcases His Athleticism
Pete Werner put his top-notch athleticism on display by running a 4.53-second 40-yard dash and jumping 39.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10-foot-2 in the broad jump on Tuesday, according to NFL Draft Diamonds.
Pete Werner— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) March 30, 2021
Ohio State ran 4.52
Fields Runs a 4.43
According to reports from pro day, Fields ran a time between 4.43 to 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
A second scout there had Ohio State QB Justin Fields at 4.43. That's BLAZING fast for a quarterback his size. https://t.co/WJbIomDdGd— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 30, 2021
Fields had been shooting for a sub-4.4-second 40, but anything under a 4.5 is a fantastic time for a quarterback that demonstrates he has elite speed for the position he plays.
According to NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Fields measured in at 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds with 9 1/8" hand width, 32 1/2" arm length and a 74 1/8" wingspan.
With no combine, the scouts at these Pro Days will gather and call out numbers. Heres what theyve measured on Justin Fields at Ohio State:— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) March 30, 2021
Hand: 9 1/8
Arm: 32 4/8
Wingspan: 74 1/8
10: 1.59 / 1.57
20: 2.60 / 2.60
Were live on @nflnetwork!
Browning Breaks 4.6, Jumps 40 Inches
According to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, Baron Browning ran the 40-yard dash in less than 4.6 seconds on both of his attempts.
From scout at Ohio State— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 30, 2021
LB Barron Browning 4.53 & 4.58
Considering Browning is also a big linebacker at 6-foot-3 and 241 pounds, that's a fast time that will only help his NFL draft stock.
Even better, Browning had a 40-inch leap in the vertical jump and a 10-foot-10 leap in the broad jump on Tuesday. He acknowledged after the pro day that he even surprised himself with how well he jumped.
Ohio State running back Trey Sermon was also timed at 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash, according to Big Ten Network. That's not quite as fast as Sermon wanted, as he told Eleven Warriors last week he wanted to break 4.5 seconds to answer questions NFL scouts had about his top-end speed.
He said after the pro day that he had a 37-inch leap in the vertical jump, which raised money for his mother's nonprofit.
Togiai Puts Up 40 Reps
Tommy Togiai didn't put up quite as many reps as he wanted, but still had an impressive performance in the bench press on Tuesday.
Togiai had been shooting to break the NFL Scouting Combine record by putting up 50 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press on Tuesday, but he came up 10 short.
Still, 40 reps is absolutely nothing to scoff at, and backs up the assertion his Ohio State teammates made for years that he was the strongest player on the team. 40 reps would have been the second-most of any player of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, behind only current Denver Broncos guard Netane Muti; it's seven more than the 33 reps DaVon Hamilton had when he led all defensive players in the bench press at last year's combine.
With those 40 reps, Togiai raised more than $3,000 in donations through his pledge drive for Ohio State's LiFESports program.
As for Ohio State's offensive linemen, Josh Myers put up 29 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press while Wyatt Davis had 25. Justin Hilliard had a great bench press performance for a linebacker with 27 reps of 225 pounds, while Baron Browning had 23.
NFL Decision-Makers in Attendance
As you might expect for a pro day that features more than a dozen players who were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, NFL teams are well-represented at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday.
Each team is allowed to have up to three representatives at each pro day this year, and many teams have three representatives at Ohio State. Per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkh
Familiar faces in attendance including former Ohio State and current Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, former Ohio State linebacker and current Detroit Lions special assistant Chris Spielman, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy.
GM's in attendance: #Vikings Rick Spielman#WFT Martin Mayhew#Titans Jon Robinson#Steelers Kevin Colbert#Saints Mickey Loomis#Packers Brian Gutekunst#Jaguars Trent Baalke#Lions Brad Holmes#Panthers Scott Fitterer#Falcons Terry Fontenot#Browns Andrew Berry https://t.co/PsbyjgWJXa— Clayton Holloway (@HollowClay) March 30, 2021
As you might expect, some of the more well-represented teams at Tuesday's pro day include the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots – all teams that could be potential candidates to draft Fields as their quarterback of the future.
Also in C'bus ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 30, 2021
Lions exec Chris Spielman, TEs coach Ben Johnson.
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer, HC Matt Rhule, director of player personnel Pat Stewart.
Broncos GM George Paton, QBs coach Mike Shula.
Eagles QBs coach Brian Johnson.
Patriots exec Eliot Wolf.