Don’t be surprised if the Pittsburgh Steelers select an Ohio State player come April’s NFL Draft.
Or even multiple Buckeyes.
Coach Mike Tomlin, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and director of football operations Kevin Colbert were among the representatives from the Super Bowl winners at the Ohio State Pro Day on Friday in Columbus, Ohio. Also in attendance was Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. In all, 29 NFL teams sent scouts and coaches, including approximately 15 position coaches, to watch 32 players (20 from Ohio State and 12 others from area schools) perform indoors. Most performed on FieldTurf, though six players ran their 40-yard dashes on AstroTurf.
With so many players, it made for a long day. The pro day started at 6:00 a.m. and ended at 3:30 p.m. in what was a well-organized event.
LB James Laurinaitis (6-2 1/8, 242 pounds), CB Malcolm Jenkins (6-0 1/2, 204 pounds) and RB Chris “Beanie” Wells (6-1 3/8, 237 pounds) were among the top prospects performing. Laurinaitis was clocked at 4.72 and 4.75 in the 40-yard dash, with times of 4.18 in the short shuttle and 6.81 in the three-cone drill. He kept the rest of his numbers from the combine.
Jenkins, who is being looked at as a safety as well as a cornerback due to slow times in the 40, tried to improve on his 40 numbers at the pro day, but was unsuccessful. He turned in times of 4.58 and 4.55 in Columbus after running between 4.52 and 4.58 at the NFL combine in Indianapolis (4.55 or quicker is considered ideal for NFL corners). He stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine.
Wells was pleased with most of his numbers from the combine, choosing only to run the 40-yard dash again. He was clocked at 4.44 and 4.38 at the pro day.
Another strong performance came from LB Marcus Freeman (6-0 3/4, 239 pounds). He looked really good in drills and was healthy for the first time in a while after battling a bad ankle all season long at Ohio State. He ran the 40 in 4.51 and 4.52 seconds, and he turned in times of 4.08 in the short shuttle and 6.66 in the three-cone drill.
Other notables from the pro day:
WR Brian Robiskie (6-2 7/8, 205 pounds) looked good in position drills and improved on his 40 time, running a 4.52 and a 4.54. He stood on the rest of his numbers from the NFL combine.
CB Donald Washington (6-0 1/8, 199 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.52 and 4.54 seconds and had times of 4.13 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.70 in the three-cone drill.
OT Alex Boone (6-7 1/4, 315 pounds) stood on his numbers from the combine.
QB Todd Boeckman (6-4 3/4, 240 pounds) ran 40-yard dash times of 4.78 and 4.75 on AstroTurf. He had a 31-inch vertical and a 9-foot, 3-inch broad jump with a 4.39 short shuttle and a 7.08 three-cone drill.
WR Brian Hartline (6-1 5/8, 193 pounds) stood on most of his numbers from the combine, but did run the 40 with times of 4.54 and 4.49.
– Gil Brandt