Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, a projected first-round draft pick, felt good not only about the way he performed in front of dozens of NFL scouts at his pro day Wednesday, but about the fact that he simply performed period.
After spending the past few months recovering from a left elbow injury that required tendons to be surgically repaired, the 295-pound Heyward went through all drills except for the bench press. He ran his 40-yard dash in times around 4.95 seconds, and his vertical jump was around 35 inches, according to a source who was in attendance.
The workout was pretty much set up for Heyward and two other players who couldn’t participate in the Buckeyes’ March 11 pro day. Heyward didn’t participate in the NFL Scouting Combine last month, either, because he was recovering from surgery.
Heyward punched dummies and bags and moved his repaired limb with no limitations, adding that he felt no residual effects from the injury he sustained in the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl. Several hours after going through those drills, Heyward said he wasn’t experiencing any discomfort.
“It felt so good to go out there and perform for all those coaches,” Heyward said in a telephone interview. “Everything felt good, and I felt like I’ve gained a lot of my strength back.”
Heyward said he wasn’t asked by any teams about his upper body strength because the medical feedback showed the recovery portion of his injury is complete. Now it’s simply about him getting stronger.
Following his workout, Heyward was put through some tests by teams on a white board, and he said that parts went well. In fact, while he was recovering from his injury, Heyward said he was able to really gain in the game’s mental aspects.
“I learned about myself, learned to have patience, and I worked on some weaknesses,” said the son of former NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.
Cam Heyward is coveted because he played end and tackle at Ohio State and is viewed as someone who could play both in a 4-3 scheme, although end is his most proficient spot. He also can play end in a 3-4.