NFL Scouting Combine presents opportunities for multiple Buckeyes

All eyes of football junkies will be on Indianapolis starting Feb. 27.

That is where the annual NFL Scouting Combine is set to take place giving coaches, scouts and players a chance to meet and get to know each other.

Ohio State football will be well-represented, as usual.

>>RELATED: A closer look at Ohio State’s draft hopefuls

Here are five things for Buckeye fans to know about the annual football-fest/job fair:

1. Only national championship game participants Clemson and Alabama had more players invited. 

The champion Tigers and runner-up Crimson Tide have 11 invitees apiece, one more than Ohio State.

Ohio State has had at least eight players invited to the combine four years in a row after sending only four in 2015.

According to the OSU sports information department, Ohio State and Alabama are tied with the most combine invites (43) in the nation over the last four years.

2. Player media interview begin Thursday, and on-field workouts start Friday. 

Running back Mike Weber and offensive linemen Isaiah Prince and Michael Jordan will get the first chance among the Buckeyes in town to show NFL personnel what they can do physically Friday.

One day before working out, they are scheduled to meet with reporters on the first day of media interviews (as opposed to interviews between players and team officials).

“Select quarterbacks” are to do media interviews Thursday, too, so that might be Big Ten MVP Dwayne Haskins’ turn to get the national spotlight.

3. Saturday will be a busy day for Ohio State. 

Haskins and three of his top targets from a record-breaking 2018 season — receivers Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin — are scheduled to work out on Saturday.

Haskins is regarded as having a strong, accurate arm, but his athleticism might be of more interest as lack of it is one of the knocks on him.

He was reluctant to run early last season but became even tougher to stop later in the year when he began to pick his spots, suggesting there is even room to grow in that area.

Strong overall workouts could make teams more comfortable taking him at the very top of the draft as opposed to later in the first round.

4. The receivers could make a lot of noise. 

We mean this literally and figuratively. All three are strong interviews, so they should come across well both in front of the media and with team officials.

Their workouts will be intriguing, too, for different reasons.

McLaurin, who is a native of Indianapolis, will be looking to build on a strong week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., where he was one of the most impressive performers in practice. Viewed as an average athlete, he could make himself some money with strong times and workout numbers.

Campbell is a long-strider who was known as one of the fastest Ohio State players, and he will want to prove it and raise his chances of being a first-round pick. He can also alleviate any lingering concerns about his hands during receiver drills.

Dixon will enter the week with a lower profile than his former teammates, which perhaps means he has the most to gain. The Florida native has always been regarded as a speedster and could turn some heads with a blazing 40-yard dash, but agility drills might help him appear more versatile and therefore more appealing.

5. Sunday is Nick Bosa day. 

After missing most of his junior season recovering from core muscle surgery, Bosa has a chance to solidify himself as the No. 1 overall pick.

The defensive lineman should test off the charts if he is fully healthy, but getting a clean bill of health is probably the most important part of the week for Bosa.

Fellow defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones is also regarded as a potential first-round pick and could differentiate himself from others with a strong showing. He is regarded as a great athlete with a good motor, so scouts might be most interested in his strength numbers.

6. Last but not least is Kendall Sheffield. 

Everyone loves to watch the cornerbacks turn it loose, and Sheffield has much to gain on the last day of workouts Monday, March 4.

The Ohio State record-holder in the 60-meter dash was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, and a great showing physically could send scouts back to study his film more intently.

After a so-so college career, Sheffield could be the rare prospect who enters March under the radar and enters first-round discussions by April.

About the Author