With just two losses over the past two seasons, the Ohio State football team had plenty of talent to showcase at its anticipated pro day Friday.
Six Buckeyes who were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine were in action along with 10 other prospects who were hoping to improve their stock.
There were plenty of high-profile scouts in attendance as seen in this photo courtesy of Ohio State Athletics on Twitter:
Running back Carlos Hyde was of particular interest as he vies to become the first player at his position off the draft board in May, but he was limited at Ohio State's pro day.
Hyde suffered a hamstring injury while running the 40-yard dash at the combine, according to Tom Reed of Cleveland.com. Despite the injury, NFL Network's Mike Mayock didn't believe that it would be a major issue moving forward.
It's one thing if something happened like (Oklahoma cornerback) Aaron Colvin at the Senior Bowl where you tear an ACL. It's another thing when you pull a calf or a hammy. It's a temporary setback. Hopefully he will be ready for the Ohio State pro day.
Hyde was present Friday, but he made the decision to refrain from running the 40, per Kyle Rowland of ElevenWarriors.com:
Carlos Hyde will not run today at Ohio State's Pro Day. Tweaked his hamstring two weeks ago at the combine in Indy.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) March 7, 2014
Although Hyde likely would have loved to improve upon his 4.66 time from the combine, it wasn't worth risking further injury. Hyde did participate in positional drills, however, as seen in this video courtesy of Brutus Buckeye on Instagram:
Hyde didn't do much to help or hurt his draft stock, but the same can't be said for linebacker Ryan Shazier. As a borderline first-round prospect, Shazier had a lot riding on his workout. Shazier opted to pass on running the 40-yard dash at the combine, and that proved to be a brilliant decision.
Speed is a huge part of the undersized Shazier's game, and it was on full display Friday. Although there are no official times available yet, Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni clocked Shazier at a blistering 4.37 seconds:
I had Shazier at 4.37 on my official iPhone stopwatch #speedkills— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) March 7, 2014
As amazing as that sounds, there is reason to believe it could be accurate based on this photo that perfectly captured Shazier's blazing speed:
Even if the unofficial time is off by one-tenth of a second, Shazier still looks to be the fastest linebacker in the 2014 draft class as Boston College's Kevin Pierre-Louis had the best linebacker 40 at the combine with a time of 4.51 seconds, per NFL.com.
Shazier also declared himself as a versatile player who can potentially fit into any scheme at the NFL level:
After his pro day performance, one can only assume Shazier has cemented himself as a first-round prospect.
Offensive lineman Jack Mewhort also attempted to earn that distinction Friday. Unlike Shazier, though, he decided to sit out all of the combine-style workouts, according to Steve Slivka of WTVG-TV:
Ohio State Pro Day: Mewhort will run through OL drills, no "combine" drills.— Steve Slivka (@steveslivka) March 7, 2014
Although Mewhort played left tackle in 2013, he has experience at essentially every offensive line position. That versatility could help him on draft day, and Mewhort is well aware of that as he even did some center drills, per Ben Axelrod of BuckeyeSports.com:
Jack Mewhort snapping the ball at Ohio State's pro day. Making himself marketable at all five positions at Buckeyes pro day.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) March 7, 2014
It was tough to take a ton away from Mewhort's workouts Friday, but Bleacher Report's Dan Hope was impressed with his athleticism:
OL drills finished. Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley clearly more athletic than Andrew Norwell, who still clearly more athletic than Marcus Hall.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 7, 2014
Cornerback Bradley Roby was also present, and he competed in the three-cone drill as well as defensive back drills. Roby displayed athleticism and fluidity, but Hope felt as though he looked better at the combine:
Not as good of a day in drills here for Bradley Roby as the combine was. Dropped a few passes off his hands.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 7, 2014
Quarterback Kenny Guiton had more to prove than perhaps anyone at Ohio State's pro day. Guiton backed up Braxton Miller over the past couple seasons, but he shined whenever he was given an opportunity.
Guiton's ceiling is unclear due to a lack of playing time with the Buckeyes, but pro day offered a stage for him to impress NFL talent evaluators.
Unfortunately for Guiton, the reviews weren't exactly glowing. Rowland acknowledged Guiton, but mostly praised Hyde's performance in passing drills:
Kenny Guiton just OK throwing. But Hyde showing a great burst even with bum hammy.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) March 7, 2014
Inconsistency in terms of accuracy is a major concern when it comes to Guiton, and it is easy to see why in this video courtesy of Cleveland.com on Instagram:
Which Buckeye had the best pro day?
The Ohio State pro day may not have featured any elite prospects that will be selected early in the first round of May's draft, but the majority of those who participated Friday will end up on an NFL roster in some way, shape or form.
Shazier's showing was particularly eye-opening, and he may have ensured he will be the first Buckeye off the board, although Roby could potentially earn that honor.
Hyde wasn't 100 percent, but he still proved to be a dynamic player in positional drills, which bodes well for him considering how productive he was on the field in 2013.
Pro days are meant to leave scouts impressed, and most of those who performed Friday succeeded in that regard.
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