With 125 representatives from all 32 NFL teams present at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Friday, 22 former Ohio State Buckeyes had their final chance to prove their playing abilities to coaches and scouts at OSU’s annual pro day.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott, one of several Buckeyes projected in most mock drafts to go in the first round, said he felt the pressure of the pro day’s magnitude after weeks of preparation.
“You don’t have another game next week,” Elliott said. “You have one big day. Today was a lot of guys’ last chance to show what they’ve got before the final workout.”
That final workout, similarly to the NFL combine, which was held last month, consisted of the football workout staples such as the 40-yard dash and the three-cone shuffle. After running a 4.50-second 40-yard run at the combine, wide receiver Braxton Miller looked to improve to his personal goal of 4.30. He got close, reportedly recording a 4.35 time.
Then, players split off into different position workouts. After not being able to throw at the NFL combine because of a hamstring injury, quarterback Cardale Jones not only impressed the coaches and scouts in the room, but also the former quarterback Miller.
“(Cardale) looked great,” Miller said. “I told him he launched that thing on that go (route) and out-threw me. He’s still got it man. He still has the strongest arm I have ever seen.”
On the defensive side of the ball, all eyes were on defensive end and possible top-five pick Joey Bosa. Not only did Bosa impress with his forceful attack on the defensive line drills, he impressed the majority of people during his participation in linebacker drills with tipping passes and interceptions.
Another one of those linebackers, Joshua Perry, said he has no expectations on where he will be drafted but hoped Friday’s activities helped his cause.
“Everyone wants to be a first-round pick, but I want to be a guy that’s taken as high as possible,” Perry said. “It only takes one team to fall in love with you, and I’m going to go work for them and show them what I’ve got.”
After pro day ended, different players expressed different feelings toward their futures in the NFL. As for Miller, he said he was just glad all of it was over.
“All of the stress is gone now,” Miller said. “You got the Senior Bowl out. Combine, pro day; you can checkmark all of those. I did everything I had to do. I feel great.”
Elliott said he knew that no matter what happened on Friday, he is still creeping closer to his NFL dreams coming true.
“It is definitely fun because you finally get to do what you have trained your whole life for,” he said. “It’s what we have worked our whole lives for, and we are finally seeing our dreams coming together.”
The NFL draft is set to begin on April 28 and continue through April 30.