COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Woody Hayes Athletic Center has always been a “must stop” on the NFL’s annual spring “pro days” tour stop. Wednesday was no different as all 32 NFL teams sent representatives to attend Ohio State’s annual Pro Day, which attracted a collection of NFL GMs, coaches, scouts and family members and media.
Under the watchful eye of assistant athletic director for football sports performance Mickey Marotti, 11 players off the 2018 Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions took part in some combination of interviews, testing and competitive drills for over 100 NFL representatives.
Four head coaches here on hand: Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals), Pat Shurmur (New York Giants), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings) and Jay Gruden (Washington Redskins). Among the general managers on hand were, among others, Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders), John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers), Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings) and Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills). The Cleveland Browns had the most representatives, sending a total of 12 people.
The NFL Network aired two full hours of live programing from Pro Day, including interviews with head coach Ryan Day, DE Nick Bosa, QB Dwayne Haskins and DT Dre’Mont Jones. Analyzing the workouts were Daniel Jeremiah and Aditi Kinkhabwala. ESPN was also on hand, sending both Louis Riddick and Todd McShay, who aired live sessions and conducted interviews with both Bosa and Haskins.
Today’s competitors included three of the last year’s captains that helped spearhead the greatest statistical year from a wide receiver unit in school history: Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon. They caught passes from Haskins, who put together an impressive half-hour workout in which he made throws to all areas of the field. Along the offensive line, Isaiah Prince, Malcolm Pridgeon, Demetrius Knox and Michael Jordan all worked out. On defense, Dre’Mont Jones and Dante Booker were among those who took instructions from the scouts and coaches on hand.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
Louis Riddick, ESPN analyst: “Coach Day and this program have things rolling. You look at what they are doing on the field and the amount of talent that is produced in this program, it’s as good as anyone. The stuff you see here will easily translate to the NFL and they’ll be well represented come the 2019 NFL season.”
Todd McShay, ESPN analyst: “In terms of sheer quantity, you can put Ohio State up against anyone as far as producing NFL talent. What stands out to me is the overall speed. They’ve clearly put a premium on recruiting very talented, very fast athletes and it shows. These are probably the fastest team’s that Ohio State’s ever had.”
Rick Spielman, Minnesota Vikings GM: “When an Ohio State player comes into the league, you know you’re getting someone who is mature and who’s played at a high level. They’ll be ready to handle what’s put in front of them.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network analyst: “What sticks out to me is the bond you feel among the players. You won’t go anywhere and see guys cheer for each other the way they do here. The track record speaks for itself. There’s so much talent here and they’ve made the transition to contribute at the next level. You combine the talent, the competitiveness and the coaching, it makes it easy to see why.”