7 former Ohio State football players ready for 2013 NFL Combine
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 23:02
Seven Ohio State football alums will be among more than 300 participants whom NFL scouts will watch at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place Saturday through Tuesday inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Fullback Zach Boren, offensive tackle Reid Fragel, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, linebacker Etienne Sabino, defensive end John Simon, tight end Jake Stoneburner and defensive end Nathan Williams are the seven Buckeyes who received invites to the combine.
Fragel and Stoneburner will participate in on-field drills Saturday, while Boren will begin on Sunday and Hankins, Sabino, Simon and Williams will all have their day on Monday.
Each of the seven players go into the combine trying to prove that they are worthy NFL draft selections. What scouts are looking for from each player, however, will not be the same across the board.
Boren will be working out with the running backs on Sunday as a fullback, but NFL teams should be looking at him as a prospect primarily for his versatility.
Boren showed just how versatile he could be in his senior season, when he made a midseason switch to the defensive side of the ball, taking over as the team’s starting middle linebacker. He also has experience playing on special teams.
With that in mind, Boren will likely get extra work from the coaches after going through drills with the running backs, as teams will also be evaluating him as a potential contributor on defense and special teams.
Physical measurables, athleticism and health will all be under the microscope for Fragel at the combine.
Having converted from tight end to right tackle in his senior season, he is more athletic than most offensive tackles and has the upside to be a starting right tackle in the NFL. Scouts at the combine will be looking for Fragel to prove his athleticism by testing well in his drills on Saturday.
Weigh-ins will also be an important factor for Fragel: standing between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8, Fragel has very good height for an offensive tackle, but teams will look for him to weigh in at above 300 pounds. Also important for Fragel will be getting through the medical examination with a clean bill of health: he missed the Senior Bowl due to injury.
Hankins has the size, power and quickness to be a dominant NFL defensive tackle. His biggest concerns are his motor and stamina, as he tended to disappear late in games during his OSU career.
Because of that, scouts will be looking for Hankins to finish strong through his combine workout, and will assess whether his performance drops as the day goes along, to make an evaluation on his stamina level. Additionally, scouts will be focused on how Hankins’ athleticism stacks up against some of the draft’s other top nose tackles, including Utah’s Star Lotulelei and Alabama’s Jesse Williams.
Hankins, Lotulelei and Williams are all projected to be first-round picks in the 2013 NFL draft.
Sabino was a productive player in his senior season for the Buckeyes, but he never stood out amidst a talent-laden Buckeyes defense. He has a chance to be a late-round draft pick, but one way he can improve that chance is to stand out athletically during linebacker drills on Monday.
Sabino has good speed and lateral athleticism, which he will attempt to prove with his combine performance. He does not have the consistent game performances to secure being a draft selection, but he has the talent to catch the eyes of NFL teams in Indianapolis.
Sabino will also be examined closely in his medical evaluation, after missing four games in his senior season with a broken right fibula he suffered against Nebraska on Oct. 6.
Few players in the 2013 NFL draft class play the game with a stronger motor and work ethic than Simon do, but he does not stand out athletically on tape. He will have a chance to change that perception Monday, but the combine is not a favorable setting for Simon’s abilities.