The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine will kick-off in Indianapolis on Feb. 28th and continue through March 6th. In those few days, 330 draft prospects from around the country will be competing in skills challenges and putting their strength on display in front of hundreds of NFL coaching staffs and front offices -- as well as meeting with teams and the media. This year, 8 former Ohio State players earned the chance to follow in the footsteps of those legendary Buckeyes before them for their first real tryout at the next level.
Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston was the first Buckeye to announce he had received his invitation to participate in this year’s combine. The 198-pound Australian finished his final season in Columbus with 56 punts for a career-high 2,614 yards — averaging 46.7 yards per kick.
Several Buckeyes participating in the combine are those who decided to declare early for the draft, including: WR Noah Brown, CB Gareon Conley, CB Marshon Lattimore, LB Raekwon McMillan, and H-back Curtis Samuel. Brown was the first of the early-departed to announce that he had received a formal invitation to the NFL Combine.
Safety Malik Hooker was invited, but will miss the opportunity after undergoing surgery in late-January to repair a torn labrum and hernia that he played with at the end of the 2016 season.
Center Pat Elflein was the only other Ohio State graduate — along with Johnston — invited to Indianapolis, after turning down an earlier invite to play in the Senior Bowl last month.
Not all NFL hopefuls out of Ohio State got an invite to perform at the combine, but they will still get their chance to show off in front of scouts at Ohio State’s Pro Day. Last year’s event drew over a hundred personnel from all 32 NFL teams, and with the rookie class’ success, there’s no doubt teams will be interested in the next round of talent.
Wide receiver and special team player Dontre Wilson never got his invite to Indianapolis, but isn’t going to let that keep him from going after his dream.
No Senior Bowl invite. No Combine Invite. More Motivation for me . Odds stacked against me yet again. God on my side = Success— Dontre Wilson (@treydayy_) February 2, 2017
Each position group will follow a four-day schedule once they arrive in Indy, with each player having an opportunity to get in front of teams, doctors and the media. Some players may elect to sit out of one or more of the on-field workouts as they get closer to the event, but will still have a chance to perform them later on at their Pro Day workout should they so choose.
- Day 1: Registration, Pre-Exam and X-rays, Orientation and Interviews
- Day 2: Measurements, Medical Exams and Interviews
- Day 3: Psychological Testing, NFLPA Meeting, Media, Bench Press and Interviews
- Day 4: On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills)
There is a lot of pressure on the NFL prospects that follow the record-tying 2016 Ohio State draft class, but there are seven Buckeyes — excluding Hooker — who are going to do their best to live up to the hype.