The Ohio State Pro Day kicks off Wednesday in one of the most anticipated workouts on the NFL Pro Day schedule. The Buckeyes boast three potential first-round picks, including a pair of top-10 choices and another trio of players expected to be selected on Day 2. There expects to be 118 representatives from 30 NFL teams on hand for OSU’s Pro Day, including 10 general managers and seven head coaches.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were always expected to have a large contingent in Columbus, but Dan Quinn, John Schneider, and Scott Fitterer were also all seen out and about Tuesday evening.
Pro Day News and Rumors | Ohio State Pro Day Takes Center Stage
C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr. Set To Headline
As posted on Twitter yesterday, Harrison was expected to participate in today’s workout and was one of the targets Stroud throws passes to. This gave teams the ability to do some advanced scouting on Harrison, who is expected to be a top-10 selection in 2024. NFL Network’s James Palmer confirmed there “will be plenty of eyes” on Harrison already.
Stroud was, of course, be the center of the show, and the Carolina Panthers already “met” with Stroud, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Don’t expect blazing times from Smith-Njigba when he runs today — something possibly in the range of the high 4.4-second area. He’s football fast, not 40 fast. And for those keeping track, Smith-Njigba dined with the New York Giants on Tuesday evening.
Stroud had a really good day. From a fundamental perspective, he throws with a quick, smooth, compact stroke and the ball always leaves his hand with speed. A few of his shorter and intermediate passes in the early part of the workout got away from him and he was frustrated. They weren’t inaccurate passes rather they were not precisely placed and wideouts were leaving their feet or reaching backward for the ball.
Stroud delivered some magnificent deep balls and let wide outs run to the pass. The deep throws Stroud delivered rolling outside the pocket were extremely impressive. What was also impressive is how easily he throws the long ball. There’s no need for him to put more effort into his delivery to get extra speed on the ball.
I think Smith-Njigba walked away from pro day a real winner. Getting under 4.5 seconds in the forty was huge for the receiver. His position work was brilliant. He runs such quick routes and displays tremendous footwork and does it all while perfectly balanced. There’s no wasted motion or inefficiency. There was a distinct difference between Smith-Njigba and Harrison though as the latter had to gather and chop his footsteps in and out of routes. There was none of that from Smith-Njigba.
He also caught the ball very well. One deep reception my way was extremely impressive as Smith-Njigba had to track the ball against the dreary grey ceiling of the Woody Hayes Center. He did not break stride and let the ball fall into his hands.
Smith-Njigba was my number one rated wide out before pro day and the spread between him and #2 just got a little wider.
The Steelers’ brain trust took a private jet to Columbus, Ohio, from yesterday’s Iowa State workout. When they arrived, they cornered the market on the Buckeye linemen. The Steelers had dinner with offensive tackles Dawand Jones and Paris Johnson Jr., as well as center Luke Wypler. Also at the meal was pass rusher Zach Harrison.
One note on Wypler. The Combine results at NFL.com incorrectly listed his 10-yard split as 1.83 seconds. The official report sent to NFL teams has a time of 1.73 and 1.74 seconds as the 10-yard splits on his 40 attempts. This is a significant difference for a center that most project as a zone-blocking lineman.
Cade Stover Is Also Set To Participate on Wednesday
Junior tight end Cade Stover will also participate in pro day and catch passes from Stroud. Stover initially had designs on entering this year’s draft, but a late-season injury, which I was told he suffered during the semi-final playoff contest against Georgia, made him reverse course.
Paris Johnson Stars in Offensive Line Drills
Offensive line drills are over. Dawand Jones did not participate.
Paris Johnson was nothing less than spectacular. He showed great bend, athleticism, and agility. During pulling drills he moved like a very athletic defensive end. His footwork in pass protection drills was outstanding. Johnson looked every bit like the top offensive lineman in this draft and a top-10 pick.
The New York Jets ran both Johnson and center Luke Wypler through additional offensive line drills. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel kept close watch while this was going on.
Wypler also had a fine day. He wasn’t as athletic or quick compared to his teammate yet very much looked like he has starting potential on Sunday for a team that needs a center.
Zach Harrison Shows Athleticism
Zach Harrison looked smooth and athletic. He easily moved through the bags and had a quick, fluid change of direction. He did wear down a bit and didn’t show much punch. Harrison has a long, thin frame that he has to add bulk to.
I thought Tarron Vincent, a Shrine Bowl participant, looked really good. He’s not as athletic as Harrison nor as long but is super quick and moved with balance. Vincent told PFN during an interview at Shrine practice, the rotational style used by the Buckeyes on the defensive line made it difficult for him to get into a rhythm during games.
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