Top Big Ten performers at the NFL combine
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
For those of you who didn't spend the last few days glued to a TV or a computer for up-to-the-minute NFL combine updates, here's a snapshot of how Big Ten players fared at the premier pre-draft event.
The NFL lists the top performers in seven different categories. Keep in mind that not every Big Ten player and position group participates in every event.
- Purdue's Curtis Painter, tied for sixth among quarterbacks, 4.87 seconds
- Purdue's Kory Sheets, third among running backs, 4.47 seconds
- Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells, tied for 10th among running backs, 4.59 seconds
- Penn State's Deon Butler, fourth among wide receivers, 4.38 seconds
- Illinois' Xavier Fulton, third among offensive linemen, 5.04 seconds
- Penn State's Gerald Cadogan, tied for fourth among offensive linemen, 5.12 seconds
- Ohio State's Wells, tied for sixth among running backs, 25 repetitions
- Purdue's Greg Orton, third among wide receivers, 22 reps
- Penn State's Derrick Williams, 10th among wide receivers, 15 reps
- Wisconsin's Travis Beckum, tied for first among tight ends, 28 reps
- Ohio State's Alex Boone and Penn State's A.Q. Shipley, tied for fourth among offensive linemen, 33 reps
- Iowa's Rob Bruggeman, tied for 10th among offensive linemen, 30 reps
- Michigan's Terrance Taylor, first among defensive linemen, 37 reps
- Purdue's Alex Magee, tied for eighth among defensive linemen, 30 reps
- Ohio State's Marcus Freeman, tied for second among linebackers, 30 reps
- Wisconsin's Jonathan Casillas, tied for 10th among linebackers, 24 reps
- Michigan State's Brian Hoyer, sixth among quarterbacks, 32 inches
- Iowa's Shonn Greene and Purdue's Kory Sheets, tied for fifth among running backs, 37 inches
- Penn State's Jordan Norwood and Purdue's Orton, tied for sixth among wide receivers, 38 inches
- Ohio State's Brian Robiskie, seventh among wide receivers, 37.5 inches
- Illinois' Fulton and Penn State's Shipley, tied for sixth among offensive linemen, 31 inches
- Penn State's Aaron Maybin, third among defensive linemen, 38 inches
- Illinois' Derek Walker, fourth among defensive linemen, 37.5 inches
- Michigan State's Hoyer, tied for sixth among quarterbacks, 9'1"
- Ohio State's Wells, first among running backs, 10'8"
- Iowa's Greene and Purdue's Sheets, tied for fifth among running backs, 10'1"
- Purdue's Orton, seventh among wide receivers, 10'5"
- Illinois' Fulton, tied for first, 9'3"
- Purdue's Painter, tied for fourth among quarterbacks, 7 seconds
- Michigan State's Javon Ringer, tied for fifth among running backs, 6.87 seconds
- Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton, 10th among running backs, 6.94 seconds
- Ohio State's Brian Hartline, tied for second among wide receivers, 6.65 seconds
- Ohio State's Robiskie, fifth among wide receivers, 6.72 seconds
- Penn State's Norwood, tied for eighth among wide receivers, 6.8 seconds
- Illinois' Fulton, second among offensive linemen, 7.35 seconds
- Penn State's Shipley, tied for fourth among offensive linemen, 7.46 seconds
- Iowa's Seth Olsen, ninth among offensive linemen, 7.59 seconds
- Michigan State's Hoyer, tied for sixth among quarterbacks, 4.42 seconds
- Michigan State's Ringer, third among running backs, 4.11 seconds
- Ohio State's Hartline, fourth among wide receivers, 4.12 seconds
- Ohio State's Robiskie, eighth among wide receivers, 4.19 seconds
- Penn State's Norwood, ninth among wide receivers, 4.2 seconds
- Indiana's Andrew Means, 10th among wide receivers, 4.21 seconds
- Penn State's Shipley, second among offensive linemen, 4.4 seconds
- Illinois' Fulton, sixth among offensive linemen, 4.56 seconds
- Purdue's Sheets, sixth among running backs, 11.7 seconds
- Ohio State's Hartline, first among wide receivers, 10.92 seconds
- Penn State's Butler, third among wide receivers, 11.32 seconds
The combine is only one component of the draft evaluation process, yet a very important one. Here are my thoughts on these results:
- Why did Purdue struggle so much on offense last year? Painter clearly had more athleticism that he showed, and Sheets proved to be a valuable player as well. Orton likely helped his draft stock as well at the combine.
- For a guy that took a ton of criticism last year, it was interesting to see Hoyer perform well at the combine. He clearly has some good athleticism, and if he can get a bit more consistent in the passing game, he could find a spot at the next level. His win-loss record at Michigan State should not be overlooked.
- Arguably no Big Ten player helped his draft stock more than Fulton, who placed among the top offensive linemen in five different categories. The second-team All-Big Ten selection might not have had the dominant senior season he expected, but his combine performance makes up for it.
- Beanie Wells can jump. Anyone who watched him hurdle Illinois safety Donsay Hardeman on Nov. 15 already knew that.
- Ringer underwent knee surgery last month but still performed well, finishing second in the 20-yard shuttle run.
- Some wondered why Hartline turned pro a year early. His combine performance should silence the critics. Ohio State clearly didn't maximize what it had at the wide receiver position last year with Hartline and Robiskie.
- Despite an injury-plagued senior season, Beckum should still go pretty high in the draft. His benchpress victory can't hurt his cause.
- Penn State's Shipley also had a good combine, showing good speed and agility.