Recapping the recent Big Ten pro days
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Three Big Ten teams held their annual pro scouting days last week, including the major talent showcase at Ohio State. In case you missed what went down, here's a look at the key developments at each school.
- Running back Chris "Beanie" Wells had the biggest day of any Buckeye, improving on his so-so 40-yard dash time from the NFL combine (4.59 seconds) by running around a 4.4 or below before scouts from 29 pro teams. Wells solidified himself as one of the top two running backs and could be taken ahead of Georgia's Knowshon Moreno in April.
- Linebacker Marcus Freeman continued his pre-draft push with another strong performance. Freeman improved his 40 time and likely boosted his stock after turning heads at the NFL combine.
- Linebacker James Laurinaitis and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins made slight improvements in their 40 times from the NFL combine. Wideout Brian Robiskie put up similar numbers to the combine, which bodes well for him. The big issue for Jenkins is whether he'll be asked to play cornerback or safety at the next level.
- After being spurned by the NFL combine, defensive tackle Nader Abdallah stepped up on pro day. His numbers in four of the six drills would have been among the top defensive tackles at the combine. Abdallah also has dropped about 20 pounds, which should help him on draft day.
- Scouts from more than 15 teams showed up in Evanston on Thursday, and running back Tyrell Sutton improved his 40 time after a disheartening result at the combine. Still, Sutton seems to be preparing himself for the possibility of not being drafted.
"Get to a mini-camp," said Sutton, predicted to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick. "Getting drafted means nothing. A lot of guys in the league have gone undrafted and proven a lot."
- It was somewhat surprising that John Gill didn't get a combine invite, but the defensive tackle seems to be building his case. Gill, considered a legit pro prospect before the 2008 season, put up better numbers in the short shuttle and 3-cone drill than any defensive tackle at the combine. He also has met with the Chicago Bears, according to the Chicago Sun-Times' Brad Biggs.
- Wide receiver Eric Peterman was interviewing for a job at American Airlines in December, but he might have a shot at an NFL roster after a strong pro day performance. According to the Sun-Times, Peterman ran 40 times of 4.45 and 4.47.
- Linebacker Anthony Heygood seemed disappointed in his performance at Purdue's pro day after not being invited to the NFL combine.
"I may have done these drills before over the course of my training but when you're out here doing the real thing and everybody is watching you, it's different," Heygood said. "Usually, I'm really good under pressure but I didn't have the day I wanted."
- Defensive tackle Alex Magee boosted his stock in front of representatives from 23 NFL teams, according to profootballtalk.com.
- Quarterback Curtis Painter also seemed pleased with his performance after a solid effort at the combine last month.
"This was probably one of my best workouts through this offseason and my training," Painter said. "I feel good about what I've done both here and at the Combine and hopefully I'll get some opportunities for some individual workouts between now and the draft."
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET Illinois Northwestern 12:00 PM ET Purdue Indiana 12:00 PM ET Michigan 6 Ohio State 3:30 PM ET 10 Michigan State Penn State 3:30 PM ET 18 Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 3:30 PM ET Rutgers Maryland