Monday, February 23, 2009
Top Big Ten performers at the NFL combine
By ESPN.com staff
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.