** On Friday (March 11,2016) Ohio State held its annual pro day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. It was arguably the biggest pro day ever conducted anywhere.
** There were 133 NFL scouts and coaches in attendance. Among the six head coaches were Mike Tomlin of the Steelers and Marvis Lewis of the Bengals. All NFL teams had somebody there.
** Twenty-two Buckeyes worked out, 10 of whom may go in the first or second round and 14 of whom have a realistic chance to be drafted.
** Perhaps the Buckeye with the most on the line was quarterback Cardale Jones, who had hurt his hamstring while running the 40 at the combine and therefore couldn’t throw. So this was his only chance to impress scouts, which he did with his terrific velocity. On whether he could become a franchise quarterback in the NFL Jones said, “I played at Ohio State. I’m not going to say it’s the same thing, but it’s almost the same magnitude.”
** Wide receiver Braxton Miller, a converted quarterback, improved his 40-yard dash time from 4.50 at the combine to 4,35 or 4.36. Said Miller, “I felt like I ran faster at the combine than I did here.”
** Defensive end Joey Bosa is the likely #1 overall pick of the Tennessee Titans. His younger brother Nick, an incoming freshman at Ohio State, was there for support; he wore a Titans shirt and hat. Joey improved his 4.86 time in the 40 at the combine to mid-4.7s and also improved his bench press repetitions from 24 to 28.
** Running back Ezekiel Elliott, generally regarded as the best at his position in the 2016 draft, did nothing to change that opinion. Said Elliott, “I think I showed versatility at the running back position. I’m a guy you can leave on the field for all three downs. I don’t want to say I deserve to be a top 10, top 15 pick; that’s not my decision.” His opinion was clear, though. And NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt would agree: “Elliott was a show stealer. Caught ball extremely well.”
** Wide receiver Michael Thomas improved his 40 time from 4.57 at the combine to about 4.4.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was impressed with the workout: “I thought Michael Thomas looked outstanding. Big, fast, and I like big receivers. Everybody likes big receivers. And he plays big.”
** Linebacker Chris Grant and defensive lineman Steve Miller participated in the pro day even though neither has been a Buckeye since the 2014 season.
** Other Buckeyes to take part in the pro day are listed here:
. Cornerback Eli Apple
. Safety Vonn Bell
. Offensive tackle Tyler Decker
. Offensive tackle Chase Farris
. Defensive lineman Chris Fong
. Wide receiver Jeff Greene
. Defensive tackle Joel Hale
. Running back Jeffie Johnson
. Linebacker Darron Lee
. Wide receiver Jalin Marshall
. Wide receiver Kato Mitchell
. Linebacker Joshua Perry
. Safety Tyvis Powell
. Tight end Nick Vannett
. Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington
** With all this talent off to the NFL, how will the Buckeyes do in 2016? Will it be a rebuilding year?
Or is Ohio State under great recruiter Meyer a “reload” team? Time will tell, but the thinking here is the latter.