Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buckeyes' Freeman dazzles at NFL Combine

Ohio State linebacker, Marcus Freeman, didn't come into the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine with a lot of fanfare.

Most scouts were ready to check out some of the top LB  prospects like the USC trio of Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews, Wake Forest's Aaron Curry and even Freeman's OSU teammate, James Laurinaitis.

However, by combine's end, Freeman had caught the eyes of many NFL teams, as he finished at or near the top in every category during the event.

His numbers and measurements:
Height and Weight — 6-1, 239-pounds.
Bench Press — 30 reps (tied for 1st).
Vertical Jump — 37 inches (tied for 1st).
40-Yard Dash — 4.74 seconds (tied for 7th).
3-Cone Drill — 6.98 seconds (4th).
20-Yard Shuttle — 4.12 (1st).

Freeman played most of the 2008 season hampered by an ankle injury. His numbers were still formidable, though, as he recorded 84 tackles (2nd on team), 3.5 sacks (3rd on team) and a team-high  9.5 tackles for loss. 

In 2007, when Freeman was injury-free, he tallied 109 tackles and 9.5 for loss.

Freeman has been projected anywhere from a late-first to third round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft in April.

Jenkins didn't test well
Buckeyes All-American cornerback, Malcolm Jenkins, didn't fare well at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, as he registered a 40-yard dash time in the 4.5-range. Many scouts were wanting to know whether he had the top-end speed to be an NFL cornerback

His times didn't prove that he could, so now, many are projecting Jenkins as a safety, which will more than likely drop his stock to the mid-to-late first round.

Jenkins did finish first in the 3-cone drill (6.59) and tied for fifth in the 20-yard shuttle (4.07).

Washington's stock rising
OSU cornerback, Donald Washington, like Freeman, caught the attention of the scouts as he recorded a 45-inch vertical and an a broad jump of 11-feet, three inches, both combine bests — regardless of position.

At 6-0 and 197 pounds, Washington may have jumped his stock (no pun intended) into the second or third round.