One could argue that Tuesday's Pro Day in Columbus is as important as any that the Ohio State Buckeyes have ever hosted, for several reasons.
Chief among those - with the cancellation of the NFL Scouting Combine in its traditional form this year, this is truly the best opportunity for Ohio State's premier players from last season to showcase their skillset to NFL teams.
According to NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, 31 of the 32 NFL franchises are represented today in Columbus. Only the Rams are not in attendance. The list of those in attendance includes twelve general managers and four head coaches (Mike Tomlin, Urban Meyer, Mike McCarthy and Arthur Smith).
Justin Fields is perhaps the team's only slam-dunk first round pick. Fields will work out with eyeballs from all over the country squarely on him, especially after the San Francisco 49ers recently traded up to the No. 3 overall pick (even though they've since come out and said they don't intend to trade Jimmy Garappolo and they are okay with drafting a rookie QB to pair with him).
Fields will try to run a sub 4.40 40-yard dash time, something he claimed he would be able to do by the time Pro Day arrived. Should he do that, it would be one of the fastest times ever posted by an NFL quarterback.
As far as what to expect from Fields' actual workout, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer says Fields will go through a 65-throw script.
“Fields will start with four quick throws from under center and then the gun to show how fast he can get rid of the ball, and that’ll give way to a 65-throw script. There’ll be under-center throws that mirror what is typically done at the combine, staple throws from Ohio State’s offense, throws with NFL play-action concepts, and some movement throws. Then, there’ll be a few where space is shut down around him, and he has to plant his feet and throw out of a ‘crowded’ area.”
Fields will work out for NFL scouts alongside former teammates Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Drue Chrisman, Jonathon Cooper, Wyatt Davis, Luke Farrell, Blake Haubeil, Jake Hausmann, Justin Hilliard, C.J. Saunders, Trey Sermon, Tommy Togiai and Pete Werner. Shaun Wade will not participate as he deals with an injury - he will instead work out for scouts on April 14. Josh Myers will be available today only in a limited capacity as he deals with a turf toe injury.
While it's important to remember that this is an important day for those 14 former Buckeyes in particular, it's also an extremely crucial day for the program in general. I asked Ryan Day in his Monday press conference to explain why Pro Day is so meaningful for guys on his current team and for what it does in the recruiting process. His answer is in the video at the top of the page.
Ohio State will make many of the players available for interviews after the workouts conclude. Unfortunately, today's event is closed to local media because of the pandemic. But you can watch live coverage on Big Ten Network, with reports from ESPN and NFL Network as well.
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