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Ohio State: What is at stake for Buckeyes at the NFL Combine?

Dwayne Haskins-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is vying to be the top overall selection in the NFL Draft. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Question Of The Day

Ohio State: What is at stake for Buckeyes at the NFL Combine?

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics on Ryan Day and the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about the NFL Combine? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

INDIANAPOLIS — Few job interviews are as high-profile, pressurized and public as the one former Ohio State players are dealing with this week at the NFL Combine.

The process has already been well underway for most of the 10 Buckeyes going through the paces here for representatives of every team in the league ahead of April’s draft. It doesn’t just include getting physically measured or the televised on-field workouts. It’s actually a stressful four-day event that begins with travel and orientation, medical examinations, conversations with team personnel, psychological testing and media interviews — all before going out to actually do some football drills on the turf.

As for the schedule:

  • FRIDAY: Running backs and offensive linemen are scheduled for on-field workouts today, which means action for Mike Weber, Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince.
  • SATURDAY: Tight ends, wide receivers and quarterbacks are on deck for the throwing portion of the weekend. Dwayne Haskins will obviously be the main attraction for Ohio State, but it’s a key session as well for Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin.
  • SUNDAY: Attention shifts to the defensive side of the ball with linemen and linebackers. Nick Bosa will get his turn in the spotlight alongside Dre’Mont Jones.
  • MONDAY: Defensive backs bring the festivities to a close, and Kendall Sheffield will have his chance to show off his athleticism.

So, who has the most at stake for the Buckeyes as the draft creeps closer? Here are a couple storylines for Ohio State that Lettermen Row will be watching during our coverage at the NFL Combine.

Nick Bosa-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Former Ohio State star Nick Bosa is looking to prove that he’s healthy at the NFL Combine. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Who is No. 1?

The Buckeyes have two legitimate options to become the first player off the board, and it will be entertaining to see if a friendly rivalry develops between buddies Nick Bosa and Dwayne Haskins in the buildup to the draft. Bosa doesn’t really have all that much to prove beyond showing that he’s fully healed from the core-muscle injury that cost him almost all of his final season with the Buckeyes. That’s a big deal, of course, but his potential, production and reputation were already established before the injury. On the other hand, despite his prolific, record-breaking season leading the Buckeyes last year, the NFL may have more questions about Haskins since he only started for one year. Odds are, though, they’re going to like what they find out about him, which will make for a fascinating debate heading into April.

Who is winning the Ohio State speed derby?

Another debate that will have two potential winners coming from Ohio State: The always anticipated 40-yard dash. The honor of the fastest man at the Combine can tend to come with a stock boost along with the bragging rights, and both Parris Campbell and Kendall Sheffield have the kind of blazing speed that could claim the crown. Will Sheffield’s track background give him an edge? Will Campbell get his told-them-so moment after being snubbed last summer as one of college football’s fastest players? Those two could steal the show with an unofficial, head-to-head race.

Parris Campbell-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Speedy wide receiver Parris Campbell could give Ohio State the 40-yard dash champion. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Which Buckeyes have the most to gain?

The rise of Terry McLaurin shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anybody who has watched him develop at Ohio State. But the do-it-all captain is almost certainly going to continue his climb up the draft boards that started at the Senior Bowl in January when he gets to sit down with teams for interviews to show off his maturity, knowledge of the game and personality. But if McLaurin is an obvious pick, then Mike Weber might be the guy who could emerge from Indianapolis with more organizations looking at him as a potential building block in the backfield. Thanks to injuries and the shared workload at Ohio State, Weber never got as much acclaim as perhaps he should have with the program. But he’s got NFL ability, and this weekend marks a chance for him to start reminding folks of that.

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Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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