The NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis from Feb. 23-29. While schools from all around the country will be sending representatives to the Combine, no other school is more widely represented than the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Ohio State will be sending 14 players to this event, the most of any school in the history of the Combine. All of these players were strong contributors to Ohio State's 2014 national championship team, as well as this past season when the Buckeyes finished 12-1 and ranked fourth in the country.
For some Buckeyes, such as defensive end Joey Bosa or running back Ezekiel Elliott, the pressure to perform well at the Combine is not nearly as intense. After all, Bosa is among those considered to be in play as the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and does not need to show to scouts and personnel directors in Indianapolis the skills that have made him such a highly coveted player. The same could probably be said for Elliott.
For other Buckeyes, the Combine may offer an opportunity to showcase their talent, and potentially improve their draft stock. Below are five Buckeyes who may be looking forward to participating in the various drills at the upcoming Combine.
5. Tight End Nick Vannett
Vannett had a challenging senior season, battling injuries. Vannett was invited to the Senior Bowl, and had an impressive week there. With another strong week at the Combine, Vannett may find himself moving up the rankings of his position group.
4. Outside Linebacker Joshua Perry
Perry was also invited to the Senior Bowl, but suffered a groin injury and was unable to participate. Perry could improve his draft stock by participating in the Combine, especially in drills that focus on pass coverage.
3. Safety Tyvis Powell
Powell was another Buckeye participating at the Senior Bowl. Powell was somewhat of a surprise early entrant to the draft, even to head coach Urban Meyer. Fully participating in the Combine drills may improve Powell’s draft stock.
2. Quarterback Cardale Jones
Jones had another year of eligibility, but decided to enter the draft. As an underclassman, Jones could not participate in the Senior Bowl. It is quite common for quarterbacks to not throw at the Combine, but in Jones' case, it may be beneficial. Jones' strong arm may be showcased to NFL teams searching for a developmental quarterback.
1. Wide Receiver Jalin Marshall
Similar to Tyvis Powell, Marshall was considered a surprise early entrant for the draft by the Ohio State coaching staff. While Marshall was used in a variety of ways in the Buckeye offense, especially on punt returns, Marshall's route running may be put to the test during the Combine. Marshall is extremely quick, and could impress with drills that focus upon lateral agility.
There is always considerable buzz about impressive participants following the Combine. It is entirely possible some of the Buckeyes on this list may be among those in the discussion during and after the event.
— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a diehard Ohio State fan. Minnich also writes and podcasts for menofthescarletandgray.com, a site dedicated to Ohio sports with a special emphasis on the Buckeyes. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.