<
>

Top Big Ten performers at the NFL combine

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

For those of you who didn't spend the last few days glued to a TV or a computer for up-to-the-minute NFL combine updates, here's a snapshot of how Big Ten players fared at the premier pre-draft event.

The NFL lists the top performers in seven different categories. Keep in mind that not every Big Ten player and position group participates in every event.

40-yard dash

  • Purdue's Curtis Painter, tied for sixth among quarterbacks, 4.87 seconds

  • Purdue's Kory Sheets, third among running backs, 4.47 seconds

  • Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells, tied for 10th among running backs, 4.59 seconds

  • Penn State's Deon Butler, fourth among wide receivers, 4.38 seconds

  • Illinois' Xavier Fulton, third among offensive linemen, 5.04 seconds

  • Penn State's Gerald Cadogan, tied for fourth among offensive linemen, 5.12 seconds

Bench press

  • Ohio State's Wells, tied for sixth among running backs, 25 repetitions

  • Purdue's Greg Orton, third among wide receivers, 22 reps

  • Penn State's Derrick Williams, 10th among wide receivers, 15 reps

  • Wisconsin's Travis Beckum, tied for first among tight ends, 28 reps

  • Ohio State's Alex Boone and Penn State's A.Q. Shipley, tied for fourth among offensive linemen, 33 reps

  • Iowa's Rob Bruggeman, tied for 10th among offensive linemen, 30 reps

  • Michigan's Terrance Taylor, first among defensive linemen, 37 reps

  • Purdue's Alex Magee, tied for eighth among defensive linemen, 30 reps

  • Ohio State's Marcus Freeman, tied for second among linebackers, 30 reps

  • Wisconsin's Jonathan Casillas, tied for 10th among linebackers, 24 reps

Vertical jump

  • Michigan State's Brian Hoyer, sixth among quarterbacks, 32 inches

  • Iowa's Shonn Greene and Purdue's Kory Sheets, tied for fifth among running backs, 37 inches

  • Penn State's Jordan Norwood and Purdue's Orton, tied for sixth among wide receivers, 38 inches

  • Ohio State's Brian Robiskie, seventh among wide receivers, 37.5 inches

  • Illinois' Fulton and Penn State's Shipley, tied for sixth among offensive linemen, 31 inches

  • Penn State's Aaron Maybin, third among defensive linemen, 38 inches

  • Illinois' Derek Walker, fourth among defensive linemen, 37.5 inches

Broad jump

  • Michigan State's Hoyer, tied for sixth among quarterbacks, 9'1"

  • Ohio State's Wells, first among running backs, 10'8"

  • Iowa's Greene and Purdue's Sheets, tied for fifth among running backs, 10'1"

  • Purdue's Orton, seventh among wide receivers, 10'5"

  • Illinois' Fulton, tied for first, 9'3"

3-cone drill

  • Purdue's Painter, tied for fourth among quarterbacks, 7 seconds

  • Michigan State's Javon Ringer, tied for fifth among running backs, 6.87 seconds

  • Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton, 10th among running backs, 6.94 seconds

  • Ohio State's Brian Hartline, tied for second among wide receivers, 6.65 seconds

  • Ohio State's Robiskie, fifth among wide receivers, 6.72 seconds

  • Penn State's Norwood, tied for eighth among wide receivers, 6.8 seconds

  • Illinois' Fulton, second among offensive linemen, 7.35 seconds

  • Penn State's Shipley, tied for fourth among offensive linemen, 7.46 seconds

  • Iowa's Seth Olsen, ninth among offensive linemen, 7.59 seconds

20-yard shuttle

  • Michigan State's Hoyer, tied for sixth among quarterbacks, 4.42 seconds

  • Michigan State's Ringer, third among running backs, 4.11 seconds

  • Ohio State's Hartline, fourth among wide receivers, 4.12 seconds

  • Ohio State's Robiskie, eighth among wide receivers, 4.19 seconds

  • Penn State's Norwood, ninth among wide receivers, 4.2 seconds

  • Indiana's Andrew Means, 10th among wide receivers, 4.21 seconds

  • Penn State's Shipley, second among offensive linemen, 4.4 seconds

  • Illinois' Fulton, sixth among offensive linemen, 4.56 seconds

60-yard shuttle

  • Purdue's Sheets, sixth among running backs, 11.7 seconds

  • Ohio State's Hartline, first among wide receivers, 10.92 seconds

  • Penn State's Butler, third among wide receivers, 11.32 seconds

My take

The combine is only one component of the draft evaluation process, yet a very important one. Here are my thoughts on these results:

  • Why did Purdue struggle so much on offense last year? Painter clearly had more athleticism that he showed, and Sheets proved to be a valuable player as well. Orton likely helped his draft stock as well at the combine.

  • For a guy that took a ton of criticism last year, it was interesting to see Hoyer perform well at the combine. He clearly has some good athleticism, and if he can get a bit more consistent in the passing game, he could find a spot at the next level. His win-loss record at Michigan State should not be overlooked.

  • Arguably no Big Ten player helped his draft stock more than Fulton, who placed among the top offensive linemen in five different categories. The second-team All-Big Ten selection might not have had the dominant senior season he expected, but his combine performance makes up for it.

  • Beanie Wells can jump. Anyone who watched him hurdle Illinois safety Donsay Hardeman on Nov. 15 already knew that.

  • Ringer underwent knee surgery last month but still performed well, finishing second in the 20-yard shuttle run.

  • Some wondered why Hartline turned pro a year early. His combine performance should silence the critics. Ohio State clearly didn't maximize what it had at the wide receiver position last year with Hartline and Robiskie.

  • Despite an injury-plagued senior season, Beckum should still go pretty high in the draft. His benchpress victory can't hurt his cause.

  • Penn State's Shipley also had a good combine, showing good speed and agility.