Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The linebackers and defensive backs took center stage Monday at the NFL scouting combine, and several Big Ten players helped their causes with strong showings.
Here are a few notables:
Ohio State's Marcus Freeman, seventh among linebackers, 4.74 seconds
Illinois' Vontae Davis, first among cornerbacks, 25 repetitions
Michigan's Morgan Trent, tied for fourth among cornerbacks, 23 reps
Ohio State's Freeman, tied for first among linebackers, 37 inches
Wisconsin's DeAndre Levy, tied for eighth among linebackers, 9'11"
Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, third among linebackers, 6.93 seconds
Ohio State's Freeman, tied for fourth among linebackers, 6.98 seconds
Ohio State's Freeman, first among linebackers, 4.12 seconds
Ohio State's Laurinaitis, sixth among linebackers, 4.24 seconds
The underappreciated and overshadowed Freeman needed a strong performance at the combine, and he got one. Laurinaitis should have no trouble on draft day, but Freeman likely improved his stock with top performances in four categories, including a win in the 20-yard shuttle by six one-hundredths of a second (that's actually a lot).
Davis should be a first-round pick, and his performance in the bench press cemented his status as a physical freak. Though Malcolm Jenkins is the more accomplished college cornerback, Davis' physical gifts could project better at the next level.