INDIANAPOLIS: Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones appeared to pull a hamstring during his second 40-yard dash Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine and was forced to withdraw from drills at Lucas Oil Stadium before the throwing portion began.
Standing 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds, Jones posted an unofficial time of 4.83 seconds in his first attempt. He grimaced as he was finishing his second, unofficially 4.85. His official time was 4.81, which ranked 10th among 17 quarterbacks.
NFL Network reported he was done for the day. He was shown sitting on the bench icing his right hamstring.
Earlier in the workout, Jones turned in a 36-inch vertical jump, which tied with Memphis’ Paxton Lynch for best among quarterbacks.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had predicted a big day for Jones, a Cleveland native and Glenville High School graduate.
“He’s 11-0 as a starter. He’s a national champion. He’s got as strong as arm as anybody that’s out here. I think he’s going to kill it today,” Meyer told NFL Network. “I’ve already talked to a handful of GMs and scouts that interviewed him so far, and it wasn’t an excuse. He was a starter for us and eventually got beaten out, and he didn’t make excuses.
“But I think he’ll have a great showing, and I think this is going to be his day. I think he’s going to move up in the draft today, and that’s coming from people that have told me that.”
Ohio State’s pro day is March 11, which doesn’t give Jones much time for rehab. With 14 Buckeyes invited to the combine, tied for the second most in the event’s history, and a few more considered draft prospects, Meyer predicted on national signing day that the Buckeyes’ pro day would be the biggest in the history of college football.
Jones’ injury will only add to its draw.
Projected to go as high as the second round in the April 28-30 NFL Draft, Jones went 11-0 as a starter before being supplanted by J.T. Barrett last season. Jones was 3-0 in leading OSU to the 2014 national championship after Braxton Miller and Barrett were injured.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook explained Thursday why he didn’t go to the Senior Bowl, among the criticisms of the Walsh Jesuit High School graduate.
The 6-4, 217-pound Cook hurt his throwing shoulder Nov. 14 and his agent, Joel Segal, thought it best that Cook instead begin combine preparation with private quarterback coach George Whitfield in San Diego.
“We felt like it was the best move. Obviously, the last few games, I had somewhat of a dinged-up shoulder, and I didn’t want to risk anything else further than that,” Cook said. “I felt like the best thing was to go to San Diego to start training, to start lifting and getting my body ready for Indianapolis.”
Cook said his shoulder wasn’t bothering him during Senior Bowl week leading up to the Jan. 28 game in Mobile, Alabama.
“No, I wouldn’t say at all, really,” Cook said. “It felt great after the season. Just continue to strengthen it week by week to get it stronger than it ever has been, and that’s what it is right now.”
Cook, a Hinckley native, worked out Saturday at the combine. He tied for sixth among quarterbacks with an official 40 time of 4.79.
As for not being selected captain at Michigan State, Cook said he was a member of the 12-member leadership counsel on a team that had 22 seniors and was selected a game captain four times last season, which usually is limited to once.
“If you want to go back and talk to any of my teammates and ask them if I was a great leader, they would say yes,” Cook said.
Meyer said Cook’s lack of captaincy is a legitimate question.
“Sure. Absolutely, at that position,” the coach said Saturday on NFL Network. “I don’t know Connor. I know his coach very well. They love him there, so I’m certainly not judging. But I think that’s something you need to ask, especially at that position.”
Edge rusher to watch
Boise State edge rusher Kamalei Correa revealed he has met with the Browns at the combine.
“They’ve got a great coaching staff,” he said Saturday. “They’ve got a great thing going.”
Correa said the NFL Draft advisory board gave him a second-round grade, so the Browns could target him with the 32nd overall pick.
Last week, defensive coordinator Ray Horton said he’s seeking an edge rusher.
Ohio State’s Nick Vannett said the NFL tight end he admires most is the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski. Vannett said he’s enjoying the “Baby Gronk” nickname that someone came up with for him on Twitter.
“I’m going to do my best to keep that going because that’s a hell of a comparison,” Vannett said Friday.
Vannett said he watched film of Gronkowski before last season to see what made him so successful.
“I like to watch the best because I want to be the best,” Vannett said. “He can go down the field vertically and create mismatches and make a play in the pass game as well as block an in-line D-end. There’s not much he can’t do. That’s who I want to be.
“I think I can do both just as well as he does. I’m not to that point yet, but I’m working to get to his level.”
But there will be no party cruises hosted by Vannett, as Gronkowski recently staged.
“I’m not as crazy as him by any means,” Vannett said.
Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry showed up to the combine with a shaved head, which, in the past, has been home to dreadlocks, a box cut and low, wave-length hair.
“I was just getting tired of having hair, and so one day I went to the store and got some clippers, a shaver and I just cut it off,” he said Friday. “But the other reason, and this was actually a big reason into it, is I have a thing: I’m not too trusting of barbers, and I don’t want to have a really awful haircut. So I didn’t want to wait like eight weeks to get back to Columbus to get a fresh cut, so I just went ahead and shaved it all off.”
Marla Ridenour can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at www.ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ. Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns.