Curtis Samuel didn’t need to run the 40-yard dash at the Ohio State pro day for NFL coaches and scouts Thursday. He had a blazing 4.31-second 40 at NFL combine a month earlier.
Pro day was all about further displaying his skills as a receiver, he said, and he was pleased by his performance as he, Dontre Wilson and Corey Smith caught passes from Tiffin product Antonio Pipkin.
“I wanted to really show that I could run great routes, whether it’s inside or outside,” Samuel said.
He lined up mostly in the slot as OSU’s hybrid back last year, but also ran routes as a wideout in front of nine NFL head coaches, seven general managers and dozens of assistant coaches and scouts at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The idea was “to show I’m capable of doing those, too,” Samuel said.
The 4.31 at the combine opened a lot of eyes.
“I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t expect that,” Samuel said. “My times training weren't 4.31 or 4.3s at all. But I know once I give my body the proper time to rest and heal that I could pull off something like that.”
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore is projected by several experts to be the first Buckeye taken in the draft, probably early in the first round. He likely helped that projection by his showing in the skills portion of the workout.
Lattimore didn’t get to participate in those drills at the combine after straining a hip flexor. He ran 4.36 and 4.37 in the 40 at the combine. Some reports at the combine said he had pulled a hamstring, an issue he had coming out of high school.
“There’s going to be people who try to bring you down; they didn’t even know what was going on,” Lattimore said of the false hamstring report. “It is what it is, but I’m good. … That’s another reason I tried to come out here and show them I’m not injured.”
Other 40 times
Receiver Noah Brown went to the combine but did not run a 40. He was among those who ran Thursday, and consensus times provided to The Dispatch were 4.57 seconds and 4.61. The Buckeyes who weren’t invited to the combine and ran the 40 here were receivers Smith (4.59 and 4.65) and Wilson (4.55 and 4.59), linebacker Craig Fada (4.89 and 4.93) and safety Jarrod Barnes (4.71 and 4.78).