Sheffield tears pec during combine bench press

Bill Rabinowitz
Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine on Sunday. He injured his left leg on his second attempt and didn't complete the on-field workout, but multiple sources said the injury isn't considered serious. [Michael Conroy/The Associated Press]

For the second straight year at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, an Ohio State player tore a pectoral muscle during the bench press.

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield can only hope that his draft stock is as unaffected by his injury as Billy Price’s was in 2018.

According to witnesses, Sheffield was on his seventh rep at lifting 225 pounds when he screamed in pain and had to stop. He then was taken for an MRI. The Houston Chronicle, Sheffield’s hometown newspaper, reported that the injury was a torn left pectoral.

Price suffered a partial tear of his left pectoral muscle last year. He required surgery, which prevented him from working out for teams before the draft. The Cincinnati Bengals were undeterred by that and selected him in the first round with the 21st overall pick.

Sheffield is regarded as a mid-round pick, but his speed could cause him to rise on draft boards. named him college football’s fastest player before last season.

Sheffield was a three-time Texas high school state champion in track and broke the Ohio State and French Field House indoor 60-meter record in 6.663 seconds a year ago.

Defensive backs do their speed drills Monday, and Sheffield was expected to run in the 4.3-range in the 40 and possibly flirt with a 4.2 time.

Sheffield, who originally signed with Alabama, signed with Ohio State after attending Blinn junior college in Texas. He was part of the Buckeyes’ three-cornerback rotation the last two years. Sheffield was honorable mention all-Big Ten in 2018 after leading Ohio State in pass breakups with 10.

He had one year of eligibility remaining when he decided to enter the NFL draft after he had perhaps his best overall game in the Rose Bowl.

The injury prevented Sheffield from participating in his scheduled media availability late Sunday afternoon.

Singing his praises

Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones got a strong endorsement from the player considered to be the likely first overall pick of the NFL draft.

Nick Bosa is rated where he is largely because of his ability to rush off the edge. As Jones’ teammate the last three years, Bosa saw his ability up close. He described Jones as the best interior pass-rusher in the draft.

“I watched him every day at practice,” Bosa said Saturday. “You just don’t see interior guys with the hips and hands that he has. I’ve been talking him up really good to a bunch of teams because he’s my best friend. People have been asking, ‘Who would you bring to war? Who would you bring if you’ve got to pick one person from Ohio State?’ and that’s easily him.”

Jones is considered a possible first-round pick, but most mock drafts have him going in the second. He was Ohio State’s only first-team all-Big Ten selection on defense.

“Just go back to the tape,” Bosa said. “You can’t look at his bench press, his 40. Just go back and watch the tape. It will all speak for itself.”

Jones’ time in the 40 was a disappointing 5.12. Bosa ran a 4.79.

Jones began his Ohio State career as a defensive end before moving to tackle. At least one NFL team considered him versatile enough to ask him to do linebacker drills.

“I was a little surprised to see that, but I’m definitely doing it,” Jones said.

Bosa and quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. are locks to be first-round picks. Jones hopes to join them.

“It’s very important,” he said. “I’ve looked forward to this all my life. I want to be there in Tennessee on the stage, holding up a jersey and smiling at the camera and just being proud of all my hard work. If I don’t, it’s not a failure.”


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