The NFL has added a new agility drill at the Combine this year — the flip flop.
That’s what the league is asking Ohio State’s Zach Boren to do, and it’s a drill he knows well.
Boren came out of Pickerington Central High School as a linebacker, but the Buckeyes switched him to fullback his freshman year. Then midway through his senior year, the team moved him back to linebacker.
At the Combine, he’s listed as a running back.
“I came here as a fullback, so I guess that’s what I’m here for,” Boren said. “I don’t know. Whatever a team wants me to do, I’ll do. Whatever will get me on the field.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranks Boren third among draft-eligible fullbacks, behind Florida State’s Lonnie Pryor and SMU’s Zach Line.
Boren will be on the field today for his drills, and he said he’ll be ready for whatever teams want to see.
“I definitely worked toward the offensive side, but I did some defensive stuff in my training in case when pro day comes teams want me to do defensive stuff. I kind of think they’re the same position. You have to have the same mentality playing fullback and linebacker. You just have to love to hit people, and that’s what I love to do.”
Fleet feet: A player from a small school made big news Saturday as Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead ran a 4.71 in the 40-yard dash.
That’s the fastest time posted by an offensive lineman since at least 2006, when the league started officially keeping track of performances.
“I’ve been blessed with a unique skill-set,” Armstead said. “I’m extremely light on my feet for a big guy, I have to say. It’s a blessing. It was nothing that was coached.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper had the 6-foot-5, 304-pound Armstead ranked eighth among offensive tackles coming into the Combine. But Armstead’s stock is likely to rise after Saturday’s performance.
The Seattle Seahawks’ Allen Barbre had the previous Combine record of 4.84, which he ran in 2007. Later Saturday, Barbre’s mark fell from second to third when Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson nearly equaled Armstead’s time with a 4.72.
Big lift: Ohio University offensive lineman Eric Herman was the top performer in the bench press Saturday with 36 reps of 225 pounds.
“I had a great time working with Athletes Performance in Pensacola, Fla.,” Herman said. “They trained me in ways I didn’t’ think I’d be trained. Working hard for the past two months really pushed me to be a great player.”
Sixty-two offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists participated in the bench press, with Ohio State tackle Reid Fragel posting the fourth-largest total with 33 reps. OSU tight end Jake Stoneburner logged 18 reps.
Big bet: Shortly after saying he left LSU to enter the NFL Draft “due to family conditions,” defensive lineman Sam Montgomery told the media he has a $5,000 bet with fellow LSU defensive lineman Barkevious Mingo on who gets drafted first.
“We’ve had quite a few bets in our career,” Mingo said. “I think our first one was the first sack for the season. He was supposed to wash my car because I won, and he hasn’t done that. Then, we have most sacks in the season and on down the line.
“(The $5,000 bet) is the latest one. I’m pretty confident in myself. He’s gonna have to come with that one, and I get a car wash.”
Late debate: Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins admitted he did some second-guessing about leaving school early to enter the NFL Draft.
“I had a few second thoughts,” he said. “It was a tough decision.”
Hankins is projected as a first-round pick on nearly all mock drafts.