Even though stars like Terrelle Pryor, Jonathan Baldwin, Christian Wilson and Boubacar Cissoko did not make the trip to the Pittsburgh leg of the scout.com combine circuit, there still was no lack of talent on the field.
One of the top rated players in attendance was LB Shayne Hale of Gateway High School. At 6’4, 232 lbs, Hale has a similar build to Shawn Crable, but is even stockier at this point. He looks like he easily could become a defensive end. In one-on-one coverage drills he did not change directions as fluidly as the smaller players he was going up against, but as a SAM prospect, he could definitely drop into zones. He ran a 4.65 forty, so in a straight-line he is plenty fast.
His teammate Cameron Saddler lined up at multiple positions and showed very quick feet and recovery ability as a corner. He was aggressive despite his lack of size and had some success jamming larger receivers. He has good hands and made a couple of nice, quick moves in one-on-one drills as a runner and pass receiver. He was a high energy, excitable guy but he will have to learn to tone it down at times.
Gateway also had a junior WR, Corey Brown who is one to watch. He is not a blazer, but runs very smooth routes and has outstanding hands, body control, and leaping ability. He combines those traits to make some very acrobatic plays.
Brandon Beachum did not do any testing, but did participate in drills. He was good in one on one coverage. A running back himself, he had no problem running downfield to cover the other backs when he was at linebacker.
On the defensive line, both Chris Henderson and Reggie Ellis were very impressive. Ellis is a bull who gets leverage and really drives back offensive linemen. Henderson, meanwhile, shows impressive quickness and explosion. Both are gap-shooter types that have the potential to be disruptive penetrators at the next level.
While all of those players had their moments Sunday, the star of the show in
our eyes was Strongsville WR/DB D.J. Woods. He chose not to run a forty in light
of his recent 4.35 at a combine in Florida, but his cone drill and shuttle times
were excellent. He used that quickness and agility to his advantage in 1-1 drills,
where no defensive back was even close to covering him. He caught every pass
with at least 3 yards of separation and torched his man on a couple double moves.
He can really stop on a dime and when he drove the cornerback off deep and came
back on hitches and comebacks, he created more separation than any other wideout
in attendance. He does not have a Michigan offer currently, but has had contact
with the staff and is looking to head to camp this summer. He is definitely
one to remember.