NFL combine underway for Beaver foursome

A QUARTET FROM Oregon State is in Indianapolis this weekend for the NFL Scouting Combine, and the events and testing that have the most influence among NFL decision makers kick off on Saturday. Among those looking to improve their draft stock are running back Yvenson Bernard, kicker Alexis Serna, offensive lineman Roy Schuening and defensive end Dorian Smith.

Pendleton's Roy Schuening looks to be the first Beaver chosen in the draft in April. His durability, he started every game for the Beavs from redshirt season through his senior campaign, and his skills set, he was very effective for the Beavs in moving over to tackle in '07 despite a lack of prototypical OT height, has him pegged a high third round pick in many of the mock drafts.

The NFL Network's Mike Mayock rates him the No. 3 interior offensive lineman at the combine.

Schuening measured in at the combine with a height of 6-foot-3 and a weight of 306 pounds. He is likely to play guard in the NFL.

But Schuening is not the only Beaver going through the testing this week in Indy.

RB Yvenson Bernard is looking to show that the form that enabled him to become the Pac-10's No. 6 all-time leading rusher is not limited to the college ranks. Bernard has said his main focus is to turn in a good 40 time, which means NFL teams considering him have told him that's what they most want to see.

Bernard is an elusive running back with great balance and a knack for yards after contact. He didn't gain he bulk of his yards because he was the fastest player on the field. But there's obviously a difference in the speed of the college game and the next level, and a solid time would help his cause.

Additionally, Bernard's quickness in other drills will be important to how teams slot him on their board. Bernard measured in at 5-9 1/4, 205 pounds at the combine.

Kicker Alexis Serna was said to impress with his leg strength on Friday according to The Sporting News, booming kickoffs and field goals with snap and power. But the accuracy for the Lou Groza Award winner was not there, with Serna missing on four of five attempts from long range.

Still, the two most promising placekickers according to The Tacoma News Tribune are Serna and Louisville's Art Carmody with Serna probably holding the edge. As odd as it may seem, even for a kicker size can be a concern at the NFL level and some scouts are said to be wary of Serna's.

Serna checked in at 5-6.5 and 168 pounds at the combine.

Dorian Smith is perhaps the Beaver who has the chance to help himself most at the combine after receiving no invites for post season senior all-star games.

A speedy, quick player for his size, some solid numbers could boost his stock. He is currently thought to be a seventh round/free agent type.

Smith measured in at 6-1 5/8, 255 pounds at the combine.


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