INDIANAPOLIS – Three years ago, Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead came to the Scouting Combine and ran a 4.71-second 40-yard dash. Coupled with an impressive 31 reps on the 225-pound bench press and a 34.5-inch vertical jump, Armstead rose up draft boards and was drafted by the Saints in the middle of the third round.
Indiana’s Jason Spriggs already is considered one of the better offensive line prospects in this draft. If he can do what Armstead did – and what he did in spring testing – he could find his way into the first round.
“I’d like to think so,” Spriggs said, “and I’d like to think that my times and my numbers would justify that.”
In March, Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson tweeted these workout numbers for Spriggs: a 4.82 in the 40, a 37.5-inch vertical and 33 reps on the bench. If he can replicate those numbers this week – the offensive linemen do the bench on Thursday and go through agility testing and position drills on Friday – he’s sure to boost his draft stock.
“Being the kind of O-lineman I am and being more of an athletic guy, I think that’s something I can showcase here and that will help me out,” said Spriggs, who measured in at 6-foot-6 and 301 pounds.
Spriggs met with the Packers at the Senior Bowl and wasn't sure if they were on his meeting agenda for the last week. The Packers are set for this season with David Bakhtiari at left tackle but Bakhtiari will be a free agent following the 2016 season and could be an expensive player to re-sign considering how well he played last season once he got past a preseason knee injury.
Spriggs started 47 games at left tackle for Indiana. Remarkably, he was in the starting lineup as a true freshman, when he weighed merely 268 pounds. He got by with athleticism and technique to earn honorable mention on the all-Big Ten team.
“I really just focused on fundamentals and playing as hard as you can through the whistle,” he said. “It opens up a lot of doors.”
Now, at 301 pounds, he’s still got the athleticism but now he’s got size and strength on his side, as well. As a senior, he gave up two sacks in 526 passing plays, according to the Hoosiers’ coaches. He earned All-America accolades, including some first-team honors. In a matchup against Ohio State, Joey Bosa – who could be the No. 1 overall pick of this draft – had six tackles (five solos) but no sacks.
Along with standout quarterback Nate Sudfeld and running back Jordan Howard, the Hoosiers led the Big Ten in points, passing offense and total offense.
“Any time you have somebody back there like Nate, that’s something left tackles take very highly,” Spriggs said. “And that’s something that coming in as a freshman I knew that was going to be a big goal for me.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.