Only two former Tar Heels received invites to this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine, but both guys made the most of their trips, putting together strong performances that may have both of their stocks rising.
It started on Friday night with a nice performance from former Tar Heel offensive tackle Charlie Heck, who received a lot of love from NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah and former offensive linemen Shaun O’Hara and Joe Thomas. Heck began his afternoon with two strong times, his top being a 5.16 40-yard dash with a 1.80 split coming on his second run. After posting those strong numbers, Heck would go to work in the on-field drills, showcasing his athleticism that makes him such an attractive option as a late round developmental tackle. Heck shined in the drills you would expect him to, such as the rabbit drill and pull-blocking drill, showcasing great footwork and ability to open his hips quickly and fluidly. He also was successful in the drills that favor offensive guards, showing good bend at 6’7 and a strong ability to shift his weight quickly. While Heck is still likely to remain as a Day 3 selection, his combine performance might be enough to have him going off the board earlier on that final day than originally thought.
Saturday was Jason Strowbridge’s chance to build on a big week at the Senior Bowl and he did just that. Strowbridge put down a solid number in the 40 to begin the day, his best time being a 4.89 on his second run with a strong 1.72 10-yard split. Although he wasn’t talked about quite like Heck was on Friday, Strowbridge had a good day in the drills. Despite weighing in at 275 lbs., Strowbridge looked good in the athleticism drills, shifting his weight well and showing solid power in the bag drills. The drills where Strowbridge shined the most, though, might have been in the conversion drills, ones that he was expected to struggle in because of his size. Strowbridge shined instead, looking pretty fluid and natural opening his hips and catching the football very well, especially for a guy that will likely fit the 3-4 defensive end position the best. Strowbridge continues to boost his stock and as of right now, he has a solid chance of being a late Day 2 selection.
Heck and Strowbridge along with the rest of the former Tar Heels looking to get drafted will now look towards the upcoming Tar Heel pro day in what will be the last chance to make an impression on NFL scouts ahead of the draft. As of right now, a date has not been set, but the Heel Tough Blog will have you covered with all of the coverage of the Tar Heel pro day when it is set.