It is amazing how one task at the NFL Combine and/or a personal workout can dictate a prospect’s fortunes, especially for Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston. With a ton of snow outside, representatives from nearly every NFL team came to Columbus, Ohio. But it turned out to be worth the delay and it may have catapulted Gholston into the rarified air of being a possible Top-5 pick in this year’s draft.
What did Gholston do exactly to merit the possible ascent up the draft boards? Well consider this: he ran a 4.58 40 and recorded a 42-inch vertical jump – all of this for a DE who is 6’3 and 266 lbs. Only 2 lineman ran faster than Gholston (Purdue’s Cliff Avril with a 4.51 and Auburn’s Quentin Groves with a 4.57). While Avril and Groves project to be linebackers in the NFL and Gholston did play some LB at Ohio State, Gholston falls into the classic build and makeup to be a DE at the next level.
Oddly enough, Gholston decided to work out in Columbus despite his strong showing at the NFL scouting combine at Indianapolis last month; he was timed at 4.67 in the 40 and topped out at 35.5 inches in the vertical jump. But that’s the competitive nature of Gholston, and it may very well pay off at the draft. Which may or may not be good news for University of Virginia DE Chris Long; while Long, considered to be the safest pick, is a better player than Gholston at this juncture due to his advanced technique and instincts, Gholston is the better athlete – an ascending talent, as it were. In other words, lots of upside for Gholston and he could be a very special player in the league.